T.F. Torrance on the Mystery of the Atonement

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I’ve taken up reading the second volume of T.F. Torrance’s posthumously published works, Atonement, The Person and Work of Christ. From time to time, I’ll post various insights from Torrance, who is by far a favorite of mine, at least concerning Reformed Theologians.

After reciting, briefly, the ‘liturgy of the day of atonement’ in Leviticus 16, Torrance writes,

That divine ordinance from the old covenant serves to remind us, as we seek to understand the cross, that though the veil of the earthly temple was rent from top to bottom, Jesus entered within the veil ‘into heaven itself’, into the holy of holies of God’s immediate presence and there he acted as our high priest and mediator beyond the view of humankind – the nature of his work was unutterable. That means that the innermost mystery of atonement and intercession remains mystery: it cannot be spelled out, and it cannot be spied out. That is the ultimate mystery of the blood of Christ, the blood of God incarnate, a holy and infinite mystery which is more to be adored than expressed. here we tread the holy ground of the garden of Gethsemane and Calvary and here we much clap our hand upon our mouth again and again for me have no words adequate to match the infinitely holy import of atonement. (p2)

He then goes on to connect the mystery of the atonement to the Eucharist.

Torrance‘s first volume dealt with the Incarnation which seems to be must dealt with before the atonement is considered.

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