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O. R. L. Crozier
[A section from his "Day-Star" extra of 1846]
(with some paraphrasing added)
(The Atonement was NOT finished at Calvary)
again, they say the atonement was made and finished
on Calvary, when the Lamb of God expired.
So men have taught us, and so the churches and world believe; but it is none the more true or sacred on that account, if unsupported by Divine authority. Perhaps few or none who hold that opinion have ever tested the foundation on which it rests.
1. If the atonement was made on Calvary, by whom was it made?
The making of the atonement is the work of a Priest? but who officiated on Calvary? - Roman soldiers and wicked Jews.
2. The slaying of the victim was not making the atonement:
the sinner slew the victim, Leviticus 4:1-4, 13-15. etc., after that the Priest took the blood and made the atonement. Leviticus 4:5-12, 16-21.
3. Christ was the appointed High priest to make the atonement, and he certainly could not have acted in that capacity till after his resurrection, and we have no record of his doing any thing on earth after his resurrection, which could be called the atonement.
4. The atonement was made in the Sanctuary, but Calvary was not such a place.
5. He could not, according to Hebrews 8:4, make the atonement while on earth. "If he were on earth, he should not be a Priest." The Levitical was the earthly priesthood, the Divine, the heavenly.
6. Therefore, he did not begin the work of making the atonement, whatever the nature of that work may be, till after his ascension, when by his own blood he entered his heavenly Sanctuary for us.
It is said that the atonement was made and finished at Calvary. This has no support in the Mosaic law.
Let us now examine a few texts that appear to speak of the atonement as passed. Romans 5:11; "By whom we have now received the atonement," (margin, reconciliation). This passage clearly shows a present possession of the atonement at that time the apostle wrote; but it by no means proves that the entire atonement was then in the past.
When the Saviour was about to be taken up from his apostles, he "commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father," which came on the day of Pentecost when they were all "baptized with the Holy Ghost." Christ had entered his Father's house, the Sanctuary, as High Priest, and began his intercession for his people by "praying the Father" for "another Comforter," John 14:16, "and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost," Acts 2:33, he shed it down upon his waiting apostles. Then, in compliance with their commission, Peter, at the third hour of the day began to preach, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins," Acts 2:38. This word remission, signifies forgiveness, pardon or more literally sending away of sins.
Now put by the side of this text another on this point from his discourse at the ninth hour of the same day, Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore; and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Here he exhorts to repentance and conversion (turning away from sins); for what purpose? "That your sins may be (future) blotted out." Every one can see that the blotting out of sins does not take place at repentance and conversion; but follows, and must of necessity be preceded by them. Repentance, conversion, and baptism had then become imperative duties in the present tense; and when performed, those doing them "washed away" (Acts 22:16) remitted or sent away from them their sins. (Acts 2:38); and of course are forgiven and have "received the atonement;" but they had not received it entire at that time, because their sins were not yet blotted out.
How far then had they advanced in the reconciling process?
Just so far as the individual under the law had when he had confessed his sin, brought his victim to the door of the tabernacle, laid his hand upon it and slain it, and the priest had with its blood entered the Holy and sprinkled it before the veil and upon the altar and thus made an atonement for him, and he was forgiven. Only that was the type, and this the reality. That prepared for the cleansing of the great day of atonement, this for the blotting out of sins "when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send Jesus." Hence, "by whom we have now received the atonement" is the same as "by whom we have received forgiveness of sin." At this point the man is "made free from sin." The Lamb on Calvary's cross is our victim slain; "Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant" "in the heavens" is our interceding High Priest, making atonement with his own blood, by and with which he entered there.
The essence of the process is the same as in the "shadow".
1st, Convinced of sin;
2nd, Repentance and Confession;
3rd, Present the Divine sacrifice bleeding.
This done in faith and sincerity we can do no more, no more is required.
There are some texts that appear to say that there is a past "atonement". But the blotting out of sins follows repentance and conversion. Christians are in the position of the Israelite who came to the door of the tabernacle with his animal, laid his hand on its head in confession, and then killed it. The priest then took over and handled the blood from there. The essence of the process is the same in both dispensations. There is conviction of sin, repentance and confession, and a presentation of the divine Sacrifice. No more is required of the offerer. The priest does all that is now required.
Then in the heavenly Sanctuary our High Priest with his own blood makes the atonement and we are forgiven. 1 Peter 2:24; "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree." See also Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4-12. His body is the "one sacrifice" for repenting mortals, to which their sins are imparted [imputed], and through whose blood in the hands of the living active Priest they are conveyed to the heavenly Sanctuary. That was offered "once for all," "on the tree;" and all who would avail themselves of its merits must through faith, there receive it as theirs, bleeding at the hands of sinful mortals like themselves. After thus obtaining the atonement of forgiveness we must "maintain good works," not the "deeds of the law;" but "being dead to sin should live unto righteousness." This work we all understand to be peculiar to the Gospel Dispensation.
After having obtained the atonement of forgiveness through faith, we must maintain good works. ("Go and sin no more").
Back to Anabaptists
The complete article by Crozier is available at:-
The Sanctuary Part One
Another view of the atonement being made on the cross - this time by James White
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