only through the manifestation of God's love1 in Christ Jesus, whom we love because He
first loved us (John iii. 16; I John iv. 19). This constraining love of Christ enables us to love
Him and, by the grace of God's Holy Spirit, to live in accordance with God's holy will in some
measure here, and fully beyond the grave (2 Cor. v. 14).
Through Christ's death on the cross two special benefits are offered to us: (1) deliverance from
eternal death, and (2) grace to hate sin and to overcome it (Rom. vi. 5-11; Gal. ii. 20; vi. 14;
Col. iii. 1-17; I John i. 7). He has ransomed us from our bondage to sin (Matt. xx. 28; I Cor. i.
30; Eph. i. 7; I Pet. i. 18-21). He has offered the one true and effectual propitiation
sin (Heb. ii. 17; I John ii. 2; iv. 10), of which the sacrifices for sin under the Jewish law were
Our conscience, which accuses us of sin and threatens us with the wrath of God, thereby teaches
us our urgent need of a reconciliation with God Most High. As we cannot ourselves offer a perfect
propitiation, God has provided one in Christ, who is perfect man as well as perfect God. Christ's
death shows us the terrible and heinous nature of sin. The crime of putting Christ to death was the
acme and consummation of the world's sin. Self-love and self-will had caused Adam's sin. Christ on
the cross offered self to death. The atoning virtue of His death consists not in His physical
sufferings as such, but in the infinite offering of His love, which led Him, the sinless Head of the
human race, to endure the suffering which is the result of other men's sins. He of His own free will
(John x. 17, 18) laid down His life for us, and He thereby as our representative made an act of
submission to the justice of God's sentence on sin and on sinners (Ezek. xviii. 20). It was not the
actual death itself so much as the free surrender of Himself, and
obedience to God's Holy Will even unto death, that was of the essence of the sacrifice which He
offered for us. Yet He suffered everything that human nature united to the Divine Nature could
suffer, and that not only in body, but in mind and spirit also, for His grief for men's sins broke
His loving heart (John xix. 34). Being one with His Father, His holiness and His love for man led
Him to feel the heinousness of our sins: becoming one with us in His humanity, He felt the terrible
nature of the curse under which sin must necessarily lie, since God is perfectly Holy. Hence Christ
"tasted death for every man" (Heb. ii. 9) in a way in which none but the Sinless One could
(Ps. xxii. 1; Matt. xxvii. 46; Mark xv. 34). Thus were displayed at once God's love. His justice,
and His mercy.
He who in His human nature died on the cross was God as well as man. As He took upon Himself the
burden of our sins and died on the cross for us sinners, therefore those who by true faith are
united to Him as branches to the vine (John xv. 4, 5) receive forgiveness of sin and are delivered
from the fear of death (Heb. ii. 14, 15), since the sting of death is sin (I Cor. xv. 56), which
causes the unpardoned sinner to look forward with a fearful dread to the wrath of God. That Christ's
sacrifice was accepted and His Atonement effectual is proved by His Resurrection (Rom. i. 4), and
His Ascension to Heaven (Luke xxii. 51) to present Himself there as our representative (Heb. ix.
24), and to return to the glory which He had with His Father before the world had come into
existence (John xvii. 5).
We now proceed to point out a few of the blessed results which proceed from the Atonement made by
the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first of these is that God for Christ's sake forgives the sins and transgressions of all true
Christians (Rom. v. 5-21; Eph. i. 3-7; Heb. x. 1-25; I John i. 7). Then God, for Christ's sake,
grants them His