2. Did Christ suffer according to both natures?
No, Christ suffered only according to his human nature, but both in body and soul, for the divine nature is immutable, impassible, immortal and life itself and cannot, therefore, die or suffer.
But Christ suffered in such a manner, according to his humanity, that by his passion and death, He satisfied for the sins of his people. The divine nature sustained his humanity in the sorrows and pains, which were endured and raised it up again after death.
I Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.
I Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
John 2:19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
Revelation 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
John 10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
The passages testify that there was in Christ another nature besides his flesh, which did not suffer and die.
Since Christ was man, He had to suffer temptation, but the Holy Spirit was fully and effectually present with him so that He might be glorified. The Holy Spirit was resting in him truly that it might be possible for him to be tempted, crucified and to die and yet united to his humanity that He might thus overcome temptation and death.
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Acts 2:24, 32, 33 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
Romans 4:24, 25 But also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
I Corinthians 6:14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.
I Corinthians 15:20 - 22 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
II Corinthians 4:14 Because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
I Peter 1:21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
3. What were the moving causes of his suffering?
The causes that moved God to give his Son for us were:
a) His love for the elect. (John 3:16).
b) God's compassion towards the elect who were fallen in sin and death.
Titus 3:5 - 7 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
c) The desire and purpose of God to revenge and repair the injury of the devil who, in contempt and reproach of God, turned us from the Most High and spoiled his image in us.
d) To, at length, collect for himself a people that would freely and rationally glorify him.
4. What were the final causes and fruits of his suffering?
The final causes and fruits of the passion of Christ are the same as the moving causes but in a different respect. In respect to Christ who suffered, his sufferings are the final causes but in respect to us they are the fruits.
The principal final causes of the passion of Christ are the revelation and manifestation of the love, mercy and justice of God in that He did not spare his Son for us and that his passion might be a sufficient ransom for our sins.
There are, therefore, two main final causes, the glory of God and our salvation. The knowledge of the greatness of sin pertains to the former, that we may perceive how great an evil sin is and what it deserves. Our justification belongs to the latter, in which we have listed all the benefits that Christ merited by his death and which He confers upon us by his coming forth from death. Hence, we know that death is not hurtful to the godly and is, therefore, not to be feared.
5. Why did Christ suffer under Pontius Pilate?
Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate so that He, being innocent and yet condemned by a temporal judge, might thereby free us from the severe judgment of God, to which we were exposed.
Pilate played a part in the passion of Christ because Christ obtained his testimony of innocence from him and that we might know that He, although declared innocent by this judge, was nevertheless condemned. Furthermore, that fulfillment of prophecy is revealed to us:
Genesis 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.
The ruler's staff between Judah's feet will remain until the times of David and Solomon in which it reached its peak. But the scepter must be taken away from Judah and given to the Messiah, to whom it belongs. By innocently condemning Jesus, Pilate has fulfilled the prophecies that identified Jesus as the Messiah and therefore, handing over to him the scepter of Judah.
Ezekiel 21:26, 27 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. 27 A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! It will not be restored until he comes to whom it rightfully belongs; to him I will give it.
This is clear Messianic prophecy. It foretells of the Messiah, who is the rightful King and who will receive his honor and glory after the kingdom was made a ruin.
The name of Pilate is mentioned that we may be fully certain that Jesus is the Messiah that was to come for then already the scepter was taken away from Judah.
But why was it necessary that Christ should suffer under a judge and be condemned by the ordinary course of the law?
Firstly, the following three things:
· That we may know that God himself, on account of our sins, condemned him, and He has, therefore, made complete satisfaction to God for us.
· That we may not be condemned by his severe judgment just as He suffered death for us.
· That we might be delivered from it, for He who directs and presides over ordinary judgments, is God himself.
Secondly, that Christ might obtain a testimony of his innocence from the very judge who condemned him. Therefore, it was not proper that He should have been secretly carried away by the Jews nor put to death as the result of an uproar.
But when there was a lawful process and trial and an investigation of all the accusations brought against him, the Father willed,
· That He should be examined that his innocence might thus be made apparent.
· That He should be condemned even though He was declared innocent by the judge. Since Christ had no sin he was condemned, not for his own, but for our crimes. His unjust sentence to death was in the place of our most righteous condemnation.
· That He should be put to death and that the prophecies might be fulfilled and that it might be made clear that both the Jews and the Gentiles were the executioners of this wicked deed. A wicked deed that we may mourn, but we should always rejoice in the purpose of God the Father, and treasure our freedom from the slavery of sin all the more because it came at such a high price.
