MBS099 THE RESULTS OF THE DEATH OF THE MESSIAH
By Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
For Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believes.Romans 10:4
One of the greatest works of the grace of God was the death of the Messiah which brought about ten specific results.
I. THE END OF THE LAW OF MOSES
The first result was that it marked the end of Mosaic Law. This fact is brought out in passages such as Acts 15:10–11: Now therefore why make ye trial of God, that ye should put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in like manner as they.
The context of this passage deals with how a Gentile is saved. Are they saved strictly by grace through faith or must they also keep the Mosaic Law? The conclusion of the Jerusalem Council was that they do not need to keep the Law, but they are saved purely by grace through faith, plus nothing. If the Gentiles did not need to keep the Law, it meant that the death of the Messiah brought the Law to an end, for if the Law were still in effect, then Gentiles would have been obligated to keep it.
The same point is made several times in the Book of Romans. The first example is Romans 3:21–22: But now apart from the law a righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; …
And secondly, Paul states in verse 31: Do we then make the law of none effect through faith? God forbid: nay, we establish the law.
Later, Paul wrote these words in Romans 4:13–16: For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he should be heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they that are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of none effect: for the law works wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there transgression. For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace; to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all …
Another passage in the Book of Romans makes the same point, and that reference is Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believes.
The point of these passages is that the death of the Messiah brought about the end of the Mosaic Law. No promises are being fulfilled through the Law today, but rather, the promises are received by grace through faith. The Messiah brought the Law to an end by means of fulfilling it.
II. THE JUDGMENT OF THE SIN-NATURE
The death of Yeshua (Jesus) rendered inoperative the reigning power of the sin-nature. The death of Jesus rendered inoperative the sin-nature’s authority and power to reign over the believer so that he is dead to sin, meaning free from the domination of the sin-nature. The sin-nature is not dead, but the believer is dead to it in that he is no longer obligated to obey its demands as he was before he was saved.
This fact is developed extensively by Paul in Romans 6:1–8:13. This lengthy passage can be summarized in four points.
First, the Messiah died unto sin.
Secondly, the Messiah’s substitutionary death included dying for the sin-nature as well as for personal sins; that is the emphasis of chapter 6.
Thirdly, the whole merit system, with its appeal to human works and efforts as represented in the Law-relationship, has passed for the believer, and those who employ this system of working in self-strength will be defeated because of their inability to control the sin-nature; that is the point of chapter 7. Paul showed this to be true by his own experiences when, as a young, immature baby believer, he tried to use the Law as a basis for controlling the sin-nature and living the spiritual life. This is when he learned that the spiritual life must be lived by faith, even as salvation is attained by faith.
Fourthly, there is triumphant victory in which the whole will of God is fulfilled in the believer, but never by the believer, for he simply does not have that type of power; that is the point of chapter 8.
III. THE GROUNDS FOR FORGIVENESS AND CLEANSING
Not only is the death of the Messiah the basis for forgiveness of sins in the salvation sense, it is also the basis for the forgiveness of sins committed after believing in the family-forgiveness sense (1 Jn. 1:1–2:2). So the reason the believer’s sins are continually being cleansed is because the death of the Messiah is the grounds for the believer’s forgiveness and cleansing.
IV. THE BASIS FOR DEFERRING RIGHTEOUS DIVINE JUDGMENT
The death of the Messiah is the reason that divine righteous judgment has been deferred. This is brought out in Romans 2:4–5: Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? but after your hardness and impenitent heart treasures up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; …
Man’s sin is such that God has every right to judge man immediately. But judgment is being delayed, it is being deferred because of the death of the Messiah so that man has an extended opportunity to accept God’s free grace.
Paul made the same point in Romans 9:22: What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: …
Again, God has every right to strike man dead at the moment he commits his first sin. But judgment is deferred on the basis of the death of the Messiah.
What Paul taught was also taught by Peter. For example, 1 Peter 3:20 states: … that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water: …
Here, Peter recalls another time that God deferred His judgment, for in the days of Noah, He delayed the Flood by one hundred twenty years. The application is that He is still deferring His judgment on the basis of the death of the Messiah.
