Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jesus as the Kinsman Redeemer in Hebrews 2

This is probably pretty obvious, but I just noticed it.

I've always taken the argument in Hebrews 2 about Jesus being made human -- sharing in flesh and blood, and so being our "brother" -- mainly in an Adamic sense: Jesus is the second Adam who, to save the fallen children of the first Adam, needed to be made human.

And that's true enough, but I think the passage is more resonate than that.

As a result of Jesus sharing our blood and flesh, i.e., being our brother, Jesus is enabled "that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives" (Heb 2.14-15).

So here's the sort of "uh-duh" point: In Lev 25, if an Israelite becomes the slave of an alien, then a "brother" or "blood relative" can free him from slavery.

The thing is, though, that in order to redeem the slave, you need to be a "blood relative." So Jesus, in order to be our kinsman-redeemer, needed to partake of blood and flesh, so he would be our brother, and buy us out of our slavery to sin.


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