Brief Notes

Christ as
Our Surety

27 June 2022

There is a man in
the glory now whose
indestructible life
will bring us all to
glory as well

In the entire New Testament only one verse speaks of Christ as our “surety”:

By so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
— Hebrews 7:22, NKJV

Some other versions translate the Greek word for “surety” here as “guarantor” (NASB, ESV). Vincent, in his Word Studies, states that the underlying thought of the Greek words related to this word is that of “putting something into one’s hand as a pledge.”

Charles Wesley speaks of Christ as our “surety” in the first verse of his hymn, “Arise, My Soul, Arise,” seeing this “surety” as the proof that our sins are forgiven:

Before the throne
  my Surety stands;
My name is written
  on His hands.
My name is written
on His hands.

The writer of Hebrews, however, is speaking of something much, much more than that. The Bible verse does not say that Christ is the “surety that we are forgiven,” but that He is the “surety of a better covenant.” While the New Covenant surely does include the forgiveness of sins (Heb. 8:12), the meaning here is, Christ, by the fact that He as a man is already in glory, is our surety, our guarantee, that God is going to complete the work of bringing all His many sons into that same glory.

In addition to speaking of Christ as our surety, Hebrews 7 also tells us that Christ became a great, heavenly high priest on our behalf by the power of an indestructible life (v. 22). It then tells us:

He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
— Hebrews 7:25

In brief, Christ saves us to the uttermost by His indestructible life, the power of His resurrection life working within us. And when that life is fully developed in us, we will enter into glory, just as He is in glory today.

T. Austin-Sparks states this in a very good way:

Glory is for now. It is a part of the very life that we have now received. It is the essence of Christ as “in us, the hope of glory” [Col. 1:27]. It is the very nature of what we have received through faith in Jesus Christ….
Faith not only believes for the forgiveness of sins, not only for pardon, not only for remission, not only for atonement, not only for justification and redemption. Faith in Jesus Christ apprehends Him as the very humanity to which we are to be conformed. Faith takes hold of Him as He is now, and says, “He is as He is because God wants me like that.”
The Gold of the Sanctuary, Chapter 5, “The Crown of the Incorruptible”

This same thought is expressed in Mary McDonough’s marvelous hymn, “There’s a Man in the glory”:

There’s a Man in the glory
Whose Life is for me.
He overcame Satan;
From bondage He’s free.
In Life He is reigning;
How kingly is He!
His Life in the glory,
My life must be;
His Life in the glory,
My life must be.

Thank the Lord, He is the “surety” that one day, we will all be in glory, just as He is today! Even now we see Him “crowned with glory and honor” (Heb. 1:9), and He has made us His “holy brothers, partners in a heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1, Greek; cf. 2:10), to follow Him into glory!

Lord, grant us to live for Your glory today, and to experience the glory of your life within us, in a way that will prepare us to enter into glory with You in that day! Amen.

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— 28 June 2022 —