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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Atonement and Salvation in Matthew

I just finished reading an article by Dr. Jeffrey A. Gibbs in the July 2008 volume of Concordia Theological Quarterly. It's entitled ,,The Son of God and the Father's Wrath: Atonement and Salvation in Matthew's Gospel".

Gibbs' article is rich in Heilsgeschichte (salvation history) language. Gibbs spends time unpacking Heilsgeschichte as it relates to Jesus as God's Son -- as Israel reduced to one. I believe Dr. Horace Hummel coined the term "Israel reduced to one". This obviously has a strong vicarious nature to it.

Gibbs writes, ,,Jesus ... begins to show the necessity -- presumably the divine necessity -- of his rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection in Jerusalem" (CTQ 218). He stands for the people -- Israel, you, and me. His death is vicarious, taking wrath and judgment in the place of the people (CTQ 223).

Gibbs concludes by highlighting not only Jesus' vicarious death for us, but also His vicarious resurrection from the dead for us (CTQ 225). This is the theological and heilsgeschichtlische application of Pauls declaration in Romans 6 that we have been buried with Christ in our Baptism....

I had Dr. Gibbs at the seminary for a class on the Gospel of Matthew. He is an excellent theologian, and I highly recommend reading his articles and his commentaries on Matthew

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