architecture of man, body, friends, Incarnation, justification, redemption, sheep, sin offering, spirit
We were spiritually bankrupt at birth. Our spirits were dead, separated from God. Our souls were tainted with iniquity and sin inhabited our flesh. Without divine intervention, man’s condition after Adam’s sin was hopeless.
7 Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life,
8 for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice,
9 that he should live on forever and never see the pit. ESV
Our defiled blood left us unable to pay the price for our sin. Our death isn’t payment, but the just result of sin. Thankfully, God did not leave us in this hopeless state. He sent His Son to deliver us. The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.
Jesus paid the price for our sin. We more often than not think in terms of “payment for” instead of “payment to.” Some say that the payment was made to Satan to purchase the souls of men back from him. Though it is true that we are redeemed from his torments, Satan was not holding the debt marker. He is an offender like us, not the offended. The Lord is the One who is sinned against. The debt of sin is owed to Him. Because no man had the wherewithal to pay the price, He paid the price Himself.
We are going to examine His payment of our sin through the lens of man’s architecture: body, soul, and spirit. The tabernacle and temple structures were prophetic symbols of heavenly realities, the process of redemption, and the incarnation. Part of the tabernacle’s heavenly reality is its reflection of our Father’s house. The outer court is the garden behind the wall. The holy place is the front room of the house. The holy of holies is the Father’s private den. Part of the tabernacle’s reflection of the incarnation is it’s correlation to man’s architecture. The outer court is the flesh, the holy place the soul, and the holy of holies the spirit of man. Let’s see how each of these in our Lord was offered for our redemption.
His Flesh for the World
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. KJV
He offered up His flesh—His body— for the life of the world. He died that the world might live. Even now, it is still His body that is offering life to the world. The church, the Body of Christ, is to be about the business of broadcasting the gospel that people might hear, believe, and live.
His Soul for His Sheep He Calls “Friend”
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. KJV
The Greek word translated “life” in the verse above is psuche, which is the soul. Jesus didn’t give His life for the goats. He gave it for His sheep, the ones who know Him and hear His voice. His sheep are the ones that feed Him when they seem him hungry, give Him a drink when he is thirsty, take Him in when he is a foreigner, clothe Him when he is naked, visit Him when he is sick, go to Him when he is incarcerated.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life [psuche, soul] for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. KJV
Jesus gave His body for the entire world, but His soul He laid down for His friends. We can see this division of intimacy in His prayer to the Father on the night of His arrest.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. KJV
As He faced the coming crucifixion, He prayed for His friends and specifically told the Father that in that moment, He was not praying for the world. We say that Jesus is the friend of sinners. I think it is more accurate to say that while Jesus is friendly toward sinners, He is the friend of repenters who choose to follow Him, the sheep of His pasture. He allowed His soul to journey to Hades that ours may have fellowship with the Father in heaven.
1 Corinthians 16:22
If anyone does not love the Lord [does not have a friendly affection for Him and is not kindly disposed toward Him], he shall be accursed! Our Lord will come! (Maranatha!) AMP
The Greek word translated “love” in this verse is phileo, often referred as soulish love as opposed to the spiritual love of agape. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit pours agape love throughout our spirits. This is a gift from God. But to avoid a curse (read “burnt wood, hay, and stubble”) at the Lord’s return, we need to develop a soul relationship with Him as well. This cannot be done without walking in Lordship. When we understand that He laid His soul down for us that we might be friends, why would we refrain from fellowshipping with Him?
His Spirit to the Father for Our Justification
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. KJV
Jesus, the Incarnate Word, cried out the word of God to His Father when He offered up His spirit. His cry was taken from Psalm 31:5. The Hebrew word behind “commit” in that verse is paqad. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words has the following commentary with regard to this word:
paqad “to number, visit, be concerned with, look after, make a search for, punish.”
The first occurrence is in Gen 21:1 (“The Lord visited Sarah”) in the special sense of “to intervene on behalf of,” so as to demonstrate the divine intervention in the normal course of events to bring about or fulfill a divine intent. Often this intervention is by miraculous means.
The verb is used in an expression which is unique to Hebrew and which shows great intensity of meaning. Such an occurrence appears in Ex 3:16 ff., in which it is used twice in two different grammatical forms to portray the intensity of the action; the text reads (literally): “Looking after, I have looked after” (KJV, “I have surely visited”). The usage refers to God’s intervention in His saving the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt. The same verb in a similar expression can also be used for divine intervention for punishment: “Shall I not visit them for these things?” Jer 9:9, which means literally: “Shall I not punish them for these things?”
Not only does this word show intense observation for the purpose of miraculous intervention, it also involves divine punishment. A more fitting and precise word to use at the moment of offering up His Spirit to the Father is hard to imagine. Not only was He giving it to be divinely punished for all the sins of the world, He also knew that the Father would miraculously intervene on His behalf and deliver Him from the death He had submitted Himself to.
The Greek term translated “commend” in Luke 23:46 is also profound. It is the word paratithemi, and it means “to put near, to set before.” It is most frequently used to describe the offering of food to someone. One is reminded of the showbread that was weekly laid out in the Temple as an offering to God. His flesh was an offering to the world. His Spirit was a sweet smelling sacrifice to the Father.
1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. KJV
The Lord was a perfect, sinless sacrifice; the just for the unjust. As the Righteous One, He offered up His Spirit for our justification.
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. KJV
Even as the Father dispatched the Spirit of the Son into the body prepared for Him in the womb of Mary and in His birth was declared the Son of God, so now in delivering His Spirit from the womb of the grave, the Father declared “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” As Christ arose from out of the depths of the Abyss, He took up His soul once more and resurrected His body even as He had said He would. This is the power of His resurrection. It is no trifling matter, but the exceeding greatness of the power of the Godhead!
 Matt. 25:31-40.
 Rom. 5:5.
 from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers
 Eph. 5:2.
 Acts 13:33.
 John 2:19.
 As in the Incarnation, the Holy Spirit played the role of the midwife. He delivered the Son to Mary and He delivered Him to and through the cross (Hebrews 9:14).
Good stuff (**)