Reading Reflection:

An Exposition of Hebrews, Arthur W. Pink (20th printing, 2004, Baker Books)

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Heb. 10:5-10).

I am plodding through Pink’s commentary for my women’s Bible study on Hebrews. There are so many pauses for reflection in this passage! We see in this quotation from Psalm 40, Jesus Christ speaking to his Father when he condescended to earth in the form of a servant, made under the law. Whoa! We can glean so much from these verses. What blows my mind is that from the very beginning, Christ’s heart was joyfully set on the redemption of his people. He didn’t merely passively obey God’s will, but was motivated by the love with which he made the eternal covenant of redemption with his Father. Pink reflects:

As in all our obedience there are two principal ingredients to the true and right constitution of it, namely the matter of the obedience itself, and the principle and foundation of it in us; whereof the one, the apostle calls the ‘deed,’ the other ‘the will’ (2 Cor. 8:11)—which latter God accepts in us, oftentimes without, always more than, the deed or matter of obedience itself—even so in Christ’s obedience, which is the pattern and measure of ours, there are those two eminent parts which complete it. First, the obedience itself, and the worth and value of it in that it is His—so great a person’s. Second, the willingness, the readiness to undertake and the heartiness to perform it. The dignity of His person gave the value and merit to the obedience performed by Him. But the will, the zeal in His performance gives the acceptance, and hath besides a necessary influence into the worth of it, and the virtue and efficacy of it to sanctify us. All of which you have in Heb. 10:7-10 (549).

In this chapter, Pink argues that these holy principles guided Christ since infancy. Since he was not corrupted by original sin, his heart was directed to the notion of God and his glory from the beginning. And as soon as he was able to reason, “His will was guided to direct its aim and intentions to God as His Father, from Himself as the Mediator” (553). Imagine Christ’s early thoughts being consumed with our justification and separation unto him, growing more and more as he matured into manhood. I don’t think I’ve thought so much about the meritoriousness of Christ’s work as a child. And yet, Pink shows how the 22nd Psalm reveals how early our Savior was dedicated to God:

But You are He who took me out of the womb; You made me trust while on my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From my mother’s womb You have been my God (v. 8, 9).

My heart rejoiced as I read Pink’s follow-up: “O my brethren and sisters, prostrate your souls in adoration before this Holy One, who from the very first instant after He entered this world was unreservedly dedicated and consecrated to God, owning Him, relying wholly upon Him” (554).

From the beginning of his human thoughts, Jesus Christ desired to actualize his Father’s will to bring his people into holy, perfect, loving relationship with him for eternity.

“Lo” Behold! a word signalizing what a glorious spectacle was then presented to God, to angels, and to men. “I come” from Heaven to earth, from “the form of God” to the “form of a servant;” come forth like the rising of the sun, with light and healing in his wings, or as a giant rejoicing to run his race. To “do Thy will,” to perform Thy counsels, to execute what Thou requirest, to render that entire service of love which Thy people owed unto the law, to perform the great work of redemption (558).

How truly marvelous and blessed that it pleased the Holy Spirit (the Divine Secretary of Heaven, and recorder of the everlasting covenant) to write down for our learning the very words which the Son uttered to His Father at the moment when He condescended to take our nature and become incarnate! Equally wonderful is it that we are permitted to hear the very words which the Father addressed to the Son on His return to Heaven: “The Lord said to My Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool” (Ps. 110:1) (551).

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4 Comments

I would expect Pink to

I would expect Pink to disagree with Wright's explanation, and rightly so as there cannot be any increase in the thought capacity of the Son of God, even when veiled in human form, because this would have removed His deity. Jesus Christ was perfect in every manner, beyond that which we can comprehend. Corruption limits us to knowledge, even right knowledge. Jesus Christ knew no corruption, and was perfectly Divine, knew all things perfectly, even to the mind of God, which know man can know, that that which we do know is really knowing.

Christ knew the perfect mind of God, every facet, because He was God manifest in the flesh, an incomprehensible thing, yet a fact. It is staggering that God, the vastness of God, who fills time, space, and eternity, can contract to a span to become man. Amazing!

"It seems so unnatural to be

"It seems so unnatural to be guided by holy principles in the 'terrible twos,' but it is actually the other way around. We are the ones that are corrupted by sin."

Oh my word but that was good, Aimee!

I haven't read Wright's

I haven't read Wright's explanation of it. Pink does say that Christ's thoughts and actions were more and more focused to our justification as his capacity for reasoning increased. We see the very first words of Christ recorded in Scripture, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49). Here he was only 12 years old.
I've been thinking about his motives being to glorify God from the beginning. Without the corruption of original sin, that would have been our notion as well. Just think of a two-year-old wanting to glorify God, instead of their proclivity for MINE! It seems so unnatural to be guided by holy principles in the "terrible twos," but it is actually the other way around. We are the ones that are corrupted by sin.

Your Hebrews study sounds

Your Hebrews study sounds like a great ride, Aimee. This part about Jesus being completely dedicated to the Father's will reminds me of a passage I read in one of NT Wright's books. Wright posits that Jesus came to understand his nature as God the Son as he grew up. I can't imagine Pink agreeing with Wright, but thoguht you'd have more insight into this.

Thanks,
Tim

P.S. I read Pink's Sovereignty of God years (more like decades) ago. Great book.