The sacrificial system addressed the negative aspect of the problem, the penalty of sin; the prophetic system speaks of the positive, atoning element. Let us look at how these two work together. Suppose a painting is stolen from a private collection. The police track down the thief who is sent for trial, found guilty, and put in prison. The penalty is exacted for his crime. But this does not put matters right. The art collector says, ‘I want my picture back’. And only when it is returned can the matter rest. For full atonement two things are involved: the punishment of the crime and the repair of the injury.- James Philip, The Glory of the Cross
Christ paid the penalty for our sin, but God, as it were, wants his picture back - the image of himself in human beings, before that image became marred by sin. In Christ’s life of grace and beauty, God had the picture returned. Full atonement.
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