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consider distinctly, what advantage we receive, 1st, From Christ's being Man. 2dly, From his being taken from among men. Edly, From his being born of a Virgin.
XXIX. The Son of God having become Man, he is also our Mediator, thoroughly adapted for the whole work. Paul, therefore, intending to set forth the Mediator, mentions expressly that he is man." There is "one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ "Jesus." He might have called him God; he might at least have omitted calling him man, as he omitted calling him God. But he employed the most effectual means to afford us suitable relief and encouragement under our weakness, by familiarly exhibiting the Son of God as one of us. It was requisite that for our sake the Son of God should become Immanuel, God with
It was even necessary that, by a mutual conjunction, his divinity and humanity should be closely united; otherwise the relation would not have been sufficiently near, nor the tie sufficiently strong, to inspire us with the cheering persuasion, that God dwelleth with us.
xxx. But another reason must also be stated. It was incumbent on our Surety to perform what the law demanded from us, that its righteousness might be fulfilled, and that we might be saved in consistency with the old covenant. Now the law which was given to men, could not be satisfied but by a man-either with regard to its commands, which require the spirit, soul, and body, to be kept pure and devoted to God;-or with regard to its threatenings, by which the death it requires, is denounced both against soul and body.
y 1 Tim. ii. 5.
* Rom. viii. 4.
Hence it was necessary that our Surety should be truly man, that he might "fulfil all righteousness" in soul and body; and that by suffering death in both, he might deliver his people from death.b
XXXI. Hence the Apostle couples these two inseparably together," made of a woman, and made under "the law;" intimating that the immediate design of Christ's incarnation, was that he might be subjected, in his human nature, to that law which was first given to
XXXII. The same truth is figuratively suggested by our Lord in the Psalms of David, when he says, "Mine ears hast thou opened;" which the Apostle thus explains, "A body hast thou prepared me."e The expression carries an allusion to Exodus xxi. 2-6. Although the Hebrew servant was otherwise of the same origin and dignity with his master, yet, if from love to his master, and from love to his wife, though a servant, and to his children, though born in a state of servitude, he voluntarily chose to continue in the service of his master beyond the space of seven years,his ear, according to the injunction of the law, was to be bored through with an awl at the door, or one of the door-posts of his master. Christ transfers this to himself. Being in other respects equal to God his Father, " he took upon him the form of a servant," and from love to God the Father, f to his spouse, and to children born under the servitude of the law,h he came under engagements to a voluntary and lasting service. This
a Matt. iii. 15.
e Gal. iv. 4.
e Heb. x. 5.
* Ephes. v. 25.
b Heb. ii. 14.
d Ps. xl. 6.
f John xiv. 31.
h Gal, iv. 5.
was signified by the boring not of one ear only, but of both ears:* which, as done to the Messiah, points out his great alacrity and promptitude in serving, expressed by himself in the fortieth Psalm; and, as the action of the Father, represents the Father's peculiar satisfaction in the voluntary subjection of the Son. Both the one and the other were openly declared, when, according to the will of the Father and the Son, a body was prepared for Christ, in which he might accomplish that voluntary service. Hence we read, "And now "saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to "be his servant."j
XXXIII. It was requisite, farther, that our Mediator should be from among men," the Son of man;" that he might be our Kinsman and Brother, and thus our GOEL,† or our Redeemer by the right of propinquityk It was becoming,-it was worthy of God, that "he who "sanctifieth and they who are sanctified, should be all " of one,”—of one blood, that they might call each other brethren; for it was necessary that the Mediator should be subject to the law of love to our neighbour and our brethren. "Wherefore it behoved him in all "things to be made like unto his brethren.” “For "verily he took not on him the nature of angels, he "undertook not the redemption of angels, but he took " on him the seed of Abraham."
XXXIV. The Hebrew word GOEL, as attributed to Christ, is of rich and extensive import; and deserves, therefore, to be here explained a little more particularly. In the Goel of the ancient Hebrews, three things
+ 7892, ἐπιλήπτως.
† Ου γαρ δηπές ἀγγελων ἐπιλαμβάνεται.
i Verses 7, 8.
Heb. ii. 10, 11, 16, 17.
j Is. xlix. 5.
1 Comp. Acts xvii. 26.
chiefly fall to be considered: 1st, His Person; 2dly, His duties; 3dly, The manner of performing those duties. As to the Person of the Goel or Redeemer, it behoved him to be the nearest relation, or failing him, some kinsman,m To such a one, in virtue of his relationship, a fourfold right belonged; or if you please, a fourfold duty was incumbent upon him. 1. That of redeeming possessions of his brother or kinsman, which had been sold or alienated, as a house or land." 2. That of obtaining his freedom, if he were a captive or a servant. 3. That of avenging him, if murdered; hence he was called "the avenger of blood." 4. That of marrying the wife of a deceased brother or kinsman, to raise up seed to him; as a pledge of which, he spread over her the skirt of his garment; for, amongst the Jews, this was a symbol of conjugal duty, love, and protection.s
With regard to the manner of performing these offices, three things are observable. 1. That sometimes a price was to be paid, as in the redemption of property that had been sold. 2. That on some occasions power and force were to be employed, as in the avenging of blood. 3. That sometimes kindness was to be shown to a widow, as in the case of marrying a deceased brother's wife. These, when taken together, include almost every thing relative to the Goel, of which we are informed by the Mosaic law.
XXXV. Christ was called Goel before the institution
and beyond the sphere of the Mosaic polity and perhaps some rights pertaining to the Goel prevailed in the families of the patriarchs; among whom, some traces at least, of the right of a husband's brother, occur." But the prophets that flourished after Moses, sometimes distinguish our Saviour by the same name. And all things which the law required in the Goel are found united in Christ.
XXXVI. With respect to the person,—Christ, by assuming our nature, became our Brother and Kinsman, that being already possessed of the right of propriety, as God, he might obtain the right of propinquity, as our Relative. Indeed he is in a peculiar manner related to the Jews, as from them he sprung. On this account he is said to have taken on him the seed of Abraham, and from this Paul gathers that the Jews shall one day be restored. But in a more general view, Christ is also the brother of other men, without distinction of nations;—not indeed of all mankind and of every individual, but of those that belong to "the seed of the woman," who are so called according to the promise, and opposed to "the seed of the serpent." The Israelites, then, are related to the Messiah at once by paternal and maternal extraction,-by their descent as well from mother Eve as from father Abraham; for to him also a promise of the blessed seed was made. The Gentiles are related to the Messiah, at least, by maternal descent. On both sides we ought to consider not the mere carnal alliance, but the
Gen. xlviii. 16. Job xix. 25.
Is. xliii. 14. lix. 20.
* Rom. ix. 5. Heb. vii. 14.
* Rom. xi. 26.
" Gen. xxxviii. 6-8. "Heb. ii. 11, 14.
▾ Heb. ii, 16.