The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” Hebrews 7:22
“Jesus Christ is My Surety”
The word surety means a guarantee or security of payment. It also carries the idea of depositing a pledge, either in money, goods, or in part payment as security for a bargain (Genesis 44:32, Proverbs 6:1-11 and verse 15, 17:18, 20:16, 22:26-27, 27:13 and Hebrews 7:22).
The Meaning Of The Word Surety
As we have already stated, the word surety is a guarantee or security of payment. It carries the idea of standing in someone else’s place as a co-signer of a loan. A surety is one who agrees to undertake for another who is unable to fulfill his own obligation. The most common form of surety spoken of is financial.
The first mention of the word surety is in Genesis 15:13, “And he said unto Abraham, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.” The word surety in this verse shows the certainty of the truth set forth pertaining to Abraham’s seed being afflicted in Egypt for four hundred years. The children of Israel spent a total of four hundred and thirty years in Egypt, but they were afflicted four hundred of those years. Their first thirty years in Egypt they were under the care and protection of Joseph. After Joseph died, and a new king came into power in Egypt who knew not Joseph, they were put under severe servitude (Exodus 1:5-22). Exodus 12:40-42 says that at the end of four hundred and thirty years that Israel came out of Egypt, even the self-same day it came to pass showing the fulfillment of God’s Word to His people.
The book of Proverbs gives warning against suretiship (which means becoming liable) for the financial obligations of others, especially when you are not able to pay the debt. Please consider the following verses, (Proverbs 6:1-5, 11:15, 17:18, 20:16, 22:26-27, 27:13). According to these verses in Proverbs, we are to deliver ourselves from this type of financial obligations just as an animal would try to deliver itself from a trap that a hunter had set. This shows the severity of being responsible for someone else’s debt.
Examples of surety in the Scriptures
In the Old Testament, there is a beautiful story to illustrate the truth of surety. In Genesis 43:1-9, 32-33, we find Judah being faithful to his pledge when he became surety for his brother, Benjamin. He had given himself as a pledge to secure the safety of his brother when they went down into Egypt to buy corn. He literally became responsible for the safe return of Benjamin to his father.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul according to Philemon became responsible for any debt that Onesimus had, saying in verse 18, “...put that on mine account...”and in verse 19 “...I will repay it...” He is simply saying that he would assume the financial obligation of this servant to his master. He volunteered to become surety for Onesimus.
Jesus Christ became surety for us
In Hebrews 7:22, Jesus Christ is called the “surety of a better testament,” for he undertook to make atonement for the sins of mankind and deliver them from eternal punishment. The Lord Jesus Christ made himself responsible for the fulfillment of the everlasting covenant. He signed our note in blood that we might go free. Our entire salvation is based upon suretiship in that Christ paid the price at Calvary for our sins. Jesus paid my sin debt when He died on the cross. He alone is able to secure the debt that we may go free according to Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Jesus Christ accomplished all that was required for salvation under the new covenant.
As the Psalmist cried out for the Lord to be his surety in Psalm 119:122, we must have Jesus Christ as our surety. He alone can save us from our sins according to Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In the highest sense, the term surety is applied to Christ in that He alone is our assurance. He fully paid all our debts and completely satisfied every demand that God had against us. Praise the Lord!
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Pastor Robert W. Reed