Christ's Sacrifice
Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…

1. He gave. Gifts are expressions of love. We judge of love by the quality or value of the gift. Now, what did Christ give?

2. He gave Himself, nothing less than Himself; and that is more, incomparably more, than if He had given all the angels in heaven, all the treasures on earth for us; more than if He had given all the works of His hands. The small dust of the balance is as nothing to the universe, and the universe is as nothing compared with the Son of God.

3. How did He give Himself? He did not give Himself as we are wont to give, nor did He give Himself as He gives other things. He gave Himself, not in the common way of giving; but, as the text shows, His giving was an offering of Himself. "He gave Himself an offering for us." But then —

4. How did He give Himself as an offering for us? There are several sorts of offerings mentioned in Scripture. Offerings that were not sacrifices. Such were the persons and things which were devoted or dedicated unto God for the service of the tabernacle and of the temple. Thus the vessels and utensils given up and set apart for the service and ministration under the law are called offerings (Numbers 7:10), and those offerings are specified (ver. 13, etc.). Silver chargers, bowls, and spoons; and not only things, but persons are called offerings when set apart; for thus the legal ministry (Numbers 10:10, 11, 13). The other sort of offerings were sacrifices, such as were offered so as to be consumed and destroyed, and to be deprived of life, if they were things that had life. So that there is a great difference betwixt these offerings: the former were offered so as to be preserved, the latter were offered so as to be killed or consumed. For that is the true notion of a sacrifice; it is an offering daily consumed. And such an offering was Christ, such an offering as was a sacrifice, as the text shows. He gave Himself to be sacrificed for us. "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter." Christ offered Himself a sacrifice of expiation for His people.To give you distinctly the evidence which the Scripture affords for this great and fundamental truth, take it in these severals.

1. "He offered Himself" (Hebrews 7:27); "He offered up Himself" (Hebrews 9:14, 28).

2. "He offered Himself a sacrifice" (1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 9:26).

(1) The person offering was to be a priest; it was the peculiar office of the priest under the law (Hebrews 5:1). So Christ, that He might offer this sacrifice, was called to that office, and made a high priest (vers. 5, 6, 10).

(2) The things offered were to beef God's appointment, otherwise it had been not a true and acceptable sacrifice, but will-worship.

(3) That which was offered for a sacrifice was to be destroyed. This is essential to a sacrifice; it is an offering daily consumed. Those things that had life, that they might be offered as sacrifices, they were killed, and their blood poured out; and the other parts of them, besides the blood, were burned, either wholly or in part. Thus was Christ sacrificed; His dying and bleeding on the cross answered the killing and bloodshed of the Levitical sacrifices, and His sufferings were correspondent to the burnings of the sacrifices (Hebrews 13:12, 13); His sufferings without the gate are held forth here as answering the burning of the sacrifices without the camp.

(4) The person to whom they were offered was God, and Him only.

3. He offered Himself a sacrifice of expiation.

(1) He suffered. He was a man of sorrows and sufferings; His whole life was a state of humiliation, and His humiliation was a continued suffering. But near and in His death He was made perfect through sufferings; there was the extremity of His sufferings, there He became a perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 2:9, 10; Hebrews 5:9).

(2) What He suffered was penal; it was that which sin deserved, and the law threatened.

(3) Thirdly, He suffered this in our stead.

(4) The sacrifice pacified, appeased, the Lord, made atonement, turned away His anger.

(D. Clarkson, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

WEB: Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

Christ's Redeeming Love
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