OUR STANDING ONLY IN CHRIST
"A body hast Thou prepared Me."--Hebrews 10:4.
MOTHER EVE had no standing with God except as a part of the body of Adam, for she was taken from his side. We understand that this represents that the Church has no standing with God of herself, that to produce her required the sacrifice of Jesus her Lord. In other words, she came from His side. The Second Adam is the Heavenly Lord--the First-born from the dead, the Justifier, the Life-giver to the world. During this Gospel Age, God has been selecting the Church to be the Bride of Christ, and she has been in process of development. As the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, she may be considered to be the second Eve; and her work is to be during the incoming Age, the mothering, or caring for the race of Adam, begotten again by "the Lord from Heaven," the Second Adam.--1 Cor. 15:45-47.
The whole picture shows us that the responsibility of the fall was in Adam. St. Paul points out that Mother Eve was the one who was deceived and was first in the transgression, but also points out that it was through Adam's disobedience that sin entered the world; and thus death passed upon all men, "for all have sinned" (Romans 5:12)--showing the effect of Adam's fall upon his offspring, through heredity. As "the wages of sin is death," and as the sin that brought the death was Adam's sin and not Eve's sin, it follows that the Redemption-price would be that which corresponds to Adam, and not that which corresponds to Eve.
THE BODY OF SACRIFICE
When we read, "A body hast Thou prepared Me," as a sacrifice, we are not to understand this to mean the Church, the Body of Christ, prepared for sacrifice. The [R5720 : page 203] body prepared for sacrifice was the human body of Jesus. It was prepared in the sense that it was provided Him miraculously, and was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. Jesus alone had such a body prepared for Him. The Church has no such body.
Our Lord Jesus was ordained of God a Priest after the Order of Melchizedek; but sacrificially He was the antitype of Aaron, and was first to offer up Himself, and subsequently to accept His disciples, justify them through His sacrifice, and then constitute them members, or parts, of His own sacrifice. It is evident that in the type only the high priest was ordained to offer up the sin-offering of the Day of Atonement. None of the under priests had such a right. So none of the antitypical under priests, the followers of Christ, are competent to offer up themselves. All that we can do is to present ourselves to our Redeemer, who justifies us--consecrating our lives unto death. He accepts us, imputes His merit to us, and counts us members of His fleshly Body; and then by His Holy Spirit, through Christ, God operates in us "to will and to do His good pleasure," which is to carry out the work of self-sacrifice even unto death. But all this while the Church is not sacrificed as was the High Priest, nor presented to the Father in our own name. The Father's dealing is only with our Advocate, and we are accepted merely because we are His.
All this is shown in the Atonement Day type of the sin-offering. The high priest offered the bullock first, as his own sacrifice--representing himself individually. Then the high priest, not the under priests, afterwards offered the Lord's goat--one goat, not many goats. This goat was offered, not as the sacrifice of the under priests, but as the sacrifice of the high priest. So in the antitype. Our consecration is acceptable to the Father only because of the merit of Jesus imputed to us as His members when He adopts us as a part of His own flesh.
This is in response to a question. We cannot make this matter more clear than we have here done, which is the same exactly that we have tried to say on this subject in the SCRIPTURE STUDIES and in THE WATCH TOWER. We exhort to prayer that the mind of the Lord may be understood and that you may have a blessing.