The theme of the one for the many is a golden thread weaving its way through the heart of Torrance’s understanding of the Person and atoning work of Jesus Christ. Distinct from a Platonic connotation, it expresses the yearning and relentless determination of the Triune God to reclaim creation from its dysfunction and realize its true destiny in personal union and communion with the Triune God of grace. Anchored in the manifold richness of God’s outgoing love as Father, Son and Spirit, the God’s covenant relationship with Israel is decidedly marked by its commission to be the one for the many in the outworking of God’s redemptive plan. From Israel’s history we find crucially illuminating categories by which to understand the Person and priestly atoning work of the Incarnate Son of God, whose humanity is not merely the instrumental means but the vicarious venue wherein atoning grace is realized for us on our behalf, yet which includes us. The Christian life is not merely imitation of Christ but lifelong response of worship and trusting obedience in God, enabled and sanctified by participation in the One Truly Efficacious Response of Christ made for us in our place. As the One Body of Christ, the Church is called to participate in Christ’s ongoing priestly ministry in loving service to the world.
Published in Participatio: The Journal of the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, 2014, pp. 201-219