To seal man's redemption, making it both eternal and available to all mankind, we see that Jesus our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14) ascended into heaven, with His own blood obtaining eternal redemption for us on the basis of His substitutionary death and resurrection on our behalf. "Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption...But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." (Hebrews 9:12, 10:12-14)
When Christ sat down at the Father's right hand, man had been perfectly redeemed because he had been legally identified with Christ in His redemptive work. (Romans 4:25, 5:1-2) Now man, by faith in Jesus Christ has a new identity. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) Let us look at how the believers new identity from spiritual death to life in Christ Jesus unfolds. To discover these thing, we look to the Pauline epistles, where we find the greatest revelation of the believers identification in Christ.
" Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." (Romans 6:6) "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) On the cross, God made Jesus to become sin for us. (2 Corinthians 5:21) It was our spiritual death and our sin nature that He bore. He became identified with us on the cross as our Substitute.
"For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection...Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." (Romans 6:5, 8) When Jesus died, we died with Him. First, spiritual death was laid on His spirit, then He died physically, in the same manner that Adam died. Spiritual death is separation from God. It was spiritual death that eventually brought physical death to Adam and all people. (Romans 5:12) Jesus speaks of Himself to the people around Him at the tomb of Lazarus, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die." (John 11:25-26) Faith in Christ removes the sting of spiritual death and gives us eternal life.
So, as a result of His crucifixion mankind can now find their identity with and in Christ. When Jesus died, we died with Him. As His spirit left His physical body and went into hell we were identified with Him. Paul tells us, "Therefore we were buried
with Him through baptism into death..." (Romans 6:4) "Having been buried with Him in baptism..." (Colossians 6:10) Baptism in these verses is a type of our burial with Christ. Though His body was laid in the tomb, (Matthew 27:57-61), His spirit suffered in hell as He paid the penalty that was due man. He could adequately pay man's penalty and meet the demands of justice because on the cross, He had become identified with man.
Keep in mind, the penalty He paid was not His, but man's. In the mind of God, it was you and I there in that place of torment, bearing the judgment that was due us. On the basis of this identification the person who confesses with their mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and takes Him as Savior, receives the redemptive work of Christ, and will not go to hell but goes free. However, the person who refuses Christ's redemption on his behalf must go there. Also, always remember that hell was never meant for man. It is a person's freedom of choice to refuse God's redemptive work though Christ, that puts him there. In other words, a person can chose hell over heaven, darkness over light, Satan over Christ. Therefore, it is a person's decision as to where they go for eternity, not God's.
Next, we see the satisfaction of man's penalty paid for by Christ in hell. The Apostle Paul sums the meritorious work of Christ this way, "God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory." (1 Timothy 3:16) In hell, when justice was satisfied, Jesus was "justified (declared righteous) in spirit." Now the Father could declare man righteous and legally freed from spiritual death. Now the Father had the right to impart life, His own nature, to the spirit of man. (2 Peter 1:4) Notice, "even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). (Ephesians 2:5) "And you, being dead in
your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive
together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." (Colossians 2:13)
Hell could not hold Him. When man's sin was paid for by Jesus, Peter tells us, "For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption, (His body in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb). (Acts 2:27) Paul tells us, "and what is the exceeding greatness of His (God's) power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name
that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come." (Ephesians 1:19-21)
Now that man has been redeemed, made alive, declared righteous in Christ, the Father has "raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6) Now it is up to us, all believers. Our Heavenly Father desires us to take what is legally ours and in the Name of Jesus put every enemy of ours under our feet that we might reign as kings with Him. (Romans 5:17) The identification of man with Christ has destroyed the work of Satan in humanity. This means that no person on planet earth ever needs be identified with the first Adam, but can live, can have abundant life now through Jesus Christ, the second Adam.
So, let us rid ourselves of the lies of still being sinners, of never being able to please God, of unworthiness, of failure and weakness. Let us, "Put off the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, (our identification with the first Adam) and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man (our identification with Jesus, the second Adam) which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24) PTL...