An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 5 - Dispensational Truth - Page 278 of 328
Meta `with' is a preposition of association, and not of actual oneness.
It consequently is sometimes translated `among' and `after', indicating
association rather than union.  When the angel said `Why seek ye the living
among the dead?' (Luke 24:5) the word `among' is meta.  There can be no idea
of `union' with the dead read into this question.  When we read that the Lord
was `with' the wild beasts while enduring the forty days testing in the
wilderness (Mark 1:13), it is `association' not `unity' that is implied.  It
will be remembered that Aristotle named a treatise `Physics' and followed it
by a second which he called `Metaphysics', those things that follow, and go
beyond the range of mere physical science.  Meta means `with', but with, in
association with, in a series, not with, in union and oneness.
At the Incarnation, God was manifested in the flesh, but even though He
was perfect Man, that did not make all mankind `one' with God, for He was
Perfect Man, sinless, holy, harmless, undefiled, and so `separate from
sinners' not `one' with sinners.  The very Incarnation that brought Him so
near to man, emphasized the gulf that existed, and which was not bridged by
the fact of His human birth.  The good Samaritan came where the wounded man
was, and he showed what the word `neighbour' implied, but the good Samaritan
did not, and could not, take the place of the wounded man; he could not be
`wounded for' him, and in this lies the problem which we are now facing.
Consequently we are prepared for a further movement by the God of all grace.
In Philippians 2, we see the Lord coming down from the heights of equality to
the `form of a slave' and the `fashion as a man', down beyond incarnation to
`death, even the death of the cross'.  It is here where true union begins and
the exactness of Scripture in its choice of prepositions is demonstrated.  In
Mark 15:28 we arrive at the last use of `meta' so far as the Person and Work
of Christ is concerned, until after His resurrection; He was numbered `with'
the transgressors.  The verse which precedes this passage in Mark introduces
the new preposition sun `together with' in the statement `and With Him they
crucify two thieves' (Mark 15:27).
Meta indicates `proximity' but sun indicates `conjunction' and implies
something in common, union, and the compound verb sustauroo `to crucify with'
meets us for the first time (Matt. 27:44; Mark 15:32; John 19:32).  And be it
noted, the same word sustauroo is used by the apostle Paul to indicate the
first of a series of links that unites the believer for ever with His Lord.
`I am crucified with Christ' (Gal. 2:20).
`Our old man is crucified with Him' (Rom. 6:6).
At the birth at Bethlehem, Christ became Emmanuel `God with us', where
meta indicates the limits of this blessed proximity of God to man, but at the
cross, the believing sinner becomes one `with Christ' and now the preposition
of union and oneness, sun, is employed.  From this initial union there arises
a wonderful doctrine found only in the epistles of Paul, the first rung of
the ladder being `crucified with Christ', the last being `manifest with Him'
in Glory.  The Emmanuel aspect of Christ's association with man was by
`birth', but the closer union at the cross was by `reckoning'.  The same word
is translated `numbered' in Mark 15:28 and `reckoned' in Luke 22:37.  It is
the Greek logizomai.  The only way in which the holy, spotless One could be
`one' with sinful man was by being `reckoned' so.  The only way in which
corrupted sinful men could be `one' with Christ, was by being `reckoned' so.
Apart from James 2:23 and 1 Peter 5:12 and the Gospels and Acts 19:27
logizomai is found in Paul's epistles where it occurs thirty -five times.
The epistle of this `reckoning' is Romans.  In Romans 4:3 we read, `it was
counted unto him for righteousness', a reward not being `reckoned of grace'