Christ’s Sacred Humanity

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JM

Puritan Board Doctor
On the subject Christ’s humanity and the blessings of God in the flesh J.C. Philpot writes;

“…the sacred humanity of our adorable Redeemer is that in that nature he learnt the experimental reality of temptation and suffering, and thus became able to sympathise with his tempted and afflicted people. It was necessary under the law that the high priest “should have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way, for that he himself also was compassed with infirmity.” Heb 5:2. Our great High Priest was not compassed with infirmity, like the high priest under the law. and therefore had no need to offer sacrifice for his own sins; Heb 5:3; but that he might be “a merciful” as well as “faithful” high priest-faithful to God and merciful to man, “it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he might be able to succour them that are tempted.” Heb 2:17,18. “We have not, therefore, a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Heb 4:15.

Here we see the wisdom and grace of the Father in preparing, and the love and pity of the Son in assuming a nature like our own, sin only excepted, that he might have a real experience of every form of suffering and of temptation. Those only can feel for others in trouble and sorrow who themselves have walked in the path of tribulation; nor can any one really sympathise with the tempted but those who have themselves been in the furnace of temptation. Thus our blessed Lord became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; hid not his face from shame and spitting; endured poverty, hunger, thirst, and nakedness; was betrayed by one disciple, denied by another, and forsaken by all; was oppressed and was afflicted, not only as a part of his meritorious, suffering obedience, but that by a personal experience in his holy humanity of sorrow and affliction he might sympathise with his mourning, afflicted people. And as with affliction, so with temptation; the gracious Redeemer endured every sort of temptation which Satan could present to his holy soul, for “in all points he was tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” Heb 4:15, that he might feel for and sympathise with the tempted.

But this is not all. The blessed Redeemer had not only to sympathise with the sorrows and temptations, but experimentally to learn the graces of his believing people. He had therefore to learn obedience in the same way that they learn it, for “he learnt obedience by the things which he suffered;” Heb 5:8; was taught in the school of affliction the inward experience of submission to God’s will, meekness under injury and oppression, and lowliness of heart as a heavenly grace. Therefore he could say, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Mt 11:29. Let us not think that the blessed Lord had no inward experience in his holy soul of spiritual graces, or that his divine nature supplied to his human the grace of the Holy Ghost. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit that was given him without measure, Joh 3:34, who not only anointed him as Prophet, Priest, and King, but dwelt in him in all his fullness, bestowed upon him every spiritual grace, as faith, trust, hope, love, prayer and supplication, patience, long-suffering, zeal for the glory of God, and with all spiritual wisdom and understanding, all counsel and might, all heavenly knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Isa 11:1,2. All these gifts and graces dwelt in his sacred humanity [If space admitted, we could easily show from those Psalms in which, beyond all controversy, Christ speaks that all the graces which we have here enumerated dwelt in him and were expressed by him. Let our spiritual readers examine Ps 18 Ps 22 Ps 40 Ps 69, all of which the most indubitable external and internal evidence assigns to Christ, with an eye to this particular point, and trace it for themselves.] and were drawn into exercise by the Holy Ghost, so that the blessed Lord believed, hoped, and loved; prayed, sighed, and groaned; trusted in God and lived a life of faith in him, just in the same manner and by the same Spirit and power, though in an infinitely higher degree, and wholly unmixed with sin, as his believing people do now. So that just in the same way as his sacred body was fed and nourished by the same food as ours, so was his holy soul sustained by the same communications of grace and strength as maintain in life the souls of his people now.

Thus he learnt experimentally not only their trials and temptations, their griefs and sorrows, both natural and spiritual, but their joys and deliverances, their manifestations, their waiting, hope, their trusting confidence, their patient expectation, their obedient submission, and in a word, the whole compass of their experience. [Thus in reading David’s deliverances and blessings, though we know that they were really David’s, and truly felt and acknowledged by him as such, yet we may often say, "A greater than David was here." Thus compare Ps 18:16-19 with Ps 18:43,44] If any think it is derogatory to the Deity of our blessed Lord, to believe that he had a spiritual experience of the same graces that his people have, for being God, they might argue he could not need them, let them explain why his body needed human food, or why his soul had an experience of sorrow and temptation. Could not his divine nature, as in the wilderness, have supported the human without food? And is it not equally derogatory to say that the blessed Lord had an experience of affliction and temptation, as of joy and deliverance? As our great Exemplar, as our suffering Head, the blessed Lord was delivered as well as tempted, rejoiced in spirit as well as sighed and wept, was made glad with the light of his Father’s countenance as well as felt the hidings of his face. [Our blessed Lord had no experience of regeneration or of repentance: for the one is the quickening of the soul out of death, and the other implies the existence of sin. These two things are to be carefully distinguished from his experience of faith, trust. &c.]”
 
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