In the previous two chapters we have seen that the first human beings took a wrong direction and had their relationship to God damaged. We also saw that there was a need of a redemption price for which God could not be the stand in or become an incarnation and play a man. As such we saw why Jesus can not be be a Ransomer when he would be God. Only a real man could bring the ransom or redemption price for the sins of man.
While He was the man, Christ Jesus, He was not a combination of two natures. Had He been that, He
would not have been a ” corresponding price,” because Adam was not a combination of two natures. Yet, as a man, He had the benefit of His experience and knowledge acquired in heaven, and of this the prophet was inspired to write,
” by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa. 53: 11.)
Since His resurrection our Lord is not a combination of two natures. Nevertheless, the memory of His experiences on earth is still of value to Him, and to us;
“for we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” — Heb. 4: 15.
The risen Jesus is not only the merciful and faithful High Priest for His people; He is also the Lord, with
all authority in heaven and in earth. (Rom. 14: 9 ; Matt. 28: 18.) He is priest after the order of Melchisedec, who was both king and priest. (Heb. 7: 1, 7.) He is the King of kings and Lord of lords; and while other lords and potentates of earth have reigned for a time, and have then been obliged by death lo lay aside their sceptres, the Redeemer of the world is the only potentate of earth that has immortality, and is at the same time a priest “after the power of an endless life.” (1 Tim. 6: 16; Heb. 7:16) God gave Him immortality:
“As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.”
This was given Him at His resurrection. It could not have been before, else He could not have died, hence could not have given the corresponding price required by Justice. But since His resurrection, He is the image of the Father’s person, a partaker of the divine nature. And this is the prize held before those who faithfully follow in His steps —” glory, honour and immortality,” joint heirship with Him Whom the Father has appointed heir of all things.
“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. . . . It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”—Heb. 1:3; 2 Pet. 1 : 4 ; Rom. 2: 7; 8: 17; Heb. 1: 2; 1 John 3: 1, 2.
The last words come with special force from John, the beloved disciple, who enjoyed greater intimacy than any of the others with the Lord. He says,
“We shall be like Him;”
but, while we rejoice in this, we cannot tell what it means,
“for it doth not yet appear what we shall be.”
“we shall see Him as He is.”
All this shows plainly that ” as He is ” is very different from ” as He was.” If He were still a being of flesh,
only somewhat more glorious than He was while on earth, the beloved Apostle could not have used such expressions.
His language also reminds us of the several appearances of our Lord to the disciples after His resurrection. If John, who witnessed several of these appearances, could say, after fifty years, that he had not seen Jesus “as He is,” therefore, although we expect to be like Him, it doth not yet appear what we shall be, it obliges us to acknowledge that by the several appearances which our Lord made to His disciples luring the forty days after His resurrection He did not exhibit to them His glorious Person, partaking of the divine glory, but, as all spirit beings could do (except those bound in chains of darkness — Jude 6), He in which our Lord manifested Himself to them were not His proper body. When such an one as John writes after this manner, we must needs abide by his word.
Saul of Tarsus came nearest of any to viewing our Lord’s glory. This happened on the road to Damascus,
and he was stricken with blindness by the brightness. His reference to the incident is striking.
“Last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” (1 Cor. 15: 8.)
The intimation is that as Jesus, since His resurrection, is
“dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, Whom no man hath seen or can see,”
the vision which he had of the divine glory of Jesus was sent upon him before he was prepared for it. Here again John’s words help us, also Paul’s:
“We shall be like Hint; for we shall see Him as he is.”
“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; . . . we shall all be changed; as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Cor. 15: 50, 51, 49.)
And the words of the Saviour to Nicodemus give the same teaching of the difference between human and spiritual natures, showing that the two are not associated, but are forever kept separate and distinct.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh’, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3: 6.)
We, at the present time, are flesh, because we have been born of the flesh. If we follow the way of faith and consecration, the high calling open during the Gospel Age, we shall be born of the Spirit, and shall then no more be flesh, but shall be spirit beings, joint heirs of the heavenly inheritance. Our Lord was born of the flesh for the purpose of giving Ransom; at His resurrection, He was born of the Spirit (1 Pet. 3:18, marginal reading), and is no longer flesh, as John intimates. After His resurrection He could and
did come and go as the wind, invisible to His disciples and others, except when He chose to manifest Himself. So shall the members of His Body be, when born of the Spirit. (John 3: 8.) The Scriptures use the figure of the natural birth to illustrate two distinct spiritual truths: (1) The re-generation or present experience of the Child of God, and (2) the resurrection change or birth. The Christian life is illustrated by the infantile state, by childhood and by maturity. 1 Pet. 1: 23 speaks of the believer as “born again,” as a result of the operation of the Word of God, he having been previously dead in trespasses and sins; and 1 Pet. 2: 2 describes the necessary food to be the same Word of God. John speaks of ”young men,” ” fathers,” and ” little children.” But from the standpoint of John 3 : 3-8, the idea is the birth of the resurrection, for only then will the believer have experienced that change of physical ability which will enable him to transport himself invisibly. Our Lord entered a room after His resurrection, ” the doors being shut”; and anyone born of the Spirit should be able similarly to come and go like the wind.
The man Christ Jesus had no posterity, so that it is written of Him,
“who shall declare His generation?”
The risen Lord is to have not only a “Bride,”‘ but much posterity, neither developed after the manner of the flesh, but both taken from among those whom He has bought with the “corresponding price.” All of those who once were children of Adam I, who did not prior to the Kingdom Age have the full opportunity for salvation according to special offers, shall have the opportunity to become children of Adam II . , “the Lord from heaven.” If they by faith accept Him as their Redeemer, and acknowledge and obey Him as “the everlasting Father.”‘ lie will accept them as His children, and will bless them. And so,
“He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.” — Isa. 53: 8,11; 1 Cor. 15: 45, 47; Isa. 9: 6.
It cannot be supposed that our Lord would be ‘satisfied ” with small results of the “travail of His soul,” or that divine Wisdom would have arranged such a plan of a Ransom and of Restitution blessings to follow it, unless there had been in the divine foreknowledge of events such a view of results as would justify the outlay. It may therefore be understood that the permanent results of the Ransom will be in every way inworthy of the Father who devised it, and satisfactory to the Son who executed it, and brings it to its glorious consummation. Some there will be in the Kingdom Age, who, after enjoying all the favours of light and knowledge, will be ungrateful and disobedient. Such will not be allowed to live forever, but after their incorrigibility and hardness of heart are fully demonstrated, they will be destroyed in the Second Death from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power, and will be heard of no more forever. — 2 Thess. 1 : 9 ; Acts 3: 23; Rev. 20: 7-10.
The study of the Scripture teaching on the Ransom has, it is hoped, resulted in a clearer view than ever
of the harmony of the divine , Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power. It has also shown us that God, Who
required an atonement sacrifice, provided it; had He not done so, the race must still be unredeemed. This study has delivered us, we trust, from any thoughts we may have had of vindictiveness on God’s part, and has enabled us to recognise Him as the God of love and mercy.
“God so loved the world.
That He gave His only begotten Son.
That Who soever believeth in Him
Should not perish.
But have eternal lasting life.”
— Jonh 5:16,36, 1 John 3:11-12.
- The New Covenant Advocate April, 1909 pp. 8-10
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- The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
- Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
- Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
- Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized
- Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
- Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
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- Self inflicted misery #3 A man given to suffer for us
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