The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 73

The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Vol. 73


March 10, 1896

The Christ of Judea - 1


W. W. Prescott

In Hebrews 3:1 we read: “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” There is really but one subject for the Christian to consider, and that is Christ Jesus. But the subject is a large one, and two phases of it are brought up in this text,-the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. ARSH March 10, 1896, page 152.1

The Apostle of our profession. An apostle is one who is sent forth with a commission, and Christ Jesus was sent of God to this world. We read of it in John 3:17: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” We read also in chapter 5:30, last clause, “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Christ, the High Priest of our profession, who ministers in heaven for us, is the Christ for to day. He is the Apostle of our profession, Christ Jesus, the Christ of Judea, the Christ who was sent of God to this world, and it is he that we shall consider now. How did he come? Let us read Luke 2:10, 11: “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” That is, the Christ of Judea, our Saviour, came into this world just as we came into this world, by birth. The Saviour was born unto us. This was the fulfilment of the prophecy in Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” He gave his only begotten Son unto us. Unto us a son is given, and he was given to us, by being born into our family, by taking our humanity upon himself by his birth. ARSH March 10, 1896, page 152.2

Christ might have come to this world in the glory of the Father, but be did not come to be our Saviour as one outside of us, separated from us; he came to be one with us. And it is our study now to bring out the completeness with which Jesus Christ identified himself with the human family which he came to save. This is the only corner of God’s universe where the inhabitants are out of harmony with God. This is the only place in God’s universe where his will has not been done by created intelligences as it is done in heaven; and God, when he devised the plan of salvation for the human family in the days of eternity, provided that there should be a Saviour, even his own Son, who should come and completely and fully identify himself with those whom he came to save. This is the thought that we wish to emphasize now, Behold the man, Christ Jesus. ARSH March 10, 1896, page 152.3

How did he completely identify himself with those he came to save?-By being one with them, and one of them; by being brought into the family just as any other member is brought in, by birth. And so Jesus Christ of Judea came here, and joined this family by birth. He was a member of the divine family, that family of the Father of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. But he gave up his divine mode of existence, and came to this world, and took upon himself the human mode of existence. We read farther of this in the second chapter of Hebrews: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” ARSH March 10, 1896, page 152.4

Jesus Christ was perfect as the Son of God, but when he came here and took upon himself our human nature, he entered upon a new mode of existence: and as the Son of man, he was to be made perfect as we are made perfect, through suffering. “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.” This is the complete identification of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, with us in our humanity. “For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 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 death, that is, the devil.” Observe the simplicity and yet the clearness of the statement: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood.” We know what that means, that is our mode of existence; and as he came to save us and lift us up, “he also himself likewise took part of the same,”-the same flesh and the same blood,-“that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” He became identified with us, subjected to death with us, for this very purpose. “And deliver them, who through fear of death were all the lifetime subject to bondage. 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 behooved 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.” How could the thought be set before us more clearly that Jesus Christ identified himself with us, by partaking of our flesh and blood and becoming one with us, a member of the human family, just as we are? ARSH March 10, 1896, page 152.5

Adam lost God’s image and begat sons and daughters in his image rather than in the image of God. God’s purpose is that man shall be born again in his image; and he made a provision for this by Jesus Christ’s coming into the world. So he came and joined himself to humanity, that the divine power in him might raise humanity to the place where God designed it should be. He came and connected himself with humanity, and reached out his hand and lifted us up. He became his one with us, and in his lifting up, we were lifted up. So we are what a complete identification there is between Christ, our Saviour, and man, who was to it saved. ARSH March 10, 1896, page 152.6

It was the Word becoming flesh. The Scripture does not leave us in uncertainty as to what kind of flesh and blood this was. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” The flesh that Jesus Christ took when he came here was the only flesh that any one could take by being born of a woman, and that was the flesh of sin. No other flesh could be given. It was impossible that one should be born at that time into the human family, and become a member by birth, without taking flesh of sin. When God made man, he made him in his likeness, he was on an elevated plane, and when he fell, he not only changed his plane of living, but in the fall he became bruised and broken and powerless. Jesus Christ came to lift him up, not by standing aloof and giving him good advice, but by identifying himself with man. He did not take the likeness of man just as Adam was before he fell, but he came down to the very plane to which man had fallen, and identified himself with him, and took upon himself the flesh of sin. w. w. p. ARSH March 10, 1896, page 152.7

(To be continued.)