Jun 28

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At the heart of “the story of salvation” is the death of the sinless one. In Hebrews, it reads: “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 importance of the words, “yet without sin,” can never be over stated. The writer also wrote: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb.2:8). Had Jesus sinned, his blood would not have been of greater value than other blood stained with sin, and man would have continued to be without any way of forgiveness of his sins!
No effort to write about “the story of salvation” would be near complete without a look at Jesus being “tempted” in all points as we are. It is hard to separate God in the body of flesh and blood, but it must be done. Therefore, let us follow up on the words of Hebrews 2:8, with these: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (16) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Heb. 2:14-16). In these words, we see much of what has been written in earlier articles in “the story of salvation.” It was necessary, in order to save man, that the savior partake of the same flesh and blood, “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death.” God being spirit (John 4:24) is not subject to death; therefore the one who would be man’s savior “took on him the seed of Abraham,” through whom the bloodline of the seed of woman ran.
In Hebrews, after the writer had said that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, he wrote: “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me” (Heb. 10:5). The “body” which God “prepared” is the one which came into existence without a man; as Matthew wrote of Joseph, “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS” (Matt. 1:25). Thus, a virgin was with child, a body was prepared of woman without a man by means of the Holy Spirit; a virgin conceived! Then, the writer continued with, “Lo, I come (…) to do thy will, O God” (verse 7); when addressing the prepared body of flesh and blood subject to temptations as we are. It is necessary to look at some of the temptation of Jesus to fully understand the subject. Bible readers know that after Jesus was baptized of John, he was tempted of the devil in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-10); therefore, let us look elsewhere. Cross the brook Kidron and enter the Mount of Olives and we find Jesus alone. Here he prays, a prayer of prayers, which is truly one of the “Lord’s prayers:” “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). He prayed this not once, but three times saying the same thing. The humanity of Jesus, the struggle with yielding to the end result of the body prepared was never greater. Paul while pointing our attention to the “Word” (John 1:1) “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God;” then, points to the body prepared, as he wrote: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:6-8). Here is the struggle Jesus is having in his prepared body as he prayed on the Mount Olives. The struggle was so intense, that Luke wrote: “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (verse 44). Has humanity ever struggled as here? No!
Jesus, the seed of woman by means of Mary, yielded to the will of his Father in the words, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done!” All temptations are overcome in these simple, yet powerful words: “not my will, but thine, be done!” Thus, the Just one gave his life on behalf of the unjust! And “the story of salvation” continues through the sinless blood of the seed of woman; the ransom paid for man’s redemption!

— Frank R. Williams

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