atonement, bone marrow, conception, fetal development, genetics, Incarnation, iniquity, redemption
[This post is the final part of Chapter 1 of my book The Blood of Jesus Christ entitled “The Life of the Flesh”]
The Mystery of Iniquity
Not only did He make blood in such a way that it could transmit atonement; He also made it so that it could transmit sin. Acts 17:26 says that God “made of one blood all nations of men.” Technically speaking, mankind is a singular race. We all come from the one man Adam. Even the woman came from Adam’s blood.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Note the language of verse 23. Adam says that she is “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” We would expect him to say, “She is my flesh and blood.” But he doesn’t. He says flesh and bone. These expressions are equivalent. “Bone and flesh” is the Hebraic idiom that is analogous to our English “flesh and blood.” We will take a closer look at this in chapter nine. But from a physiological standpoint, we know that blood is manufactured in the bone marrow. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after the resurrection, He told them “handle me and see. A spirit hath not flesh and bone as ye see me have.” Not only did He spill His life’s blood on earth, He carried His immortal blood into the sanctuary in heaven where He continually makes intercession for us in the power of an endless life.
Because we come from the one blood Adam, we share in his sin. His sin was transmitted to us through the blood line because this is how God designed our race. He made us so that our iniquities could be passed down generationally. The Lord says that He will visit “the iniquity of the fathers upon the children…to the fourth generation.” This transmission of sin is built into the blood, hardwired into our genetic code. Why doesn’t iniquity cease after the fourth generation? Because more than likely, the fourth generation involves itself in sin as a result of the iniquity they bear. And thus, the sin problem perpetuates itself. None of us is immune. Adam’s rebellion and breech of covenant are as near to us today as if we had been Cain ourselves. This is why the psalmist says “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” This does not mean that David was illegitimate. It just means that we are all born in this condition. We are born in the condition of iniquity and sin because through one man, Adam, sin and death came upon us all.
Why does God allow iniquity to be passed down? Why should I bear the burden of my father’s sin? Though on the surface this seems very unfair, it is actually a mechanism of God’s mercy. He told Adam, “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” This is God’s judgment on all sin: death. Adam did die that day, but his physical and soul life were allowed to continue in the state of sin. God allowed the debt of that sin to be passed down generationally so that He wouldn’t have to exact it from Adam immediately. If He had, we wouldn’t be here. And He extends the same grace to us. Maybe your grandfather was an evil man. But if God killed him the minute he first sinned, where would you be? It is by allowing iniquity to bleed down through the generations that God mercifully keeps family lines alive, that He might save some.
The Word Became Flesh
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The Incarnation is the supreme mystery. How did God accomplish it? I don’t know. All I know is that He did. He miraculously “took part” that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest and make reconciliation for the sins of the people. And His entrance into the human race was as different from a natural conception as the new birth in us is different from our natural birth.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
If this is true of us, that we are born again of the will of God, surely it was true of the Only Begotten. He wasn’t born of blood or of the flesh or of the will of man. He didn’t come into being the way you and I came into being: by the decision making of a man, by the blood passing down of a man. No, He came to earth by the will of God, a will to which He has always been obedient.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
“Then said I, Lo, I come.” The Son volunteered for the job that bulls and goats couldn’t get done. The Father sent Him forth and the Spirit carried Him down to the womb of Mary so that the child born of her was called the Son of God. And yet, He was as much Mary’s son as He was God’s. He joined us. He fused Himself to His creation and took upon Him the form of man that He might redeem mankind. Yes, Mr. Devil, God is love.
The Mystery of Life
The Preacher wrote nearly three thousand years ago that the path of the spirit and the way bones are formed in the womb of a woman with child were unknown. Technology hasn’t changed the state of our ignorance; the best scientists can tell us is that it happens. They can’t tell us why it happens the way it does. God is Lord of the birthing process and some mysteries He has yet to reveal to us. But we do know this: the only difference between what we were at conception and what we are now is time and nutrition. All we are we were at conception. A fetus isn’t a subhuman cellular glob that can be gotten rid of like a tumor. It is as alive as you or I. And if it is anything, it is more—not less—complex.
A developing child has more organs than an adult. Due to the environment they grow in, they need special appendages to keep them alive as they grow. So a fetus not only has a heart, a brain, and lungs; it also has a placenta, an umbilical cord, and an amniotic sac. All these come from the baby, not the mother. The placenta is an intricate four-stage filter that allows the child to receive nourishment from the mother without receiving any of her blood! God designed fetal development is such a way that the mother’s blood never flows through the baby’s veins. From Creation, He fashioned the woman in a way that made it possible for Him to take up habitation in her and not receive any of Adam’s tainted blood. What a marvelous God we serve! The Word became flesh. And His blood, sinless, was kept intact and undefiled.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil…
The language in this verse is very exact. The children are “partakers,” Jesus “took part.” “Partakers” is in the Greek text koinoneo, to share in common. The children share in common blood and flesh. Jesus, on the other hand, took part. The word “likewise” in the Greek is paraplesios, “in a somewhat (though not altogether) similar manner.” This is why it says that He only took part. He shared in common with us His flesh. But His blood didn’t come from Adam. The flesh of Jesus of Nazareth had soul life not because a husband and wife came together, but because He willed to come into union with mankind. To paraphrase Genesis 2:7 with the Incarnation in view, the Father had prepared a body in Mary, the Holy Spirit had “breathed into it” the Son (the Christ), and Jesus became a living soul—a sinless soul untainted by Adam’s rebellion.
Jesus was tempted in all ways like as we are, yet without sin. He who knew no sin was made sin for us that we might be partakers of His righteousness. And what He gave to accomplish this was His nephesh, called pseuche in the Greek.
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life [pseuche] a ransom for many.
It was His soul life, the very life of His flesh that resided in His blood, which He gave for the ransom of many.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
The word translated “life” throughout this section of Scripture is pseuche. He laid down His soul and He picked it up again. He laid it down in death as His blood poured out for you and me. He took it up in the resurrection of His body by which He carried this life—this life of the flesh that is in the blood—all the way into the holiest of all in heaven.
Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. NKJV
 Luke 24:39
 Ex 34:7
 Ps 51:5
 Rom 5:12
 1 Tim 3:16
 John 6:57
 Luke 1:34-35
 Eph 3:8-11
 Eccl 11:5
 In the text, blood is mentioned first and is primary.
 As defined by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown.
 Heb 4:14-15
 2 Cor 5:21