Page images
PDF
EPUB

bondage of sin and Satan by Jesus Christ.

-The ritual service of the Law was designed to furnish a more circumstantial representation of this great event; under which figurative Dispensation, the blood of the victim considered as an expiation for the sin of the offerer, exhibited a lively representation of the spiritual redemption of man, from the consequences of sin by the blood of the Redeemer.

The language of the Prophets, as the language of inspiration, must be expected to have the same great subject in view. When Isaiah therefore describes the office of the promised Messiah, he does it by an allusion to the year of Jubilee, which by express command was celebrated on the periodical return of every fiftieth year; in which, according to the provision of the Law, liberty was proclaimed throughout the land of Judea unto all the inhabitants; and every man returned into his own posséssion, and into his own family; and a general redemption of property took place. Levit. xxv.

And that the reference which this temporal redemption on every year

of Jubilee had to that spiritual Redemption,

which was in the fulness of time to be ef fected by our great Redeemer, might not escape observation; it was commanded, that the trumpet which was to give notice of the returning celebration of this joyful year, should be sounded on the great day of Atonement; on that day, when the High Priest under the Law, was engaged in sprinkling before the mercy-seat in the Holy of Holies *, the type of that precious blood, which was in the fulness of time to be offered up by our great High Priest under the Gospel, for the Redemption of the world.

“ The Spirit of the Lord (says the Prophet) is upon me; because he hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind

up

the broken hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives; and the opening of the prison door to them that are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Isa. Ixi.

The interpretation of this prophecy, was determined by our Saviour on a memorable occasion; when, after having quoted in the Synagogue this remarkable passage from the Prophet, we read, that “he closed the book and sat down. And the eyes of all that were in the Synagogue being fastened upon him, he began to say; This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke iv. 20. As if he had said ;

* Or as it might be better rendered, the Holy place of the Holy ones,

able

Behold, the year of my redeemed is come:" that acceptable year of the Lord, of which the Jubilee under the Law exhibited but a faint shadow: a year of general redemption and restoration to their lost estate for the sons of fallen Adam, by virtue of that ransom which I come to pay. For this purpose has a body been prepared me. “ Rejoice therefore 0 Daughter of Zion; shout, 0 Daughter of Jerusalem; behold thy King cometh unto thee; he is just and having salvation; and he shall speak peace unto the heathen; and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water. Turn ye therefore to the strong hold, ye prisoners of

hope,

[ocr errors]

Hope, even to day do I declare, that I will render double unto thee. Zec. ix. 9. “ for I am thy strength and thy Redeemer.'

With this great subject on his mind, the Prophet gives the following sublime description of the same divine Personage. “Who is this (says he) that cometh with dyed garments from the vintage ? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength ?-I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.- Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine fat?--I have trodden the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold; therefore mine own arm brought Salvation unto me." Isaiah lxiii. And as the service of the Law was de

signed

Аа

signed to prefigure, and the language of the Prophets to predict the future Redemption of mankind, with the view of preparing those who lived under the Jewish Dispensation, for the personal appearance of the promised Redeemer; so the preaching of the Apostles was calculated to keep alive in the minds of their disciples the memorial of the great work, which in the fulness of time had been actually accomplished by Him.

• There is one God (says the Apostle) and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself a Ransom for all.”—1 Tim. ü. 5.-“ When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Gal, iv. 5. When the full season, according to the divine councils, arrived; when the promise, made to Abraham and his seed was to take place; God sent into the world his only begotten Son, the seed of the woman,

, made subject to the Mosaic law; that fulfilling the Law by his perfect obedience, he might redeem the Jews from their bondage

to

;

« PreviousContinue »