JESUS HELPED MAN AND NOT THE FALLEN ANGELS
Heb 2:16 KJV For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
The word verily actually ought to be read assuredly or truly that is without any doubt.
“Moreover, he doth not at all take hold of angels; but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold”. This is the marginal reading, and is greatly to be preferred to that in the text. Jesus Christ, intending not to redeem angels, but to redeem man, did not assume the angelic nature, but was made man, coming directly by the seed or posterity of Abraham, with whom the original covenant was made, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed; and it is on this account that the apostle mentioned the seed of Abraham, and not the seed of Adam.
Gen 12:3 KJV And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
The Greek word used for “take hold” is “epilambanomai” It means:
to take in addition, to lay hold of, take possession of, overtake, attain, attain to
to lay hold of or to seize upon anything with the hands, to take hold of, lay hold of
to rescue one from peril, to help, succour
to seize (for help, injury, attainment or any other purpose; literally or figuratively): – catch, lay hold (up-) on, take (by, hold of, on).
The word itself signifies not only to take hold of, but to help, succour, save from sinking. The general idea is that of seizing upon, or laying hold of anyone – no matter what the object is – whether to aid, or to drag to punishment, or simply to conduct. Here it means to lay hold with reference to “aid,” or “help;”
The rebelled angels, who sinned and fell from God, were permitted to fall down, all down, till they fell into perdition: man sinned and fell, and was falling down, all down, but Jesus laid hold on him and prevented him from falling into endless perdition. Thus he seized on the falling human creature, and prevented him from falling into the bottomless pit but he did not seize on the falling angels, and they fell down into outer darkness.
By assuming the nature of man, he prevented this final and un-recoverable fall of man; and by making an atonement in human nature, he made a provision for its restoration to its forfeited blessedness. This is a fine thought of the apostle, and is beautifully expressed.
Man was falling from heaven, and Jesus caught hold of the falling creature, and prevented its endless ruin. In this respect he prefers men to angels, and probably for this simple reason, that the human nature was more excellent than the angelic; and it is suitable to the wisdom of the Divine Being to regard all the works of his hands in proportion to the dignity or excellence with which he has endowed them.
Why should the apostle say that Christ came to help the seed of Abraham; and not the seed of Adam? The reason is, he was writing to persons zealous of the law, and who could not bear the notion of the Gentiles being admitted to equal privileges with themselves. Therefore, under the words the seed of Abraham, (which, in St. Paul’s language, implied all that were of faith, be they of what nation soever,) he artfully, and without giving offense to the Hebrews, expresses the full truth. Abraham was the father of all them that believe, Rom 4:11 and in this sense is the expression here used, to take in all that followed the faith of Abraham, whether they were Jews or Gentiles.
Gal 3:29 KJV And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Rom 2:29 KJV But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
The expression “seed of Abraham” is, as a generic term, descriptive of the whole family of faith. Believers of Jews and Gentiles are comprehended in this term. They that are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Why did Christ come to the help of lost men in preference to that of lost angels? Seeing that both were fallen, both were in a state of sin and misery, and neither were able to save themselves, nor had any claim upon his pity and power, why did the Divine Being determine to raise and restore lost men, while leaving lost angels in darkness and ruin?
God created man in His own image with His eternal purpose of bringing Himself into man so that man will have His Spirit and eternal life. He was created a little lower than Elohim (Heb 2: 7) and was given total and absolute dominion over all of God’s creation on the earth Gen 1: 26-28.
When man fell because of the temptation of Satan Gen 3, he took on the nature of the devil and became subjected to the devil and sin Rom 6: 16. He could not rescue himself and it would be unjust for God to intervene because Satan took the authority legally (Lk 4: 6) and if it has to be taken from him, it has to be done legally. More so the eternal purpose in the mind of God has been affected by the sin of Adam. Yet the eternal purpose must be fulfilled because God’s gift and calling are without repentance Rom 11: 29.
The result of man’s sin was death; physical and spiritual but culminated in physical death.
Rom 5:12 KJV Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
This has become a burden for man. Death had dominion over all men (Rom 5: 12). The fear of death has kept man in bondage. But Jesus in order to rescue man took on the nature of man and tasted death once for all and by His death paralyzed the one that has the power of death (Heb 2: 14) thus delivering mankind from the dominion and fear of death.
Heb 2:14-15 KJV 14 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.
The real reason why He took on the nature of man to rescue man is because of fear of death mankind has been subjected to.
Heb 2:15 KJV And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Jewish saints in the Old Testament, believing the promise and expecting the Messiah, were in bondage and in fear of death. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law,” but the death of Christ once for all to sin has received the sting and brought to nought him who has the power of death. A believer is delivered from the fear of death, for he no longer dies the sinner’s death, but falls asleep in Jesus and with the promise to awake in due time in His likeness.
Our emancipation from bondage to this fear is accomplished by ‘the destruction of him that had the power of death, that is, the devil’. The devil was considered to be the counsel for the prosecution, the embodiment of an accusing conscience. Death was looked upon as the result of the primal curse, as separation from God and from all good on account of sin; a just and true view.
The devil had the power of death in the sense in which the state has the power of the sword to inflict punishment on evildoers. The devil used the common idea of death to terrify and appall and separate from all hope in God. The Jew was haunted with such visions as Zechariah had when he saw the high priest himself clothed in filthy garments.
The term “who were all their lifetime subject to bondage”; meaning chiefly God’s elect among the Jews; for though all men are in a state of bondage to the lusts of the flesh, and are Satan’s captives; yet this describes more particularly the state of the Jews, under the law of Moses, which gendered unto bondage; which they being guilty of the breach of, and seeing the danger they were exposed to on that account, were subject, bound, and held fast in and under a spirit of bondage: and that “through fear of death”; through fear of a corporeal death; through fear of chastisements and afflictions, the forerunners of death, and what sometimes bring it on; and through fear of death itself, as a disunion of soul and body, and as a penal evil; and through fear of what follows it, an awful judgment: and this the Jews especially were in fear of, from their frequent violations of the precepts, both of the moral, and of the ceremonial law, which threatened with death; and this they lived in a continual fear of, because they were daily transgressing, which brought on them a spirit of bondage unto fear
This was the sting of the serpent; but in Christ the primeval promise was fulfilled, the serpent’s head was crushed. The devil’s weapon is struck from his hand. He can no longer persuade the children of God that death means separation from God and entrance upon a life of suffering.
Angels are spirits that cannot die and so had no need to be delivered from such. Their nature is immortal.
The fallen angels cooperated with Satan. We attach much greater guilt to one who commits a crime with little or no temptation, than we do to one who commits the same crime under the influence of powerful temptation. Now, Satan was not tempted to sin by any force without himself. He originated it and those fallen angels participated. However, man was lured and seduced even though he was without light and understanding being in his innocence.
In the original purpose of God, Jesus was a lamb slain from the foundation of the world and that purpose was for the man that would be created. When it happened that man eventually fell, God was not shocked and reacted, everything was still working together in line with eternal purpose. It is through Jesus that many sons would be brought into glory by the adoption of the Holy Spirit. God loves man.
Heb 2:10 KJV 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.
Gal 4:5 KJV To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Eph 1:5 KJV Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
The only way to respond to this eternal love of God is to receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.