Two Kinds of Obedience

“[Jesus] committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” 1 Peter 2:21-25

We will conclude our brief study of the atonement today with a discussion of the distinction between the passive obedience and the active obedience of Christ. The obedience of the Lord was essential for making the atonement effective, as Jesus understood His death to fulfill the will of God, to be the supreme act of obedience He rendered to the Father (Luke 22:39–46John 19:28–30; see Phil. 2:5–11)….

But the obedience of Christ that makes the atonement effective goes beyond His death.

The passive obedience of Christ refers primarily to the crucifixion and what Jesus endured there. He was the victim of earthly authorities at the cross, and there He also received the wrath of God due to the sins of His people. We call this the passive obedience of Christ not because Jesus was inactive; He purposefully and actively laid down His life for His flock (John 10:1–18). Instead, calling it the passive obedience of Christ stresses the fact that He did not resist the cross, that while He chose to lay down His life, things were done to Him. View article →