Heb 10:10 ‘And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’
One of the things that happens, happens to me anyway, in the Christian life is that the reality, or the power, of certain verses (or it can be doctrines) from the Bible come to your mind and soul with such power that you never in some sense lose that impression. When this happens it’s often the case that you will remember quite vividly when and or where when that happens. It is true for the whole Bible that it is without doubt the Word of God and we will not be moved from that knowledge. But individual verses also have such a profound impression on us that nothing will move us from their reality.
This then, for me, is one such verse and is one of my favourite verses in the whole Bible. And I do remember where I was at the time. Especially the words, ‘by that will.’ At the time I was reading the AV so it was ‘the which will.’ Apart from the powerful impression this verse made on my mind, it is of course the truth of it. It’s the truth of these verses that gives them their power. As well as the kindness of God in showing us them in that way. And is why we will not be moved. I think Peter, for example, never forgot the when and the where of when he first realised exactly who The Lord Jesus Christ is. It doesn’t mean, probably like Peter, that we understand the full implications of the ‘revelation’ we receive but the impact remains. Jesus asked Peter who did he think he was (Mat 16:15). Peter’s reply is worth quoting:
‘Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mat 16:16).”’
Here’s the reply:
‘And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven…” (Mat 16:17).’
It seems to me that the ignorance of or the downplaying of the Father’s love is something the church should not be doing. It just shouldn’t be. Reading ‘The Whole Christ’ by Sinclair Ferguson has brought to mind (again) so much that I’m thankful for over the years. Frankly, I can’t quite say how I arrived at what I consider to be a happy position. I guess that’s one advantage of being a Christian for 40 years or so. A lot of theological trends come and go, and them come back again. That doesn’t mean ‘I’ve arrived’ or anything like it. I think the older I get the more I realise just how much I don’t know or understand. But the few things I do know and understand are exceedingly precious.
We have a problem that was highlighted once again for me the other day. It’s this. Jesus is such a lovely person, he’s a nice bloke, but that Father God of his is so wrathful and nasty. Even in the church the emphasis can be skewed towards the same attitude. Jesus is nice and the Father isn’t. But this verse serves as a reminder that it was God the Father that sent Jesus. We do not find, for example, Jesus saying to his Father ‘I’ve had a great idea….’ No. Jesus does the will of his Father. And it was the will of God the Father to send the Lord Jesus into the world. Yes, he came. He came willingly. But if I can reverently say, It wasn’t Jesus’s idea to come into the world. Obviously we are doing something here that didn’t happen in the way it would happen to any earthly plans. Within the Trinity everything is known. But in the economy of God it is the Father that does the sending. What does Jesus say in response to his Father’s will? ‘I delight to do your will (Psalm 40:8).’ and ‘“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; (Heb 10:9)’ ‘Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” Heb 10:7.“ ‘Behold’, says Jesus, ‘I have come to do your will (Heb 10:9).” And in John 4:34 ‘Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work….’
When we are tempted then to think God our Father is like some overseer looking on at what Jesus does in some sort of detached manner. Not at all. Realise that it was God the Father that willed your salvation. It was God the Father that sent his Son to die for you. It was God the Father that poured out his wrath upon his Son for you! This is no detached onlooker. Not at all! Our Father in Heaven is involved in the very details, in the nitty gritty of the salvation he has for us. Remember this: Jesus said ‘In my Father’s house are many rooms.’ Yes, Jesus goes to prepare a place for us, but it’s the Father’s house where he goes to prepare the room (John 14:1-3). God our Father willed our Justification, and our Sanctification. And the price was the sending of his Son. ‘By that will.’
Christian, do not doubt the Father’s love for you. He has invested a great deal in you. Even the blood of his dear Son.
‘And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Heb 10:10).’