[R4780 : page 78]


"Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice,
first for his own sins and then for the people's; for this
he did once, when he offered up himself."—Heb. 7:27 .

IT HAS been asked how the Church could in any way be identified with the offering of this sacrifice.

To get the Apostle's thought we are compelled to take one of two views; either that the High Priest in this case meant our Lord Jesus alone, separate and distinct from his Body, or else that it did not mean our Lord Jesus alone, separate and apart from his Body.

In another place the Apostle tells us that God foreknew the Church; therefore, in the Divine Plan it was a foreknowledge that there would be a Church selected from among sinners, even as it was predestinated of Jesus himself that he should be the Head: "He [the Father] hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself." (Eph. 1:4,5.) Consequently, to take any other view would indicate blindness respecting the Scriptures. For this reason, we think that Paul referred, in the text under discussion, to the High Priest as a whole—Head and Body.

Although this feature of the Plan was not revealed until the end of the Gospel Age, we see, nevertheless, that the Apostle was discussing the change of dispensation, and that everything pertaining to the Tabernacle and the "Most Holy" passed away to give place to the "better sacrifices" of the Gospel Age—all these things coming in instead of those things. And this is what the Apostle is reasoning out. When, therefore, he speaks of the High Priest, saying, "And this he did once," he is referring to the one sacrifice of two parts. He does not mean to say that the Priest offered merely one sacrifice of one part, but that the Priest made first the offering of the antitypical bullock, and afterwards the offering of the antitypical goat.

In the type these things were done year by year; but in the antitype, which must be greater than the type, and which must really put away sin—"this he did once." Instead of doing this year after year, as represented in the typical atonement day sacrifices, the Great High Priest first offered the sacrifice of the antitypical bullock on behalf of those who are accepted as members of his Body, and afterwards the sacrifice of the antitypical goat on behalf of all the world of mankind.

We also see that this second part has not yet been accomplished; after it shall have been finished, then will begin to follow the long-promised glory—"The sufferings of Christ and the glory that shall follow." (I Pet. 1:11.) And again, "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. "—Rom. 8:18.