I SANCTIFY MYSELF
John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
John 17:17 ¶ Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
I have stared at that verse nineteen for several decades, wondering just what was meant by these words of our Lord stating that within his request for the Father now to sanctify the believers he would have to sanctify himself. The Lord sounds like a commander who has fulfilled his present assignment and was rehearsing with his Superior the new position of his troops as how they are to now be kept through the Superior’s name! And in his final ‘official act’ in this office he states that he knows in order for these to be farther sanctified through the truth, he would have to sanctify himself. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
And it was not until the Holy Spirit led me to rightly consider “the mystery of godliness,” that He could reveal clearer light as to why the Lord Jesus Christ needed sanctifying. 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. For I was ignorantly staring into the abyss of the mystery of God manifest in the flesh!
Then the Holy Spirit patiently led me to see the difference of the Humanity of the Lord Jesus, from his Divinity in this matter. For at one time the Lord states in John 10:30, I and my Father are one. While he also states in John 14:28, for my Father is greater than I. So which one is true? Both! For the Lord Jesus is both very God, while at the same time he is very man!
He could both state, in John 20:17 I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. And at the same time say in John 14:9 he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? On the cross when he had become fully identified with us and our sin, he cried, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46) Yet in the hour of the accomplishment of redemption we read in Luke 23:46; And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
In the hour of his abandonment he addresses “My God.” Yet in the hour of his total relinquishment of himself as he originates faith, he addresses the “Father.” Truly, “great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh!”
Now, in the light of this understanding, it could be revealed that there was a necessity for the Humanity of Jesus to be sanctified. For even his mother Mary had to be cleansed according to Moses’ law before being allowed into the presence of others again after his birth! And remember, according to the angel, she birthed “that holy thing!” Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Yet, we read this passage: Luke 2:21 ¶ And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
And we read of John’s dilemma at his baptism, persuaded only by seeing Jesus’ deity, he wanted the Lord to baptize him! But the Lord Jesus came to him as the “son of man,” desiring to be obedient to all requirements, in order to become a “perfect captain.” Matthew 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
For as Moses sprinkled all the vessels of ministry with the sacrificial blood, so the true temple of God – our own Lord Jesus – must also be sanctified by “his own blood!” Hebrews 9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
The word “sanctify” implies being set apart for a specific use. And we find that the Lord had a twofold sanctification. For we find that his being sent forth by the Father was the first stage of his sanctification. John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God.
And certainly we can see in his Incarnation that there were very specific revelations of his being uniquely sent forth at his birth. For he was named by heaven, given by the angel. His mother had no intimate relations with a man. God, the Holy Ghost overshadowed her, causing her to give birth to the very Son of God. A special star was to shine in the heavens, giving knowledge of his birth. Angels attended the announcement of his birth to those who would represent his spiritual identity; that of the Shepherd. Oriental kings troubled King Herod and all Jerusalem as they appeared after their long journey to present him presents and worship him.
So we see that he was set forth in such a unique way, for God’s specific use. John 7:46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
Yet their remained the second part of his being acceptably sanctified. He had to be sprinkled with the blood of an acceptable sacrifice. Hebrews 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
As he stated to John the Baptist, he had to “fulfill all righteousness.” And as he is seen to be the reality of that which the tabernacle stood for, as heaven’s authorized place of communion with God, he must also be sanctified by blood! And it was only in the experiencing of his sufferings that he was to be made a perfect captain. Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Make no mistake about it, dear Reader, he already was perfect God and perfect man! But in order to enter into the spiritual office of captain of the church’s salvation, he was yet to be made that perfect captain. And he could only do so by his God-ordained sufferings. Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
And this is the very pattern of the spiritual life of the true believer. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
There is such a richness in the Apostle’s writing in the Book of Hebrews concerning our Lord’s glorious and perfect work in his Sanctification of Sacrifice. Carefully read these few verses: Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
Hebrews 9:8 ¶ The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And it was only as the slain Lamb that the Lord Jesus was able to open the providences of the church age to allow Old Testament believers to enter into the New Testament age! Revelation 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Revelation 5:6 ¶ And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Pastor Gene Breed
September 17, 2021