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This house, having as it were a plague in it, is a society or family in disorder. This moral disorder must be removed; the house must be cleansed, or the plague which seemeth to be in it, will shortly consume it. Unless the disorder be removed from the bottom, the symbolical house must be broken down, and the stones, and the timber, and the mortar, and carried forth out of the city into an unclean place.
To get rid of a moral plague, we are here taught that application must be made to him, who is the Antitype of the living, as well as the slain, bird: that is, to him who says of himself, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forev Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death."
ALL THE PREDICTED SUFFERINGS AND DEATH
OF MESSIAH FULFILLED IN CHRIST.
LUKE xxiv, 26, 27. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and
to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, the expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
4. REDEMPTION by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, supposes that all the predictions concerning the Messiah, as to his sufferings and death, and the manner of his sufferings and death, have been fulfilled in Christ.
It was ever in the mind of God, even before he created the heavens and the earth, to raise up a glorious building, from the ruins of the apostasy; the head stone of which was to be brought forth with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” For this purpose a covenant of redemption was constructed between the LORD JEHOVAH and the Branch.
In this covenant, every thing was kept secret from the beginning, till the fall of man. Then God, as the moral Governour of the world, began in a special manner to exhibit himself. Men, in every age of the world, by looking back to that period, may see the divine purpose concerning redemption, unfolding to their view.
In this covenant, he, who is styled the Lamb of God, had a very important part assigned him. To this covenant the great Head of the church, the Redeemer, placed his name, and sealed it with his blood.
The blood of the Son of man was not literally shed, till he expired upon the cross. He was, however, viewed as if his blood were shed when the covenant was made: for he is called “the Lainb slain from the foundation of the world.” : And when Christ came and appeared in the flesh, on his induction to the sacred office of his mission, “Behold the Lamb of God," says John, by whom he was baptised, “who taketh away the sin of the world."
The Son, who made a covenant with the Father, before the foundation of the world, is abundantly exhibited in the Holy Scriptures by predictions; all of which must be fulfilled in him. Of this there was the highest moral necessity. For the TRUTH's sake then it was necessary, that all the predictions concerning Christ, should be fulfilled in him. Hence he ob serves, in reply to the Roman governour, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the TRUTH."*
As the salvation of man depended upon the covenant of redemption; so it was necessary that all the engagements of this covenant should be fulfilled.
And, as every thing in this covenant concerning Christ, is, in the Old Testament, expressed in types and predictions, so it was necessary that they should all be fulfilled in him. It was as necessary, therefore, that all things predicted or prophesied of Christ should be fulfilled, as that he should be faithful to his covenant engagements. Hence the salvation of man would fail, unless all the predictions concerning Christ should be accomplished. Of the truth of this Christ was perfectly acquainted. His disciples, however, were in a great measure ignorant of the design of his sufferings and death: They were, therefore, after his death, evidently disappointed, as to the end and design of his coming into the world; for after his resurrection, not knowing to whom they were speaking, “The chief
* Jabin xviii, 37
priests and our rulers” they say, “delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel: and, besides all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.” They thought that Christ would have redeemed Israel; but our rulers say they have crucified him. This seemed to destroy all their hopes: just as if he could not be the Redeemer of Israel, if he were crucified. They implicitly say a crucified man cannot be the Redeemer of Israel: whereas his crucifixion was absolutely necessary to the redemption of Israel. The men of Israel could not be redeemed from sin in any other way. Christ himself could not redeem them unless he were cruci: fied; for without shedding of blood is no remission. And, Except a corn of wheat fall to the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.*" Hence the salvation of man would have failed, had not Christ died.
The ignorance of Christ's disciples concerning the necessity of his sufferings and death, was a criminal ignorance: Therefore, after his resurrection he reprov: ed them sharply for their ignorance and unbelief. They knew that Christ was crucified, but were greatly astonished to hear that he was risen again. "Yea,” says Cleopas, “and certain women also of our company made us astonished, who were early al the sepulchre:
-and certain of them who were with us, went to the sepulchre and found it even so as the women had said; but him they saw not.” For their folly and unbelief, our Saviour then addresses them in a manner the most appropriate; "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the proph. ets, he expcunded unto them in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself.”
* John xii, 14.
The disciples of Christ were dull of understanding; for he had told them of these things, while he was with them before his crucifixion. And when he had revealed himself to them after his resurrection, and while he was eating a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honey-comb, “These,” said he, "are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me." Till now, even the disciples of Christ were ignorant of the Scriptures of the Old Testament concerning him Therefore Christ “opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures." For, Thus," said he, “it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.”
Christ, by teaching his disciples, has taught the whole house of Israel, together with the Gentile nations, that his sufferings, dying, and rising again, according to the Scriptures, is the foundation of salvation, agreeably to which, repentance and remission of sins are to be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem.
And as Christ was fully determined to accomplish his part of the covenant of redemption, we need not be surprised to hear him say, that, “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”
When all things which were predicted concerning Christ in the Scriptures, were fulfilled, he could then say, that he had finished the work which the Father had given him to do. And this being done, a foundation is laid for man's redemption.
And as it was the purpose of God that man should be redeemed; so all the predictions concerning Christ must be fulfilled.
Christ knew that he must suffer and die. His covenant with the Father, supposes, that, to these things