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Three Hours

That three hours’ work upon the cross, was more than all the other. Eternity will not have more done in it, than virtually was done in those three hours.

‘He took on him the form of a servant,’ Phil. 2:7. And such a servant he was, as was not to have been hired amongst all the creatures. They all could not do the work that he did; ‘The government of the whole world is upon his shoulders,’ Isa. 9:6. He easeth his Father of it for the present, and when he hath brought him in infinite revenues of glory, he will at last ‘deliver up the kingdom to him,’ 1 Cor. 15:24, with a greater surplusage than else would have been had out of that begun course of providence taken up at the creation. And if you will not reckon that as part of satisfaction, yet consider the service he did in the priest’s office, wherein God acknowledged him his servant. He despatched more work in those thirty-three years wherein he lived, yea, in those three hours wherein he suffered, than ever was or will be done by all creatures to eternity. It was a good six-days work when the world was made; and he had a principal hand in that, neither hath he been idle since; ‘I and my Father work hitherto,’ says Christ, John 5:17. But that three hours’ work upon the cross, was more than all the other. Eternity will not have more done in it, than virtually was done in those three hours; so as that small space of time was τὸ νῦν æternitatis. As they say of eternity, that it is all time contracted into an instant, so was all time, past, and to come, into those few hours, and the merit of them. For he then made work for the Spirit, and indeed for all the three persons, unto eternity. He then did that which the Spirit is writing out in grace and glory for ever, yea, and all that ever was or will be done towards the saints, was then perfected: ‘He perfected for ever them that are sanctified, by that one offering:’ Heb. 10:12, 14, ‘But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;’ ver. 14, ‘For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’

— Thomas Goodwin
Works, 5:102–103.