. . . In connection with the term “sacrifice” we are inclined to think too narrowly of the slaying of the victim. To do so leaves out of account an act of co-equal if not of greater importance in the ritual. For this reason it is better to avail ourselves, as the author throughout does, of the verb (“to offer”) which, owing to the peculiar point of view from which it regards the transaction, is precisely adapted to call to mind that which follows the death of the sacrifice.

Where the author refers to the offering of Christ, he by no means restricts the range of this act to what happened on Calvary; to his view the offering was not finished there; its culminating stage lay in the self-presentation of Christ or in the presentation of His blood, as it is variously expressed, before God in heaven. Sometimes he even refers to this latter act, not as a part or the climax of the offering, but as “the offering” par excellence. And what is true of the offering is true of the “expiation.” This also is not confined to the cross: Christ expiates in heaven as well as on Calvary. Evidently the process as a whole is covered by the terms, which consequently can be applied to each half of it, yet so that the second stage more clearly brings out its real significance and throws back its light upon the first….

Geerhardus Vos, Princeton Theological Review, p. 24.

Next: Appendix IV

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