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Jottings

In the beginning of the Hebrew epistle, in chapters 1 and 2, the full Deity of the Lord and His perfect Manhood are placed side by side. Paul, the writer of the Hebrews, says in chapter 8.1, "Now in the things which we are saying the chief point is this: We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." Yet, though it is the chief point of the writer, the high priesthood of the Lord, it is not the greatest truth of chapters 1-7. The greatest truths are those of the Lord's Godhead, in chapter 1, and His Manhood, in chapter 2. Why does Paul make the Lord's priesthood the chief point? Because as High Priest He is able to succour His tempted saints.

The great and grave danger in which the Hebrews stood was that of drifting away from the things that were heard, the words of the great salvation (Hebrews 2.1.4), and of refusing and turning away from Him that warneth from heaven (Hebrews 12.25-20). These words were spoken by Him who is God's Son (Hebrews 1.2) in contrast to the message of the prophets to the fathers, which was given in many parts and many ways. Hence the Lord was appointed a Priest by the word of the oath to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through Him, seeing "He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7. 25). The salvation of the saints from apostasy is particularly before the apostle in writing this epistle. Some had already fallen away and it was impossible to renew them again unto repentance (Hebrews 6.6), and others were showing a like disposition to give up the truth which they once held.

Love for the Person of the Lord ever precedes love for His word. Said the psalmist,

Oh how love I Thy law!

It is my meditation all the day" (Psalm 119.97).

Why did he love the law of the LORD? Because he loved the LORD of the law.

Therein was revealed to him the LORD his Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, in a measure and manner in which He was revealed nowhere else.

Though the Deity of the Lord is especially that which is dealt with in Hebrews 1, yet we have allusions to His Manhood, as, for instance, where it speaks of Him making purification of sins, and of His having become better than the angels (verses 8 and 4). In the former verse there is reference to His atoning death and in the latter there is implied the fact that He became lower than the angels in His incarnation (Hebrews 2.7, 9). In verses 8, 9 of chapter 1 we have also the Deity and the Humanity of the Lord in that God said of the Son,

Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever

And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom.

Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity;

Therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee

With the oil of gladness above Thy fellows."

If we had no other scripture than this, this would show us that Jesus Christ is God. He is not One whom God made a God, for God does not make Gods, as do men, perverted by the devil. There is one God. James 2.19 says, Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well." Though the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, these are not three Gods, but one God; one God in three Persons.

The statement that "God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows," shows the Lord in His Manhood. Whereas, in Zechariah 13.7, the Man who is Jehovah's Fellow shows His Deity, for the Lord is not above His Divine Fellows, the Father and the Holy Spirit; He is anointed above His human fellows, who were Peter and Andrew, James and John, and many, many others. The word (Metochoi) "fellows" is rendered "partners," in Luke 5. 7; it is fellows that make a fellowship, and partners that make a partnership.

Often in the same passage of Scripture we have the Deity and Humanity of the Lord side by side, as in that statement "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 1.8; Ephesians 1.3; 1 Peter 1.3). The Father of the Lord Jesus shows the eternal and ineffable relationship which ever existed between the eternal Father and His eternal Son, who is the only begotten Son of God. The God of the Lord Jesus implies the Lord's Manhood, in that He became flesh through the Virgin's body, becoming thus in the form of a bondservant, to be subject and obedient to His God whom He perfectly worshipped and served. These two lines of truth we should ever keep clear in our mind and thoughts, what the Lord ever was as the Son of God, and God the Son, and ever will be, co-equal with the eternal Father and the eternal Spirit, and what He became in consequence of His human birth as the Son of Man. It is our privilege to worship the same God as He, the Servant of Jehovah, worshipped, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The mode of His address to His Father in His sayings on the cross are not without significance. His first saying, when He sought forgiveness for those who slew Him was, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23.34), and His last saying as He was breathing His last was, Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit" (Luke 23.46). But when in the intense agony as the incarnate Christ, the Kinsman-Redeemer, whose soul was being made an offering for sin, He said, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27.46). As God's Servant, as outlined so accurately and graphically in Isaiah 53, He was bearing in His body our sins upon the cross. God in His intense holiness and justice was dealing with Him on account of sin.

The close association between His Godhead and His Manhood is also seen in Zechariah 13.7, which was partly quoted by the Lord shortly before His betrayal by Judas Iscariot (Matthew 26.31).

"Awake, 0 sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow, saith the LORD of Hosts : smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered."

Here is One whom Jehovah of Hosts calls His Fellow. Gesenius says that the Hebrew word used here, Amiyth, means "fellowship," and adds, "Zechariah 13.7, 'the Man of My fellowship,' i.e. My Fellow Companion." Such was the Lord, the Son of God, from eternity, and the close, intimate fellowship between the Father and the Son was as complete in the days of the Lord's earthly sojourn as when He sat on the throne of God before He came to earth. But, awful to think of, the sword of God was bidden to smite the Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, so that the sheep might be saved, the sheep that had gone astray. Here is seen the incarnate Christ laying down (Tithemi, to place or put), putting, His soul between His sheep and all danger. When He was arrested all His disciples scattered from Him, those whom He called "the sheep of the flock." He had many other sheep who were scattered already (John 11.52), but the sheep of the little flock remained with Him to the last and then they, too, were scattered abroad (Matthew 26.31), and the Lord was left to tread the rest of the road to Calvary alone, yet not alone, for He said,

"Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me " (John 16.32).

Does there not rise within us a flickering flame of love for Him who was alone, "from every human soul apart" ? Though we know we would not have done better than His faithful disciples then, yet there is that longing, however feeble, that we could have wished to have continued with Him, and been near to Him, through all His sorrows up to the cross, to comfort Him with our presence, if not by our words. But the Scripture must have fulfilment, so the sheep were scattered from the Shepherd, the Man who is Jehovah's Fellow.