Belgic Confession 21: The Satisfaction of Christ as our High Priest

26 Jan


We believe that Jesus Christ was confirmed by an oath to be a High Priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.1 He presented Himself in our place before His Father, appeasing God’s wrath by His full satisfaction,2 offering Himself on the tree of the cross, where He poured out His precious blood to purge away our sins,3 as the prophets had foretold.4 For it is written, Upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole and with His stripes we are healed.5 Like a lamb He was led to the slaughter. He was numbered with the transgressors (Isa 13:5,7,12),6 and condemned as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, though he had first declared Him innocent.7 He restored what He had not stolen (Psalm 69:4). He died as the righteous for the unrighteous (1 Pet 3:18).8 He suffered in body and soul,9 feeling the horrible punishment caused by our sins, and His sweat became like great droPsalm of blood falling down upon the ground (Luke 22:44). Finally, He exclaimed, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me (Mat 27:46)? All this He endured for the forgiveness of our sins.

Therefore we justly say, with Paul, that we know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2). We count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus our Lord (Phil 3:8). We find comfort in His wounds and have no need to seek or invent any other means of reconciliation with God than this only sacrifice, once offered, by which the believers are perfected for all times (Heb 10:14).10 This is also the reason why the angel of God called Him Jesus, that is, Saviour, because He would save His people from their sins (Mat 1:21).11

1. Psalm 110:4; Heb 7:15-17. 2. Rom 4:25; Rom 5:8-9; Rom 8:32; Gal 3:13; Col 2:14; Heb 2:9, Heb 2:17; Heb 9:11-15. 3. Acts 2:23; Phil 2:8; 1 Tim 1:15; Heb 9:22; 1 Pet 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7; Rev 7:14. 4. Luke 24:25-27; Rom 3:21; 1 Cor 15:3. 5. 1 Pet 2:24. 6. Mark 15:28. 7. John 18:38. 8. Rom 5:6. 9. Psalm 22:15. 10. Heb 7:26-28; Heb 9:24-28. 11. Luke 1:31; Acts 4:12.

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