2:14-18 The angels fell, and remained without hope or help. Christ never designed to be the Saviour of the fallen angels, therefore he did not take their nature; and the nature of angels could not be an atoning sacrifice for the sin of man. Here is a price paid, enough for all, and suitable to all, for it was in our nature. Here the wonderful love of God appeared, that, when Christ knew what he must suffer in our nature, and how he must die in it, yet he readily took it upon him. And this atonement made way for his people's deliverance from Satan's bondage, and for the pardon of their sins through faith. Let those who dread death, and strive to get the better of their terrors, no longer attempt to outbrave or to stifle them, no longer grow careless or wicked through despair. Let them not expect help from the world, or human devices; but let them seek pardon, peace, grace, and a lively hope of heaven, by faith in Him who died and rose again, that thus they may rise above the fear of death. The remembrance of his own sorrows and temptations, makes Christ mindful of the trials of his people, and ready to help them. He is ready and willing to succour those who are tempted, and seek him. He became man, and was tempted, that he might be every way qualified to succour his people, seeing that he had passed through the same temptations himself, but continued perfectly free from sin. Then let not the afflicted and tempted despond, or give place to Satan, as if temptations made it wrong for them to come to the Lord in prayer. Not soul ever perished under temptation, that cried unto the Lord from real alarm at its danger, with faith and expectation of relief. This is our duty upon our first being surprised by temptations, and would stop their progress, which is our wisdom.
14. He who has thus been shown to be the "Captain (Greek, 'Leader') of salvation" to the "many sons," by trusting and suffering like them, must therefore become man like them, in order that His death may be efficacious for them [Alford].
the children—before mentioned (Heb 2:13); those existing in His eternal purpose, though not in actual being.
are partakers of—literally, "have (in His purpose) been partakers" all in common.
flesh and blood—Greek oldest manuscripts have "blood and flesh." The inner and more important element, the blood, as the more immediate vehicle of the soul, stands before the more palpable element, the flesh; also, with reference to Christ's blood-shedding with a view to which He entered into community with our corporeal life. "The life of the flesh is in the blood; it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Le 17:11, 14).
also—Greek, "in a somewhat similar manner"; not altogether in a like manner. For He, unlike them, was conceived and born not in sin (Heb 4:15). But mainly "in like manner"; not in mere semblance of a body, as the Docetæ heretics taught.
took part of—participated in. The forfeited inheritance (according to Jewish law) was ransomed by the nearest of kin; so Jesus became our nearest of kin by His assumed humanity, in order to be our Redeemer.
that through death—which He could not have undergone as God but only by becoming man. Not by Almighty power but by His death (so the Greek) He overcame death. "Jesus suffering death overcame; Satan wielding death succumbed" [Bengel]. As David cut off the head of Goliath with the giant's own sword wherewith the latter was wont to win his victories. Coming to redeem mankind, Christ made Himself a sort of hook to destroy the devil; for in Him there was His humanity to attract the devourer to Him, His divinity to pierce him, apparent weakness to provoke, hidden power to transfix the hungry ravisher. The Latin epigram says, Mors mortis morti mortem nisi morte tu lisset, Æternæ vitæ janua clausa foret. "Had not death by death borne to death the death of Death, the gate of eternal life would have been closed".
destroy—literally, "render powerless"; deprive of all power to hurt His people. "That thou mightest still the enemy and avenger" (Ps 8:2). The same Greek verb is used in 2Ti 1:10, "abolished death." There is no more death for believers. Christ plants in them an undying seed, the germ of heavenly immortality, though believers have to pass through natural death.
power—Satan is "strong" (Mt 12:29).
of death—implying that death itself is a power which, though originally foreign to human nature, now reigns over it (Ro 5:12; 6:9). The power which death has Satan wields. The author of sin is the author of its consequences. Compare "power of the enemy" (Lu 10:19). Satan has acquired over man (by God's law, Ge 2:17; Ro 6:23) the power of death by man's sin, death being the executioner of sin, and man being Satan's "lawful captive." Jesus, by dying, has made the dying His own (Ro 14:9), and has taken the prey from the mighty. Death's power was manifest; he who wielded that power, lurking beneath it, is here expressed, namely, Satan. Wisdom 2:24, "By the envy of the devil, death entered into the world."