The Kinsman.

J. G. Bellett.

Article 20 of 47  Short Meditations

(Cavenagh, 1866.)

The Kinsman under the Law had to do two services to redeem either the person or the inheritance of his brother, if either had been sold to a stranger; to avenge the wrong done to his brother, whether (I may say) it were captivity or death.

These things are seen in Leviticus 25 and Numbers 35, where (as the Englishman's Hebrew Concordance shows us) the word for "kinsman," "redeemer," and "avenger" is the same.

This person, the Kinsman, was, as we most surely know, a type or a shadow of the Christ of God. In riches of grace, the Lord has undertaken these two services for us; ransoming us from the rightful, righteous claims of God by the sacrifice of Himself, and thus redeeming us and our inheritance; and likewise avenging us on the head of our enemy, delivering us from him who has the power of death.

Thus is it in the shadow and in the substance, in the type and in the original.

As far, however, as these legal ordinances teach us, as far as these writings of Moses instruct us, we see in the Christ of God only one of the human family, a brother, partaker of flesh and blood with the children, the seed of Abraham, His kindred. He must be that, or nothing could or would be done for us. The Christ of God must constitute Himself our Kinsman; and this He has done by incarnation, by taking on Him the human nature in and from the womb of the Virgin.

But as we go on, when we leave the Law for the Prophets, we get another fact; and it is this — that this Kinsman is "the Lord of Hosts," "Jehovah," "God." There, in the Psalms and Prophets, very abundantly, repeated again and again, taken up not as a truth to be proved, but as a fact assumed and built upon, various names of God are found in company with the word used under the Law for Kinsman.

There is something blessed in this — something, too, great, glorious, and magnificent. The mystery of the Person of the Christ is thus anticipated, and that, too, in the most artless and persuasive manner. The manhood and the Godhead are found in the one Person.

When we come to the New Testament, leaving the Law and the Prophets for the Evangelists and the Apostles, we get this same mystery, not however letting itself out in shadows and prophecies, and at different times and in various manners, but declared distinctly as a fact, and taught in its need and value. Evangelists tell us the fact, Apostles unfold to us the necessity and the value of the fact.

But what a sight this is! We may well turn aside and see it, for God Himself has shown it to us. "How can we sink with such a prop?" How can the throne of judgement, which weighs the claims of God and maintains the rights of righteousness, how can that throne deny the plea which faith pleads before it? It says "The great God is my Kinsman, and He has done a kinsman's service for me."

This is so. We are as righteously brought back to God by the blood of Christ, as we were, at the beginning, righteously banished from Him by our own sin. Adam was in the presence of God again, when he had heard and received the tidings of the bruised and bruising Seed of the Woman, with as righteous a title as afore, under a righteous sentence, he had been forced behind the trees of the garden. The Lord God Himself owned his title, making him a coat of skins and clothing him. The Woman's Seed was his Kinsman; flesh and blood with himself; and He was to stand up and do a Kinsman's part, avenging and redeeming him, dying and rising for him.

The mystery of the Kinsman has thus been revealed and, known from the very first. Other circumstances in the same earliest Book of Genesis illustrate it; and thus, though the ordinances of the Law, as we have already noticed, embodied and formally presented the duties of this personage, he was seen and known before the Law.

To pursue this a little further, we may observe, that in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Lord is presented to us both as Avenger and Redeemer; and He is shown to act in such characters in His full Person, as the God-man, Jehovah's Fellow and man's Kinsman.

In Hebrews 2, for instance, we see Him as our Avenger. Through death He destroys him that had the power of death, and delivers us who, through fear of death, were in bondage. This is the act of a Kinsman-avenger. But this same Scripture shows us that He did this service for us as the One who having been "the Son," "the Sanctifier," took flesh and blood with the children, and thus made Himself (Son though He were, Jehovah's Fellow,) our true and very Kinsman.

In Hebrews 10, we see Him as our Redeemer. He pays the ransom. He re-purchases us from Him who had full righteous claim to us and against us. By the one offering of Himself He perfects for ever them that are sanctified. But this He does also in the same Person. For He is seen in this same Scripture as One who could come, as in full personal independence, to the throne, and say, "Lo, I come;" and then, "without spot," and "through the Eternal Spirit," offer Himself. But a body was prepared for Him; a human body formed in the Virgin's womb, and taken therefrom; flesh and blood with the children. And thus, in this one Person, He has satisfied the altar, answered the demands of the throne, and purged the conscience of the believing sinner.

These are glorious notices of the Old Testament Kinsman found in the New. And they are found in that portion of it where we might naturally expect to find them — in that writing which the Spirit has addressed to believers of the Hebrew nation, the nation that had been under the law.

This is but little on such a blessed mystery — but I will say no more. — Jehovah's Fellow and man's Kinsman, in one Person, undertaking as the Christ, or under Divine commission and anointing, the cause of sinners, is the ground of everything.