The circumstance, therefore, in the passion of Christ is that we may know that this Jesus, who was condemned by Pilate, is the Messiah and that we, through him, are delivered from the severe judgment of God.
We may legitimately ask what does it really mean to confess that we believe in Jesus Christ who suffered under Pontius Pilate. The answer to this question is that it does not merely include a historical faith but it involves such a belief in Christ that leads us to confide in his passion.
It is, therefore, to believe, firstly, that Christ, from the very moment of his birth,
· endured and sustained miseries of every kind and
· that He, especially at the closing period of his life, suffered under Pilate the most severe torments both of body and soul and
· that He felt the dreadful wrath of God in making satisfaction for the sins of the whole world and in appeasing the divine anger that had been excited by sin.
Secondly, it is to believe that He endured all this on my behalf and has thus satisfied also for my sins by his passion and merited for me remission of sins, the Holy Spirit and eternal life.
6. Why was crucifixion necessary?
Or we may ask the question: 'is there any value in being crucified or would any other death have been sufficient?'
The answer is, yes, there is value in the crucifixion and no other death would have been sufficient for the type of death that Christ suffered. It brought on him the attribute of that death, which is the curse of God. Thereby I am assured that He took on him the curse that lay upon me because God cursed this type of death.
Christ's crucifixion shed on him God's curse since the death of the cross was a figure or sign of the curse and because He was righteous, the only curse He could endure was the curse on our behalf. The death of the cross is an aggravation of the punishment of Christ and the fact that God's curse has been taken away is a confirmation of our faith.
God, therefore, willed that his Son should endure the punishment of such a dishonorable death for these reasons:
a) That we may know that the curse that was laid upon him was due to me for the death of the cross was accursed of God.
Deuteronomy 21:23 ... anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse.
b) That the punishment might be made the heavier and that we may, so much the more, be confirmed in faith, confidently believing that Christ, by his death, has taken upon himself our guilt and endured the curse on our behalf that He might deliver us from it.
Scripture teaches this in
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."
c) That we may be excited to greater gratitude considering what a detestable thing sin is, inasmuch as it could not be expiated unless by the most bitter and dishonorable death of the only begotten Son of God.
d) That there might be a correspondence between the truth and the types. This dishonorable death fulfilled all the types of Christ that foreshadowed his passion, such as the ancient sacrifices that were laid upon the wood and before they were burned, were lifted up by the priest, unknowingly signifying that Christ will be lifted up upon the cross and the He will offer himself as a holy sacrifice to the Father for our sakes.
The same was signified in Isaac who was laid upon the wood for the purpose of being sacrificed by his father. Finally, the brazen serpent, which Moses set upon a pole in the wilderness, was a type of Christ, as is evident from the application that Christ made of it when He said,
John 3:14, 15 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.
So, if we confess that we believe in Christ crucified, we confess that it is to believe that Christ was made subject to God's curse on my behalf, so that He might deliver me therefrom.
In understanding the bitter passion and death of Christ, it will be profitable for us to take a more intense look at the following questions:
1. Was Christ truly dead?
It is necessary that we look at this question because of the heresies that surround the death and resurrection of Christ. Some deny that Christ truly died and ascribe the whole dispensation of the "Word in the flesh" and "Christ's sufferings" were imaginary, and that He had only the appearance of a man but was not such in reality. Others saw the two natures of Christ totally separate and profess that the Jews did not crucify God but a mere man. Others again reckon that the two natures of Christ were one and that Christ's body was also endowed with Divine properties such as omnipotence, omniscience, etc.
But in opposition to all these we believe that Scripture teaches that Christ was truly dead and that there was a real separation between his body and soul. His body was of a real local character, so that his soul and body were not only not together everywhere, but they were not at the same time in one place after his death.
We see this testimony in all four accounts of the gospel:
Matthew 27:50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
Mark 15:37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
But can one not argue that it was his Divinity that has gone out of him rather than his soul?
No, one cannot. There is a difference here that we must understand. The Divinity, while united with the humanity, continued to operate beyond and without the body and, being omnipresent, the Divinity could go nowhere that it was not already, so, it could only have been the soul of the man Jesus that departed from his body. Furthermore, the Divinity is something uncreated and infinite, while the soul is created and finite.
Although the body and soul of Christ was separated, his two natures were never disjoined because the Word did not desert the soul or the body but remained personally united to each. In the separation of soul and body, the two natures of Christ were not severed.
Then, what does the exclamation of Christ on the cross mean, "My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?"