Peter taught this truth again in 2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
And later, in verse 15, he wrote: And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you; …
Here, Peter harks back to Paul’s words emphasizing the same point: that judgment is deferred because of the death of the Messiah.
V. THE REMOVAL OF PRE-CROSS SINS
Yeshua died not only for the sins that were committed after His death, but also for the sins committed prior to His death. He died not just for the sins of New Testament saints, but also for the sins of Old Testament saints. God could have judged the Old Testament saints immediately, but He deferred their judgment until the cross. Then that judgment fell upon the Messiah as their substitute as well as the substitute for New Testament believers. In that way, their sins were removed.
This is taught by Acts 17:30: The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commands men that they should all everywhere repent: …
He made the same point in Romans 3:25: … whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; …
Again, he pointed out that the sins committed before the death of the Messiah could have been judged immediately, but they were deferred, temporarily overlooked or “passed over,” until the death of the Messiah as their substitute.
In Hebrews 10:4, the writer said: For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.
Animal sacrifice did not and could not remove the sins of the Old Testament saints; it merely covered them temporarily. Once the Messiah died, only then were their sins removed as well.
VI. THE SPOILING OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS
Not only did the death of Jesus bring results in the human sphere, it also brought results in the angelic sphere, especially the fallen angelic or demonic sphere. The death of the Messiah meant the spoiling of principalities and powers. This is brought out in several ways. For example, Yeshua said in John 12:31: Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
According to this verse, the death of Yeshua accomplished two things: first, the judgment of this world; and secondly, the casting out of the prince of this world as well.
Later, Yeshua spoke these words in John 16:11: … of judgment, because the prince of this world has been judged.
The death of Jesus meant a judgment of Satan individually; it resulted in the judgment of Satan personally. Not only was Satan judged, but also his entire demonic cohort according to Colossians 2:14–15: … having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross; having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
VII. THE PURIFICATION OF THE THINGS IN THE HEAVENS
Not only were things on earth purified by the death of the Messiah, such as the saints, but things in Heaven were also purified. For example, this is brought out in Romans 8:21–23: … that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
The whole creation, which includes the earth as well as the whole celestial sphere, the heavenly bodies or the first and second heavens, was purified by the death of the Messiah.
The same point is made in Hebrews 9:11–12: But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.
And later, the writer adds these words in Hebrews 9:21–24: Moreover the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry he sprinkled in like manner with the blood. And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission. It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us: …
In these passages, the point is made that Yeshua purified the things in the heavens itself. But the question is: Why did the things in the heavens need to be purified? It should be remembered that the fall of Satan occurred in Heaven. As a result of his fall, sin was brought into Heaven itself, and the heavenly sanctuary, of which Satan was once a priest, was defiled. Therefore, the heavenly sanctuary needed the cleansing of blood just as the earthly sanctuary did. Whereas animal blood was sufficient to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, it was not sufficient to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary. That required better blood: the Messiah’s blood. So the blood of Jesus was used to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary.
VIII. THE GROUNDS FOR PEACE
The death of Yeshua is the grounds for peace in three realms. First, it is the grounds for peace between God and man according to Romans 5:1: Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; …
Secondly, the death of Jesus is also the grounds for peace between Jews and Gentiles. This is the point of Ephesians 2:11–16 as well as Colossians 3:11, which reads: … where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.
Thirdly, the death of Yeshua is the grounds for peace in the universe according to Colossians 1:20: … and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.
IX. THE BASIS FOR THE NATIONAL SALVATION OF ISRAEL
The reason that one day there will be a national salvation of Israel is because of the death of the Messiah. Some day all Israel will believe on Him. In the Old Testament, this is taught in Deuteronomy 30:3 and Jeremiah 31:31–34. In the New Testament, this point is made by Romans 11:25–29. This result of the death of Messiah—the future national salvation of Israel—is also the precondition to the Second Coming.
X. THE BASIS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM
Revelation 5:8–14 makes the point that the Millennial Kingdom could not be established apart from the death of the Messiah. His death is the basis for the establishment of the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom.
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