CHRIST LLKEWISE TOOK PART OF THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF THE CHILDREN — Hebrews 2:14(continued)
For it ought to be noticed most carefully that in the original Greek a distinction is made between our partaking of the blood and flesh, and Christ’s partaking of the same. The emphasis falls here on Christ’s partaking of the same blood and flesh in which we are partakers. The emphasis falls on his act, his willing participation of our human nature. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Thus we read in John 1:14. And that is here emphasized by the writer. This emphasis is evident from the different verbs and the different tenses employed by the writer. With respect to our sharing in blood and flesh the writer employs the verb “kekoinooneeken.” The term here “marks the common nature ever shared among men as long as the race lasts (Westcott).” The perfect tense indicates a completed state up to the present moment. Ever since the time of our creation in Adam we are “all out of one blood!” Thus Paul says in his address on Mars Hill “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and bath determined the times afore appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” (Acts 17:26) However, in respect to the Son of God the writer uses a verb which emphasizes “the unique fact of the Incarnation as a voluntary acceptance of humanity.” This is also crystal clear from the fact tense which the writer here employs in reference to Christ’s voluntary acceptance of our human nature. (1).
Our Savior took part in the blood and flesh which we shared with the entire human race. He, therefore, truly became real man. He became like unto us in all things, sin excepted! Yet, he has a unique place in the human race. He is of the seed of Abraham as far as the flesh is concerned. (II Timothy 2:8) He was not born in any place. He is the end of the great Genealogical line of the Old Testament Scriptures. (Matthew 1:2-17) Thus was the birth (genesis) of Jesus Christ. His is really the genealogy of the human race, the tree of mankind. The dead branches may be cut out or fall off, but the human race is saved in him. Man is remembered in Him in such a way that God sets His glory above the heavens. It is from the vantage point that the gospel will be preached by Christ, and all God’s good-pleasure is in him, that we have the genealogy in Luke 3:21-38. Wherefore the line is traced from Christ back to Adam, the son of God. Christ thus came in the very center, the “navel” of humanity. It is confusing to speak of Christ having a “general human nature,” and to say that Christ had a “central human nature” must not be misunderstood. The fact is that he had a real human nature out of the line from the first Adam to the last Adam. Thus he came and “took part” in the blood and flesh of the “children,” the children of adoption, the remnant according to election of grace! Intrinsically the human nature of Christ was no different from any other man, born from Adam. However, since he is the eternal Son of God, he came “into this world” and thus took part in the flesh and blood as this was shared by the children with all mankind. But he came to stand at the head of the children. He came to stand within the smaller circle of the church, which was within the larger circle of mankind. Thus he occupies the central place in the human race, and by death thus exalts man to the pinnacle of the glory of the heavenly!
The emphasis seems to fall here on “blood” of the children as is evident from the order “blood and flesh” instead of “flesh and blood.” No, he did not come merely to be a blood brother. He came to be the First-born among many brethren, to be exalted at the right hand of God in the way of suffering and death. Hence, he must die. His blood must be shed at Calvary. But he must, therefore, partake of the “blood” of the brethren. Only thus can he bring the many sons to glory. He is not interested in the “blood and flesh” except that the “brethren” who are called the “children” are sharers in the same. And thus he seals with his blood that he is not ashamed to call these “children” his brethren!
CHRIST DESTROYS THE DEVIL THROUGH DEATH
He brews 2:14b
The Devil is viewed in this passage by the writer as having great power. There are four words which are translated “power” in the KJV of the Bible. There is the term “dunamis” which means really: ability, while the term exousia emphasizes the idea of authority. Then there is the term which is translated power which really means force. The last term is that of power which really means strength. This is the Greek term kratos. It means that things are in the grip of one who has such power. This is a power connected with death. It means to have the power of death. In this capacity the Devil, the accuser of the brethren, must be destroyed. And to bring about this destruction Christ must become most closely associated with the blood and flesh of the children, and through death destroy the Devil, who has the power of death. Christ must wrench this power from his hand, and claim the keys of death and of hell, so that he can say fear not, I am he that was dead, and, behold, I am alive forever more! (Revelation 1:17-18)
That which gives the Devil this power of death is exactly that the children, by nature, are guilty, dead in trespasses and sins. The Devil is the Diabolos the accuser, the calumniator. He is a formidable adversary. He has many snares in which he captivates men. (I Peter 5:8; I Timothy 3:7; II Timothy 2:26) He accuses the saints day and night before our God. (Revelation 12:10) And he has a good legal basis to make his accusations. We are indeed guilty of death; Satan can claim us legally as we are fallen in Adam and as we are in our actual sins. Besides, by his hellish assaults he can and does terrify the guilty sinner. We have but to look at the fear of all men outside of Christ, their superstition, their idolatry, which are all motivated by the fear of death and hell. It is ever an attempt to flee from the wrath to come. And the “children” are by nature one with the mass of the damned, the massa damnati. They are not only partakers, sharers in the blood and flesh of the damned, but they are equally sharers in the horrible wrath of God, and open to the powerful hold which the Devil has in their life and accusing conscience. No man can shake off this power, this grip of the Devil!