This cry was extorted from the suffering Son of God not because of any separation of the two natures, but because of the delay of help and assistance during his hellish suffering and pain. It was impossible that the two natures of Christ could be separated because God purchased the church with his own blood. (Acts 20:28). Also, it was necessary that He, who would die for our sins, should be the Son of God and if the two natures separated on the cross, this could not have been possible.
It is clear that the union of the natures of Christ is not omnipresent, for his soul, being separated from his body, was not in the grave with his body because he was truly dead, and consequently not everywhere. Yet, the union of the natures remained complete, even in death, because the Divinity is omnipresent and can never be separated from his human nature.
2. Was it necessary that Christ should die for us?
It was necessary that Christ not only suffer, but also die so that He might make satisfaction for our sins for the following four reasons:
a) Because of the justice of God.
Sin is an evil of such magnitude that, according to the order of justice, that which is an offence against the highest good, can only be atoned for by a similarly scaled punishment, which would be a punishment of the highest order. This predicates a most severe punishment and the complete destruction of the sinner, which is death of both the body and the soul.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christ now assumed our place and took upon himself the person of those who had sinned and deserved death not only eternal, but also temporal, for we had merited that destruction that consists in the separation of body and soul. Once there is separation between body and soul, the body is itself also dissolved as a house is destroyed when the parts are separated from each other.
It was necessary, therefore, that the Son of God should die in order that a sufficient ransom might thus be made, which could not have been effected by a mere creature.
But was it necessary that our bodies and souls should be separated if they merited suffering eternal condemnation anyway?
The just judgment of God included not only eternal death, but also temporal death, which is brought about by the separation of the body and soul. Therefore, it was necessary that Christ should die for us, and that his soul should be separated from his body. His sacrifice was sufficient for both eternal and temporal death.
b) Because of the truth of God.
God declared that he would punish sin with destruction and the death of the transgressor. Gen 2:17. It was necessary that this threat of God should be fulfilled after sin was once committed.
The fact that Adam and Eve did not die immediately, was totally the exhibition of God's mercy, because He had every right to immediately obliterate the entire human race. Mankind, instead, immediately lost eternal life and became mortal and died by degrees. Adam and Eve already experienced the beginning of eternal death because they responded to God's question, "Where are you?" by saying "I heard thy voice and was afraid because I was naked."
There was already a fear and a sense of the wrath of God, a struggling with death and a loss of all the good gifts that God conferred upon them. And yet, the leniency and compassion of the gospel was not wanting, for God had not declared that man should die totally and immediately. If the gospel was not already present and in the plan of God, mankind would have perished forever.
The Son of God offered, and brought in a new life, and raised man to that new life, so that, although he remained subject to temporal death, it was no longer fatal to his soul. The old body, however, remained a casualty of sin because of the steady degrees of death that precedes final entry into the tomb from which the soul, being trapped in that deadly circumstance, is set free to await its union with the new, glorified body.
c) Because of the promises made to the fathers, by the prophets in Isaiah 53:7 "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth."
Furthermore, because of the types and sacrifices by which God signified that Christ should die such a death and that it would be a sufficient ransom for the sins of his people. This, now, was the work of no creature, but of the Son of God alone. Hence it was foreordained that He would suffer a painful death on our behalf.
d) Because Christ foretold that his death was necessary.
Christ himself foretold that his death was necessary.
John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
John 13:8 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.
It is, therefore, inescapable that it was necessary to make satisfaction to the justice and truth of God, that this satisfaction could only be made by death, and that by the death of the Son of God.
e) Because nobody could sufficiently bring the sacrifice needed. Only Christ could atone for sins that were committed in the past and also for all sins yet to come until the end of time. If a mere mortal were sacrificed for the sins of others, he would be killed doing so, while his own sins would go unsatisfied. If a mere mortal were sacrificed for his own sins before attempting to be sacrificed for others, he would be killed doing so, leaving the sins of others unsatisfied. A mere mortal can only atone for sins already committed and that would kill him outright, leaving nobody to atone for sins yet to be committed.
There is, therefore, nobody but the Son of God, who is able to take upon himself the punishment required to take away the sins of the world.
From the foregoing, the following conclusions can be drawn:
a) That we should especially avoid sin inasmuch as it could not be expiated except by the intervention of the death of the Son of God.
b) That we ought to be grateful to the Son of God for this great benefit that he has, out of his great goodness, conferred upon us.
c) That all our sins, however great, however many, and grievous they may be, are expiated by the death of Christ alone.
