Sermon: Christ, the Great Deliverer (Hebrews 2:10-18)

Christ, the Great Deliverer

Hebrews 2:10-18 (ESV)

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.  [11] For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,  [12] saying,

“I will tell of your name to my brothers;

in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

[13] And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again,

“Behold, I and the children God has given me.”

[14] 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,  [15] and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.  [16] For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.  [17] 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.  [18] For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

If we are to understand this passage before us today correctly, we must do a little biblical interpretation.  The best way to interpret Scripture is to practice what is called Historical-Grammatical Interpretation.

Historical- What this means is that you look at the text under consideration from an historical perspective.  You’re basically asking the question, “How would the people who first heard or read these words have understood what the writer intended to say?  We’re trying to determine what the writer meant when he wrote what he wrote.  The original hearers were Hebrew Christians.  They were being told that Judaism is superior to Christianity.  I’m sure they were being told things like, “Why would you ever serve this no-name carpenter’s son who was crucified with criminals?  Why would you leave the traditions of the fathers to follow this dead man?

Grammatical- Why does the author use the particular words he uses?  Out of all the words in the world he has chosen these particular ones…why?

This text today is full of Hebrew imagery.  If we can catch what the writer meant when he wrote these words, we’ll see yet but another powerful image of our Great Deliverer, Jesus Christ.

The flow of the text and the Primary Claim goes like this…

Christ has become our brother…As our brother, He delivers us from slavery to sin…As our Deliverer, He goes before God on our behalf, as our High Priest.

1. Christ, Our Brother (Hebrews 2:10-13)

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.  [11] For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,  [12] saying,

“I will tell of your name to my brothers;

in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

[13] And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again,

“Behold, I and the children God has given me.”

The text begins by saying, For it was fitting. There was a certain way salvation came about.  It came about as a perfect picture of God.  It could have said, “it was just like God to bring about salvation the way He did.  The method was in keeping with God’s character.

It goes on to say in verse 10 that through this God wrought salvation; He brings many sons and daughters to salvation.  He brings them.  He leads them out of darkness and into light.  He leads the way.  Here we have Jesus Christ referred to as the author of salvation.  Other translations call Him the Pioneer.  What the writer is getting at is that Jesus is the One who first cut the trail through the jungle.  He is the Trail blazer that leads His people to God.

There is only One way, One trail and it is Jesus.  Follow Him and He will, every time lead us to God.

Through Jesus’ suffering the plan of salvation was perfectly completed.  Jesus wasn’t perfected through suffering, but the plan, God’s will was perfectly completed through the passion of Christ.

Verse 11 begins the emphasis on the fact that part of the reason Jesus became a man was so that He could identify with humanity.

Jesus is not ashamed to be counted with us.  He calls us brothers.  We have become His brothers and sisters.  He is leading us as one of us.

The writer of Hebrews uses some Old Testament quotes to highlight the fact that Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT.

He identifies with us in our humility and weakness.

The first quote comes from Psalm 22.

The writer of Hebrews wants us to see that Jesus is our brother.  He took on flesh to identify with our weakness…

Psalm 22:1-2 (ESV)

To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

[2] O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,

and by night, but I find no rest.

Psalm 22:6-8 (ESV)

But I am a worm and not a man,

scorned by mankind and despised by the people.

[7] All who see me mock me;

they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;

[8] “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;

let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

Psalm 22:11 (ESV)

Be not far from me,

for trouble is near,

and there is none to help.

Psalm 22:14-15 (ESV)

I am poured out like water,

and all my bones are out of joint;

my heart is like wax;

it is melted within my breast;

[15] my strength is dried up like a potsherd,

and my tongue sticks to my jaws;

you lay me in the dust of death.

As David experienced these very serious times of weakness and doubt, the writer of Hebrews wants us to see that these very words were experienced by Christ in a much greater way.  If you’ve ever felt as if God was far away, Jesus has also experienced those feelings.  If you’ve ever been overcome with trouble, you’re not alone, so has Jesus.  He partook of flesh and blood to identify with us.

