I love the image Baker draws below, that of the charge we’ve been given “to take up the outlaw work of the heavenly priest.”

The son who comes to make perfect the Father’s work shares this work with us. ‘Go on toward perfection’ is not a call to us to take incremental steps toward moral flawlessness, as this is far from the Epistle’s conception of the term. Rather it is a charge to take up the outlaw work the heavenly priest, and make atonement for the sins of creation. Is this work a human one, or is it transferred extrinsically to us by the sharing the work of the divine Son? This is our question, but not that of John and Hebrews: they insist only that we are called, invited, charged, to do this work. In the wake of the ascended Christ, the unfinished work of creating/atoning becomes the perfecting work of his disciples (Heb. 1:3; 10.12-12; John 17.11-13). We too may now ‘be made one’ with the Father, thus come to our human end having accomplished a divine work. We too may now die thirsty and perfect (121).

There’s nothing triumphalist about bolding embracing the work of redemption, nor is there any sense of passivity. If anything, to take up the “outlaw work” of the Christ is to court an inevitable encounter with the cross.

~ Diagonal Advance: Perfection in Christian Theology

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