Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hebrews Chapter Two Part 6

2:16-17 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Our present verse very clearly states that Jesus Christ is not an angel. He does not share the nature of angels, being created beings, nor has He associated Himself with them by taking on their likeness. Rather He came as a Man, born from Abraham, through Judah’s bloodline, of the House of David; thoroughly a Jew in the flesh, Romans 1:3; 9:5.

The NKJV renders verse 17 as “in all things He had to be made like His brethren.” The “had to” implies a lack of choice if the plan of salvation was to be accomplished. Jesus would have to become a human being to represent our fallen race to God, and through His sinless life and sacrificial death render to God the obedience due Him and the payment for sin that was needed. If Christ had a sin nature He could not have been our substitute. The very nature of the animal sacrifices made in the Temple were images of this forthcoming one. They had to be without blemish or they were not acceptable sacrifices. Likewise the Son of God was perfect so He had no sin of His own to atone for, but could stand in the place of guilty sinners and pay their debt through His own sinless nature. Jesus had a glory given to Him as a perfect Man, one which He shared freely with His followers when they placed their faith in Him. Since there was no sin in Christ He could pay the debt we owed, essentially making us His.  Like Hosea purchasing his wife back from the slave block Jesus redeemed the human race with His blood. We are His, and He is free to inform us what He wishes of us. Those who listen and place their faith in Him will receive eternal life and be blessed with an everlasting friendship with God. Those who yet refuse shall be sentenced to the Lake of Fire, for there is no other place apart from God’s presence (Psalm 139:7-12) and our Lord has every right to do what He wills with what is His, Matthew 20:15.

2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Now the question is raised: how can a Man who is sinless and fully God be tempted by sin? After all, God cannot be tempted by sin, James 1:13. Christ was also fully Man, and had desires as men did. When He hungered, He ate, when He was tired, He slept. When He was sad, He cried. One must understand that sin is a perversion of something originally intended for man’s good. Lying is a perversion of the truth. Stealing is a perversion that warps how we should acquire possessions; it sometimes reveals the deeper sin of covetousness, which is idolatry, Colossians 3:5. Sexual sin is the perversion of what God lawfully ordained between a man and his wife. The fixation on sex blinds one to the reality that sex was the physical bond that demonstrated unity between consenting marriage partners mentally and spiritually. The unity that transcends the physical and actually forges the bond that makes marriages endure has been passed off in favor of fleeting pleasure that can give no lasting satisfaction.

Jesus knew what sin was, but He never knew it experientially. As He witnessed regarding Himself, “the ruler of this world (Satan) is coming, and he has nothing in Me,” John 14:30. This telling verse reveals that Christ did not possess a sin nature; being born of the Holy Spirit, with only a human mother, Jesus did not inherit Adam’s nature and was free from its curse. Whereas being sinners, death is a debt we owe because sin demands death, Jesus did not sin and therefore death held no claim on Him; His life was His own.  Paul, expounding on the liberty the Christian has in Christ, tells us unflinchingly that Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He came because of sin, to deal with sin, Romans 8:3. That would be a difficult affair if He had a sin nature of His own.


Now our Lord can aid those who are tempted by our sin natures. Christ felt the weakness of our flesh since He was human, and knows our tendency to want to do what is pleasing or easy rather than what is right. Sometimes we stumble through ignorance; sometimes our lust leads us astray. At all times Jesus is there to provide for us what we need to be more than conquerors through Him…IF we are willing to submit to Him. All that prevents us from coming to Christ to receive all things is us. We choose life or death, salvation or damnation. Since, as the song goes “Jesus paid it all” why delay and come to ruin? Trust in Him now and be saved.

2 comments:

  1. Great exposition of the passage, Ian.

    As you explained so well, Christ had to be both man and God in order to deal with our sin. Without the ability to be tempted, his refusal to sin would have been meaningless while without God's sinless nature, he would not have been able to avoid committing some sin.

    Hope my reply to your question on my blog is useful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your reply was a very good one; it simplified the argument to a very logical conclusion, so thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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