Friday, April 29, 2016

The Vision (5.29.16): A Body Hast Thou Prepared Me

Image:  Page from Hebrews in Codex Vaticanus

Note:  Devotion taken from last Sunday morning’s sermon on Hebrews 10:1-10:

Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:  6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.  7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

What is the spiritual application to be made from this passage?

John Owen said it teaches that if God calls someone to some task he will also provide the means for the accomplishment of that task.  The Father decreed that the Son would redeem sinful humanity by a better sacrifice.  To that end, he prepared him a body.  Owen:  “Whatever God designs, appoints, and calls any unto, he will provide for them all that is needful unto the special duties of obedience whereunto they are so appointed and called (Hebrews, Vol. 6, p. 461).”

But that just does not seem enough.

We could say the point is to stress the necessity of the incarnation.  He had to be a man to identify with us (Heb 4:15).

In the end, however, I think the greatest spiritual benefit of this passage is that it evokes awe and worship at the knowledge revealed of the eternal counsels of God.  We get to overhear a conversation in the Godhead from eternity past.

The spiritual benefit is to contemplate:  If we are saved it is only because we were made the beneficiaries of the gracious plan of God. It was a plan conceived in mercy in the mysterious counsels of God in which the Father decreed that the Son would enter into the world as a real flesh and blood man.  John Owen reminds us of the fully Trinitarian comprehension of the description:  “The Father prepared it in the authoritative disposition of all things; the Holy Ghost actually wrought it; and he himself [the Son] assumed it.” (Hebrews, Vol. 6, p. 464).

Indeed, he would take on a body which was prepared for him.  And the Son declared to the Father, Let it be written in the divine record book.  “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.”

And he really came and he really perfected God’s plan.  And he really laid down his life.  And he really bled and died.  And three days later, he really raised it up again.  And he really ascended to the right hand of the Father. And he is really coming again to judge the living and the dead.  And his sacrifice really did away with the old covenant sacrificial system.   And he has really cleansed our conscience of sin.  And this really is the only way a man might be made perfect or definitively sanctified by God.

The practical result is worship:  Praise be to God!

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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