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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

March 14, 2012

Hebrews 1:4-14, 2:1-18

I.     The book of Hebrews is like a lawyer arguing a point in a court of law. In this case the writer wants to show the Hebrews/Jews that Jesus must be what the law, prophets, and angels were pointing to. Up to this pointing the Book of Hebrews the writer has focused on how Divine Jesus was. The writer wanted his reader to see and understand the divine side of Jesus. The writer in chapter one started by stating that Jesus was the Word of God. Jesus was not a messenger like the prophets he was the message. When God spoke-- His words were Jesus. The writer also calls Jesus the Image of God or the exact reflection of God. The glory of God. He was like the sun rays that we see. Strong enough to give light, but not so bright that we are blinded. Jesus was enough God to be present with us without killing us. So the writer highlights the divinity of Jesus.

II.     Chapter 1:4-14. The writer states that because Jesus is divine he is greater than the angels. The writer quotes 8 scriptures to show that the Lord had been pointing to one who was not like man and greater than the angels all through scripture. The writer quotes Psalms 2:7, 2 Samuel 7:14, 1st Chronicles 17:13, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalms 104:4, Psalms 45:6-7, Psalms 102:25-27, and Psalms 110:1. By quoting these verses, the writer highlights that God has spoken about the Son in various places, but most likely the people didn’t even realize that God was speaking of the Christ. Some of these seemingly obscure text were actually foreshadows of the Lord. The purpose of these texts was so show that there was one who has been hinted to by Moses and the prophets who God spoke about that was greater than the angels and man.

III.     Chapter 1: 14-2:4. Since the angels are the creations of the divine, the divine must be greater than the things it creates. That is important because the Jews believed that the message of God was brought to man by messengers called angels. And they believed that those messages were binding. If they disobeyed a message that was delivered to a prophet through an angel, they would suffer punishment. So if Jesus is greater than the angels, his message is even more binding. If we obeyed the messages that were delivered unto the prophets by his messengers, how much more should we obey the message delivered straight from God without the use of a delivery service? So the writer in the first few verses of chapter 2 warn us not to drift away from what Jesus taught us. If we do there is nothing that we can do to save our souls. The writer says that if we ignore what Jesus said we would neglect or forfeit a great salvation. Jesus said you must be born again (John 3). Jesus also said you must believe and have faith in him if you want eternal life (John 1:12-13). If you do not respond to Jesus, God’s last word, then there is no other salvation in this present age. There is no other way to God. Jesus said himself recorded in John 14:6 “I am the way the truth and the life no man comes to the father but through Jesus Christ.”

IV.     Chapter 2:5-8. The writer of Hebrews has already outlined the divinity of Jesus, now he wants to make the case of the humanity of Jesus. The logic here is that there needed to be a mediator between a Holy God and a sinful world. That mediator that bridges this gulf between man and God had to be able to reach from God to humanity. That bridge had to be human and divine. The bridge had to be enough God so that he would not be rejected by a Holy God, and enough human as to be able to relate to the weakness of humanity. The bridge had to be enough human to reach towards man and enough God to reach towards heaven. What we are about to see in the text is that Jesus is that bridge. In verses 5-8, the writer quotes a portion of Psalm 8: 4-6. The writer is showing us what God had intended for man before our fellowship with God was broken in the garden. God did not give the world to the angels, but he gave the world to man. God originally gave man power and authority in the world. God told Adam and Eve to rule and reign over creation. If you read Genesis 1 verses 28-30, Adam and Eve were to rule and have dominion over creation. That was true until they were tricked by the devil and disobeyed God. They disobeyed God by elevating the creation over the creator. They wanted the fruit more than they wanted to obey God. When they sinned, they lost power, authority, and position. We were designed to rule over creation not creation rule us. We were designed to have fellowship with God and enjoy his provision for us. We were not designed to be outside of God’s care, and God’s love. We became subject to the stuff instead of the stuff being subjected to us. Originally we were able to rule and have dominion because we held the creator above the creation. Once we placed the creator on the same level as the creation and allowed creation to give us false happiness above God, we gave creation power to dictate how happy we would be or how sad we would be. The writer quotes Psalm 8 to show us what was God’s intent for humanity, that even though they are lower than the angels they were given authority in the beginning. Now when you get to verse 8, it says that even though God gave humanity dominion and authority it does not seem like it. Why because we have all sinned, and fallen short. Man is not where he should be. Man is separated from God and thus separated from God’s plan and power to live out that plan.

V.     Verse 9. The writer here says he sees two things. He sees man out of place with regards to where we should be, but in verse 9 he states that we see Jesus in position to get us back in place. The writer says in verse 9 that Jesus was made lower than the angels, but has been crowned with glory and honor above the angels.

VI.     Verses 10-16 explain how Jesus the divine Son of God was made like man to bridge the gap between a Holy God and a sinful man. Jesus had to become like man so he could carry the burden of sin for man. Jesus came and took the penalty of sin off the backs of the entire world and put it on himself so we would not have to, and in doing that he allowed us to take part in his victory. His victory over sin was our victory over sin. Jesus honored the law of God and he paid the penalty of man’s sin. He became what God required and what man needed. He did this by becoming a man and still being God. Jesus is the bridge that allows us access to God. The writer says that the one who makes holy and the ones who are made holy are of the same family meaning they are both of flesh and blood. God’s instrument of Salvation was wrapped in the same material of those who needed salvation.

VII.     Verse 17-18. The writer lets us know that the Jesus is the final mediator between man and God. The writer does not use the term bridge to describe what Jesus is but the writer uses the term high priest. We will discuss the role of the high priest in more detail later, but for our discussion today, the high priest is that person that talks to God on our behalf. Jesus is not only our restored bridge he is also our restored communication with God. With Jesus we are able to speak directly to God. Jesus is the connection between God and man. With Jesus we have someone who knows what God wants and what we need. Jesus knows all about our struggles, and he knows all about God power. He knows all about our sins and he knows all about God ways. He knows all about our troubles, and he knows all about God abilities. That is good news because with access to God through Jesus Christ we have all that we need.

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