TruthInvestigate

“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hebrews chapter two

Heb 2:1  Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Heb 2:2  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

Heb 2:3  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

Heb 2:4  God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Heb 2:5  For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

Heb 2:6  But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Heb 2:7  Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

Heb 2:8  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Heb 2:11  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Heb 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Heb 2:13  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

Heb 2:14  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;

Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Heb 2:18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
 
 
Of verse 10 the SDA Bible commentary says something beautiful:

Christ reached His exalted state through the pathway of suffering. It was His “suffering of death” (vs.9) that constituted Him a savior and enabled Him to be the captain leading many sons to glory. The sufferings of temptation enabled Him to be “a merciful and faithful high priest,” “able to succor them that are tempted” (see on vs. 17,18). Had Christ come to this world and spent His allotted time in peace and contentment, guarded by heavenly angels and protected from the hazards and temptations common to man, He would not have been perfected for His office. He would have had no opportunity to demonstrate what He would do under pressure. Had He not been tempted in all points, men would have wondered what He would do if He were really hungry, tired out, sick; what He would do if men should revile Him, curse Him, spit upon Him, scourge Him, and at last hang Him on a cross. Would He still retain His composure and pray for His enemies? If those who He trusted should forsake Him, deny Him, betray Him, and desert Him in His supreme hour, would He undiscouraged, commit Himself to God? If, as a climax, God Himself should appear to forsake Him, and the horror of darkness envelop Him and nearly crush Him, would He still drink the cup or would He draw back? Such questions men would ask if He had been shielded from temptations and suffering.

This whole chapter is about Christ being the perfect mediator. Thus, in order for Him to be able to represent us before God, God must require His Son to live the same life that we must live on this sin-filled world and experience our weakened nature. Even if we would not think to require this in a savior, God saw the necessity and required it.

In many respects, Hebrews 2 is reliving the experience of Job. Job was to testify for Jesus by being tempted and eventually accepting his suffering as what God required of him. Initially he failed at this, but ultimately he surrendered to it and overcame; just as Christ nearly faltered in Gethsemane, but caught Himself before giving in to the temptation to save Himself and abandon us to the deathly realm of sin and Satan. In that garden, He tasted the sin of every man and recoiled from it. His holy soul was not tempted as we are; he recoils from sin. His temptation was to save Himself at this hour when He should save ugly, sinful mankind. Yet, Satan flung at Jesus every kind of temptation to sin with which he had caused man to fall; and Jesus was forced, in essence, drink of this putrid, polluted spring. “How dark seemed the malignity of sin!” Desire of Ages, p. 687.

He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: “If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.”  Ibid. 690.

This explains why Jesus was so upset with Job. Job was supposed to reveal the Messiah in his battle with Satan and temptation. Jesus said, [The scriptures] are they which testify of Me.” (Jn. 5:39). In all of the Bible heroes, in both Old and New Testaments, we see Jesus. He made them into what they were; He gave them His righteousness. They were products of His workmanship; they testified of Him in their words and lives.

Job was called to suffer. The Lord presented him as proof to Satan that His servants could overcome all that Satan could devise against them. Satan had no power to kill Job; Job was not called to lay down his life. That would have brought dishonor to God’s name and much confusion would have resulted, giving Satan a new foothold in the world.

But, Jesus was called to lay down His life; in fact He was made for that purpose. “But we see Jesus, who was made…for the suffering of death…; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9). Until Gethsemane and Golgotha, He was a living sacrifice, a pure and spotless Lamb of God. “For it became [God], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Heb. 2:10).

Jesus, from the days of eternity, had a perfect character in heaven. “Brought up” with His Father, “[Christ] was daily His delight, rejoicing always before [His Father]” (Prov. 8:30); sin and temptation could not come near Him. Yet, He was not the perfect mediator for sinful man. God needed more from a mediator than His Son’s spotlessness could provide Him. In the light of perfect justice, upon which His eternal government was founded, it behooved Him to require of His Son the taste of every man’s plight. Jesus must know the “great gulf fixed” between man and God, and he must be made to cry out to His Father, “Have mercy on Me, …dip the tip of [Thy] finger in water, and cool my [soul]; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16:24). “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made … a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:17).

Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, “Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.  Desire of Ages, p. 686.

In order to be a perfect mediator in God’s sight, the Son must taste hell for every man. “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119:89). By Christ tasting hell for fallen man, the envy-filled accusations of Satan were forever settled by the perfect sacrifice of perfect self-sacrifice in Christ. By this, all future discord would be settled; by this, the angels must forever cover their faces in shame. In the presence of Jesus, even the seraphim must forever say, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isa. 6:5).

At the cross, a perfect Mediator was born. “Wherefore when He cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me:… Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.… By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb. 10:5,7,10). Not by water and the Spirit, but by fire devoid of His Father’s Spirit could our Advocate be born, when He cried out from the cross, “It is finished.” By beholding Him, our pride is shattered and our wills become subject to Him.

God’s infinite word, that His Son can now officiate as our High Priest, is settled forever in heaven. Thus, it can be settled forever in our hearts. Satan was expelled from heaven forever when Jesus bowed His head and died under the infinite wrath of God. No more did the fallen cherub have an argument to stand on. Not, man may or will one day have a proven intercessor, as it was through all time before the cross; but, at the cross, man has a proven intercessor, and Satan can never change that. Once Jesus gave up the ghost, Satan was silenced, forever. He continued to blaspheme God and them that dwell in heaven, but his words had no effect on the heavenly beings or on all who have looked to Jesus by faith. Now, we can come to God through His qualified Son, our great High Priest. We can flee to Jesus and can know with perfect faith that God will accept His intercession for us. “That…we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” (Heb. 6:18,19).

Jesus is never happier than when surrounded by His children who fear His Father. “Saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.… And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same… For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.” (Heb. 2:12-14,16).

And as we unite with Jesus at His throne of mercy, we partake of His holiness; He breathes on us His holy influence. “For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Heb. 2:11). Thus, He brings “many sons unto glory.” (Heb. 2:10). “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: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jn. 1:12,13).

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