For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,…
In that Christ gave Himself —
1. We learn that there can be neither other priest nor other sacrifice than Christ Himself: both which our apostle accurately noteth in a diverse phrase, which at the first seem to sound the self-same; neither doth our English so distinguish them as the Greek doth. The former is in our text, which more properly betokeneth that Christ offered no other oblation or sacrifice than Himself: hence is it said that for this end God gave Christ a body, that in the same He might perform this part of His Father's will. The latter is in 1 Timothy 2:6, which implieth more directly that Christ Himself gave Himself, and that there can be no other priest in this oblation than He that is the sacrifice: neither, indeed, can He be offered of any other save Himself, who for this purpose "sanctified Himself," as the altar sanctifieth the gift and the temple the gold.
2. In that it is said that Christ gave Himself we may note that He gave Himself wholly, both His body and soul, in sacrifice, and spared neither: for we had deserved a double death which it was meet that Christ by a double death should destroy; by His bodily death pull out the sting of the death of our bodies, and utterly abolish the death of our souls by the death of His soul; and to this purpose, that our consolation might be full, the Scripture showeth how that His soul was heavy unto the death, and that a little before His suffering His soul was sore troubled. And Isaiah expressly affirmeth that His soul travailed in His death, and that He made His soul an offering for sin and poured out His soul unto death, and that He made His grave with the rich in His death: where note, that he speaketh in the plural number to note this double death of Christ; and what other thing did Himself proclaim with such a loud voice upon the cross when He cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" For what other is the death of the soul but to be separated from God, the fountain of life? which point helpeth us to understand such places of the Scripture as affirm that Christ suffered and died according to the flesh (John 6:51), and that Christ offered His body (Hebrews 10:10), and all those which ascribe all our salvation to the blood of Christ. All which must be synecdochically understood, under one kind comprehending all His suffering and never excluding any part of it, every one of them being equivalent to this speech of the apostle, "who gave Himself": that is, both His body and soul, or wholly unto the death; neither can the death of the cross be other, which is joined with the malediction of God from which we by it were wholly delivered.
3. Where it is said that Christ gave Himself it may be further noted that His whole passion and death was voluntary; for what is more free than gift? and this appeareth in that He was wont to say beforehand that He must go away unto His Father, that He must leave the world and His disciples, that He had power to lay down His life and take it up again and that no man could take it from Him; for who could take that life from Him, whose sinless nature of itself was not obnoxious to death, it being the stipend of sin?
(T. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,