Hence, the Devil must be destroyed. The term in the Greek is kata geeseei, and it means: to make of non effect. When the Devil is destroyed he is not thereby annihilated; he continues to exist, but his power and his works are destroyed. They are loosed, dissolved of their effectiveness. He must no longer be able to terrify in our conscience before the law of God, nor must he be able to bring a formal charge any more against us in the Tribunal of God. The Lord God Almighty must rebuke him, since the hand-writing which was against us has been nailed to the Cross, and thereby Satan has been made an open shame, and has been publicly set forth as stripped of all his power when Christ said: it is finished! At that moment the Devil was destroyed, and Christ preached peace to them that are near and far. The Devil had nothing in him. (Colossians 2:14-15; John 19:30; John 14:27,30; Ephesians 2:14,17)
Oh, what a deliverance it is to be no longer in the grip and power of this accuser, this murderer of man. For, let it not be forgotten, the saints, the “children” were all their lifetime subject to the fear of death. It is the roof, the fear of fears, to be filled with the fear of death. The writer uses a phrase which expresses that this fear is constant, it is something which dogs the steps of the “children” as they are by nature, to wit, as they are children of wrath even as the others. Oh, sin and the Devil are such horrible realities. But the Cross of Christ is such that death is swallowed up in victory, and the Devil has been made a harmless foe! For the term “to deliver” in the Greek is a verb which refers to a being set free legally. (Luke 12:58) On the statute books of God and before the great white throne we are set free by Christ’s death, so that the Devil is destroyed. Justice has been satisfied, the just demand of the law is fulfilled in us. (Romans 8:4) Hence, we cease to be debtors to the law to fulfill sin and the lusts of the flesh. The children have a right to life and glory! (Romans 5:19)
A MERCIFUL AND FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST IN THE THINGS PERTRTNING TO GOD – Hebrews 2:17-18
Here we see the Son in our human nature in all his official capacity set before us. He is a “High Priest.” He brings the sacrifice. He is the only one who can enter into the holy of holies before God. He is the appointed one before men. He has all the qualifications as the Mediator. He is in all things “like unto the brethren.” No, he is not ashamed to acknowledge them as brethren, not even in the deepest reproach and suffering of hell. He “ought” to be made like unto the brethren, as Mediator and High Priest he can be nothing less. “The requirement lay in the personal relationship itself.” (Westcott)
The first and chief requirement is that he be “a merciful” High Priest. The Greek text really says that he must “become” such a one. In every step of the way of his suffering, his Via Dolorossa, the element of mercy must become manifested. He is the manifestation and author of the rich mercy of God. Mercy reaches each of the sons in their helplessness. It is the mercy-seat where the blood of sprinkling was sprinkled. Yes, he is also “faithful.” He is faithful in his calling to God, and he is trustworthy for all who place their trust in him. (2) Thus he brings the propitious sacrifice for the sins of the people. Yes, thus he is able to succour us in our needs. He understands the temptations of the saints, of the children. He has met the Tempter and, therefore, is able to understand. We need nothing more, and we need no one besides him. He is the perfect Savior, greater than all.
(1) “kekoinooneeken…metescken are sharers in…He partook of…Vulg.: communicaverunt (puevi)…participavit; O.L. participes sant…paticops factus. The Syr. makes no difference between the words which describe the participation in humanity on the part of man and of the Son of man. Yet they present different ideas. Kekoinooneeke marks the common nature ever shared among men as long as the race lasts: meteschen expresses the unique fact of the Incarnation as a voluntary acceptance of humanity…..” The Epistle to the Hebrews, page 52, B. F. Westcott.
(2) “The verb gignesthai (become G.L.) suggests the notion of a result reached through the action of that which we regard as a law. Compare 1:4; 6:4, 12; 7:18, 26 etc.”.(Idem, page 57)