Redemption is creation. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Christ’s priestly power was manifested in the first creation just the same as in the restoration; for the new creation is simply the restoration of “that which was from the beginning.” Christ as priest is the minister of endless life. “He gave Himself for our sins,” that He might deliver us from sin. It is on the cross that He makes this sacrifice, giving His life. When He hung on the cross He cried out, “It is finished,” and then “bowing His head, He gave up His spirit,” or, literally, He “breathed out.” Why did He breathe out His life on the cross? —In order that we might breathe it in. But that is exactly what He did in the beginning. God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, and the lifeless dust became a living soul.
That same work God has been doing ever since, or else all men would have died; for “If He should set His heart on it; if He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust” (Job 34:14, 15). The cross, therefore, is simply the power that first created all things now revealed as sufficient to save that which was lost. So the power of the cross, —the power of Christ’s priesthood, to make reconciliation for sin, —is the power that from eternity has been at work creating and upholding. What confidence this gives us! What wonderful assurance of salvation!
And this foundation is just as firm for the faith of those who are not called saints. The foundation, on which the saints stand, is that to which they came as sinners.