His Humanity Subject to Death
Paul emphasized this point when he described how Jesus "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" (Philippians 2:8). Notice that it was only after He was made in fashion as a man that He could become "obedient to death." His divinity was not subject to death, therefore He could not live here and die as God. He had to assume a nature that could die. ^e atonement for sin would have been totally impossible had He not been born with the only nature that could be "obedient unto death," Adam's fallen nature. ^is is why the Scriptures also teach, "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham" (Hebrews 2: 16).
why did He not come with the nature of angels? Because they, like Adam, had been created with a conditional immortality, and were not subject to death unless or until they sinned. Christ could not have paid the price for sin as an angel because He could not have died. Neither could He make atonement as an unfallen Adam, because He could not have died in that nature either. He had to come as the "seed of Abraham."
The seed of Abraham consisted only and entirely of those who were subject to death because of Adam's sin. Had Christ taken the pre-fall nature of Adam, He could never have suffered the required death for our sins unless He had first sinned, and sin would have disqualified Him from being our saviour.
Again, I say we are locked into the limitations that the pre-fall nature requires. Jesus made it very clear that He was submitting to live in this world as a man and not as God. But limiting Himself to the condition of humanity, Jesus could draw from His Father only those powers and advantages which are available to others living in the flesh. Repeatedly Christ stated that He could say nothing and do nothing that was not given Him by the Father.
In other words, Jesus did not capriciously shift back and forth between
His divine and human natures in order to escape the exigencies of this earthly life. He accepted the dangers, rebuffs and sufferings imposed by His living as a man. Satan constantly sought to goad Him into using His divinity to deliver Himself from certain situations, and it must have been the Master's strongest test not to call upon His own omnipotence during those excruciating final hours of His life on earth. Had He done so, the plan of salvation would have failed. Even in His death, he had to submit to the conditions imposed by His human nature.
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