Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blogging Through Hebrews: Hebrews 2:10-18

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying,

“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”
And again,
“Behold, I and the children God has given me.”

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
(Hebrews 2:10-18)
The perfecting work of the suffering of the Savior. That is the real key to these verses and there is not much that better captures the upside-down nature of the Kingdom than the suffering of the King, the Creator giving Himself over to suffering for the sake of His creatures. I loved the imagery invoked of flesh and blood. We refer to our family as our own flesh and blood and by the shedding of His blood and the breaking of His body we are partakers of them and in doing so we gain the benefits that include adoption, redemption, regeneration, propitiation, justification and glorification. He defeated

What a wonderful thing to contemplate, that Jesus our Savior is not ashamed to be associated with His sheep and even to recognize them as family. The intimate way that the church is described: as brothers of Christ, joint-heirs, sons and daughters, the Bride of Christ tells us much about how much Jesus values us and how saving His church brings Him glory and joy. Not just that but Jesus is not some cold, impersonal far off God but a God who understands our suffering, our weakness and our temptation because He was also tempted, made weak and endured suffering. Unlike the false gods of Islam, mormonism and all the rest of the world’s religion, Jesus alone is a God who is both God and man, the hypostatic union that defies understanding but gives us unspeakable joy.

This phrase jumped out at me: deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery . What an interesting and accurate way to describe those outside of Christ. Nothing frightens those without the hope of eternal life like death. The finality and inevitability of it terrifies men and enslaves them in fear. The freedom that comes in Christ that Paul spoke of in Philippians 1:21 should liberate Christians. It is troubling that many people who profess to follow Christ seem as fearful of death as those without hope.

I really loved this section. Not that I didn’t love the rest but what a theologically rich and incredibly comforting section of Scripture this was. I am liking this approach to Hebrews, it is like a sumptuous meal that is best eating one small course at a time, the better to savor it. Wait scratch that, that was far too flowery.

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