The next two quotes come from the Book of Isaiah.  They have as their context God’s people waiting on God to move on their behalf.  Hebrews tells us that Jesus stands with us as we wait.  He not only identifies with us but stands at our side while we wait.  He is our Brother but He is one who is closer than a brother.

2. Christ, Our Deliverer (Hebrews 2:14-15)

[14] 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,  [15] and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

Just as God led the Hebrews out of Egypt to the Promised Land, so Jesus leads His brothers out of slavery and into a right relationship with God.

As the captain of our faith, He leads us home.

The Hebrew Christians would have caught the imagery of this text.  Here is what they would have remembered…

Exodus 6:1-8 (ESV)

But the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”

[2] God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord.  [3] I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.  [4] I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners.  [5] Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant.  [6] Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.  [7] I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.  [8] I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’ ”

The picture of Jesus as our Deliverer is very similar to Moses.  God led the Israelites our of bondage and into peace.  Jesus Christ our Deliverer with a strong arm led us our of bondage to sin and into God’s kingdom as sons.  Israel was considered God’s son, now in Christ we are considered God’s sons and daughters.

3. Christ, Our High Priest (Hebrews 2:16-18)

[16] For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.  [17] 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.  [18] For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

We have two dogs.  One is named Calvin.  Calvin does what dogs do.  He eats, drinks, barks, and sniffs things.  There have been times, mostly at 3:00 am that I wish I could communicate clearly with him.

I would say things like:

Run around all you like on our property but don’t go on the neighbor’s and don’t go out in the road.

Don’t bark in the middle of the night, unless it is an emergency such as…a robber is breaking in or the house is on fire.

I can’t communicate clearly with Calvin.

If Jesus is going to be our High Priest, He had to be able to communicate clearly with us.  He had to become a man in order to help us.

It’s not the angels He helps but it’s us.  He came to save the offspring of Abraham.

By this phrase what the author has in mind is a certain number of people.  Jesus came to save those the Father had given Him from before the foundation of the world.  The ones God knew before time began.

The Lord made a covenant with Abraham.

Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV)

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. [2] And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. [3] I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Who are those whom God had in mind when He made this promise to Abraham?  God was thinking about the elect.  He was thinking about Abraham’s descendants.  Not physical descendants but spiritual descendants.

Galatians 3:6-9 (ESV)

just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

[7] Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.  [8] And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”  [9] So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

We have a Great High Priest who comes to our rescue.  We are the descendants of Abraham that the writer has in mind.

Jesus identifies with our weaknesses and sympathizes with us.  As the High Priest, He goes to God on our behalf.

A priest’s job is to speak to God for the people.  The priest acts as the go-between.  Without the priest the people are dead.

Exodus 20:18-19 (ESV)

Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off  [19] and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”

Jesus stands as our Priest.  He goes to God on our behalf and presents to God a perfect life and a perfect sacrifice.  The high priest had to take much care in preparing himself to go into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement.  Jesus goes to the Father with a perfect righteous life and stands before God to present us as His brothers and sisters free from the guilt of sin because of His perfect sacrifice.  Jesus did not die for angels.  He dies for the children of Abraham, God’s elect.

In keeping with the character of God, He sends Jesus, the pioneer of our faith, to lead His people out of bondage and into glory.  Because of His humanity, Jesus relates to us perfectly.  He knows what it’s like to struggle.  He knows what it’s like to have Satan try to tempt.  He knows and shows us mercy.  He is a merciful and faithful High Priest.

Lord’s Supper-

As we come now to the time of the Lord’s Supper we would do well to remember that it too took place up against the backdrop of the Exodus.  The night before the Exodus, all of God’s people were to paint blood of the sacrificial lamb above and around their front doors.  In doing so, the death angel would pass-over their home and they would be protected from the wrath of God.

As Jesus sat in the upper room with His disciples celebrating the Passover, as He dipped the bread into the wine He said this is the blood of the new covenant.

Jesus is our sacrificial lamb.

Has the blood of Christ been applied to you?

Are you covered by His blood?  If so, you’re invited to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with us this morning…

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