But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
We often act through a representative. The people of a state act through their representatives in the Legislature. If a country has a good leader, all its citizens share in the good results. If a nation has a bad leader, all suffer the consequences.
Parents stand representative for, and to a large extent decide the destinies of, their children. If the parents are wise, virtuous and thrifty, the children reap the blessings. But if the parents are lazy and immoral, the children suffer.
The punishment of the criminal involves his family in his disgrace and misery. The spendthrift and drunkard entail poverty and wretchedness upon all connected with them.
There is no nation now existing on earth, whose condition for weal or woe is not largely determined by the character and conduct of their ancestors. This “representative” principle pervades the whole Bible.
God told Moses that He visits “the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 20:5). The curse pronounced on Canaan fell upon his posterity.
Esau's selling of his birthright shut out his descendants from the covenant of promise. The children of Moab and Ammon were excluded from the congregation of the Lord forever, because their ancestors opposed the Hebrews when they came out of Egypt.
The sins of Dathan and Abiram were visited on their “wives, their children and their little ones.” The sin of Jereboam and the men of his generation determined the destiny of the ten tribes for all time. Examples like this could be multiplied indefinitely.
Adam, our first parent, acted as our official representative. His sin is imputed to (put to the account of) all his descendants. All men are born under the curse of sin, all have a tendency to sin, and all have a sin nature. From this sin nature flow all actual transgressions.
The idea of a representative also lies at the foundation of the Levitical sin offerings. The animal sacrifice bore the sin of the one who offered it. Hands were laid upon the head of the animal about to be slaughtered, to express the transfer of guilt.
That animal must be free from all defects and blemish to make it more apparent that its blood was shed not for its own deficiencies, but for the sin of another. All this was symbolic and typical. It points us to God's final sin offering foretold in Isaiah 53:1-12.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be CUT OFF, but NOT FOR HIMSELF....” (Daniel 9:26) (Emphasis mine)
Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) is the Lamb of God. As the representative of God's elect (chosen) people, he bore our sins. He was made a curse for us. He suffered the death penalty demanded by the Law of God as our Substitute.
The Hebrew Prophets also foretold that Messiah (“Cristos” in Greek = “Anointed One”) would be raised from the dead. David foretold his physical, bodily, visible Resurrection, 1,000 years before it happened. He also foretold that Messiah would sit at the right hand of God Almighty.
“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:10,11)
“A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.... The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:1,4)
Messiah's Resurrection from the dead proved that God had accepted his Sacrifice for our sins. Our great High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, now sits at the right hand of God.
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10-14)
SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU
My friend, let me ask you. Was the Messiah your representative? How can you know that you are among the elect (chosen) for whom Christ died? You can know by your answers to the following questions.
Do you desire to be forgiven by God based on the death and shed blood of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ)? Are you willing to turn away from your sins and call upon His Name for salvation? Do you believe Messiah rose from the dead according the Bible?
If so, you may be reasonably sure that you are among the elect. Why? Only the elect have a God-given desire to repent of sin, and seek forgiveness through our Lord Jesus. Only the elect desire to be saved from their sins and receive the gift of eternal life.
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6,7)
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Adam's sin is imputed to his descendants in the same way that Christ's righteousness is imputed to those who believe in Him. Adam's descendants are no more personally guilty of his sin than Christ's redeemed people are personally meritorious of His righteousness.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss