Christ’s Action in Death

The following answers are offered by Hugh Martin, the questions are mine:

Q – Was Christ active or passive in his death?
A – Active: There is more agency and power in Christ’s cross, than in all His work as Creator of the universe.

Q – What was he doing besides dying?
A – He has borne the wrath. He has broken the strong bond of the curse. He has made an end of sin. He has vanquished Satan. He has spoiled principalities and powers. He has torn the handwriting of indictment that was against His people, and nailed it to the cross.

Q – What did his priestly role consist of?
A – Making an offering to God.

Q – In what sense?
A – [The offering] propitiates God; it intercedes to God. It satisfies God’s justice; it pacifies God’s wrath; it secures God’s favour; it seals God’s covenant love; and gives effect to God’s eternal purpose and grace.

Your turn. Think of other views of the atonement (other than penal substitutionary atonement) and consider how proponents of that view might (or might not) answer these questions. As a sinner in need of God’s grace, I need a real sacrifice, a real substitution, and a priest who does not end his work upon death, but enters into its most glorious dispensation in and through death. I need one who acts, not one who is merely acted upon. Can anything else save or offer hope?


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