3. Did Christ die for all?
This question has engaged Bible scholars for a long time, and only when one studies the Scriptures with an open mind and in context with the overall purpose of God, does the answer become clear and consistent. Injecting human emotion into the equation ends up challenging God's purpose and His will as revealed in Scripture.
A study of this subject can easily lead to a discussion of the differences between supra-lapsarianism and infra-lapsarianism, but, in this study, we want to steer clear of topics that could distract us from answering this question in accordance with the teaching of Scripture.
Scripture seems to express contradictory doctrines on this subject. Below is a table of contradictory passages, emphasizing the seriousness of a correct understanding of Scripture in this regard.
I John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Matthew 15:24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
I Timothy 2:6 Who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.
Matthew 20:28 Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
II Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
John 17:9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.
Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Furthermore, in his letter to the Ephesians, in chapter 5:25, Paul wrote:
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..."
We could analyze the arguments of our opponents but that would be counter-productive in answering the question "Did Christ die for all." We would rather focus on the teaching of the Word of God than pursue an academic analysis of doctrines.
How are we to understand what this means when the simple language of Scripture implies that these passages proclaim different doctrines?
In order to unravel this apparent mystery, we have to state certain facts as the premise upon which our answer is based.
1. After the fall, at the exit of our First Parents from Eden, the Covenant of Grace was announced in which the seed of the woman would be victorious, namely, Christ, and enmity was promised and effected between her seed and the seed of the devil to break man's newly formed alliance with the devil.
2. What Christ did he also willed and nothing was done that He did not will beforehand.
3. Everything that happens serves the overall purpose of God.
4. The Father was owed satisfaction for all the sins ever committed and also those still to be committed to the end of time, as well as satisfaction for the corruption of his creation, which He created very good.
5. The elect, whose names have been recorded in the book of life, the church, must be blameless and pure by the time the book of life is opened after this life.
6. The gospel is fairly extended to all men.
Let's briefly discuss the premises so that we can apply them in context.
In premise one above, there are two camps established, namely, the seed of the devil who is the reprobate, and the seed of the woman, which refers to Christ and his body, the elect, who are caught up among the reprobate. We also see that the promise is that Christ would be victorious over the devil and the elect saved through the sacrifice of Christ. This promise was made to Adam and Eve, as they left the Garden, to comfort them that they would, at length, be saved from this deadly alliance that they struck up with the devil.
It is clear, then, that the promise of victory has a two-fold purpose, namely, it is not only against the seed of the devil, that is, that they will suffer eternally, but it is also for the benefit of the elect, that is, that they will be the victorious through the seed of the woman, which is Christ.
The purpose of premise two is to establish our argument on the firm footing that Christ, being God consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit, willed the outcome of the Covenant of Grace as we stated in premise one. If Christ willed to die for all the people that ever lived, they would most certainly have been saved.
To argue that man, especially in his depraved state, could frustrate God's purpose and resolve to do that which He promised, is absurd.
Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.
Ephesians 1:4 - 6 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Premise three reminds us that nothing happens unless the overall purpose of God, to gather and purify for him a people who would glorify Him out of their own free will, is served.
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Furthermore, it serves to remind us that we should not project human purposes and emotions on the will of God to make it more palatable for human perception.
I Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Premise four's purpose is to found our answer on the three-fold purpose of the satisfaction that God sought from man, namely, that his just judgment be executed, that his elect be saved, and that his creation be restored.
Romans 8:19 - 23 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed, 20for the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
In premise five we confirm that the elect must be in a state of purity, righteousness and blamelessness before the end of time.
Hebrews 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.
I Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
I Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Revelation 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter [the New Jerusalem], nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Since there is no additional opportunity to repent after this life, it stands to reason that the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit must be complete in all of the elect before physical death.
In the following passages we read of the five foolish virgins. Pay particular attention to the finality of the arrival of the bridegroom. Their petition to be allowed in after the door was shut was refused.
Matthew 25:1 - 13 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' 7Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 9'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."
We see the same thing in these passages also:
Hebrews 9:26 - 28 …But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Lastly, in premise six, we recognize that God is also just and righteous in the execution of his judgment and that ultimately all men are without excuse.
It becomes evident that there was a two-fold purpose to the sacrifice of Christ, namely, that which was done to make satisfaction to God, and that which was done to save the elect. In other words, an effort upwards, or God oriented, and an effort downwards, or man oriented, so to speak, with Christ as the central focus.
The fall in the Garden broke all relationships between God and man, and the sacrifice of Christ, on the cross, established a new relationship between God and man, with Christ as the Mediator. Nothing can pass from man to the Father unless it is mediated through Christ and vice versa.