The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 43 of 249
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"Reckoning" the link that makes us "One".
pp. 24, 25
It will now be necessary to pause, and consider what has passed before us and what
lies ahead, and to observe any changes that are of importance. At first we may be so
overwhelmed by the grace exhibited at the coming of Christ at Bethlehem, as to be ready
to endorse the teaching, put forth by some, that at the Incarnation God not only came to
be "with us" but that we also came to be joined "with Him". Before we go further into
this line of teaching we must pay attention to the meaning of two Greek prepositions,
the use of which in this teaching is of vital importance. The word translated "with" in the
name "God with us", is the Greek preposition meta, and this is the word translated "with"
and "among" in the two passages that tell us that "He was numbered with the
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 being 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 "Meta-physics", 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 Christ was
perfect MAN, that did not make all mankind "one" with God, for the fact that Christ was
PERFECT Man, sinless, holy, harmless, undefiled, made Him, at the same time,
"separate from sinners" not "one" with sinners. The very Incarnation that brought Him
so near to man, emphasized the gulf that existed, and which could not be 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 the second chapter of Philippians, 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).