Author: Ron Graham
—Changes wrought by Christ’s death
In this lesson we continue to think about the seven great foundation changes that Christ made. We give special attention to the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made by suffering death on the cross.
Our previous lesson showed the complexity of popular doctrine about the last days. We introduced a great simplifier —the cross of Christ and his resurrection. In this lesson we show the simplicity of the true teaching in the scriptures about changes in the last days. We explain three “big words”. They are big but not complicated.
1 The Cross Of Abrogation
To abrogate means to repeal, revoke, rescind, annul, cancel, abolish, make void, write off. For example, speaking of the old covenant-law, Paul says Jesus "took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Colossians 2:14).
Paul says of the distinction between Jew and Gentile was "broken down... abolished... put to death... through the cross" (Ephesians 2:14-16).
Regarding the priestly sacrifice for sins, we read that God "takes away the first that he might establish the second... through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:9-10).
Note:— Law Not Destroyed: According to Jesus, the Law was fulfilled not destroyed (Mark 5:17). The law has “a shadow of good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1). So it is not ‘null and void’ in every sense. It still serves as the foreshadowing of the new covenant, so that we can understand how God‘s plan has unfolded. It is written for our learning but not for our practice. We follow the new covenant, the new and living way (Hebrews 10:19-20).
2 The Cross Of Consummation
To consummate means to complete, perfect, finish, fulfil, accomplish, bring to fruition, reach a climax. For example, speaking of the ages since the foundation of the world, the Hebrew writer says, "Now once, at the consummation of the ages, Christ has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26).
Paul says, "In him we have redemption through his blood". Paul then describes how, "in the dispensation of the fullness of times" all things were gathered under Christ's feet (Ephesians 1:7-23).
3 The Cross Of Propitiation
To propitiate means to compensate, reconcile, satisfy, make atonement, make peace. Christ "did this once and for all when he offered himself up" and he "has been perfected for ever" in his appointment as High Priest. (Hebrews 7:25-28).
At the cross, the priesthood and temple sacrifices were changed, and there was "no more offering for sin" because Christ’s offering was all that would ever be needed (Hebrews 10:14,18).
In Christian baptism, one is brought into the death of Christ and our old person, so marred by sin, is crucified and buried with him (Romans 6:3-6).
Abrogation + Consummation + Propitiation = Simplification!