Summary: Exposition of Heb 2:10-18 regarding the purposes of Christ's incarnation and death
Text: Hebrews 2:10-18, Title: Bringing in the Kids, Date/Place: NRBC, 9/19/10, PM
A. Opening illustration: Erika going out to get the kids and they are in their winter coats and rain boots, but in characteristic fashion, she doesn’t tell them what she thinks.
B. Background to passage: after having given the warning passage early in the chapter, the preacher continues with his angels theme, and transitions to the ministry of Christ, and after getting there, he begins to extol the Father, the Son, and the gospel, and it’s accomplishments.
C. Main thought: in this text we seen the means and the goals of Christ’s incarnation and sacrifice
A. Perfect through suffering (v. 10)
1. The preacher here says that it was fitting, meaning that it was consistent with the character of God the Father (for who and by whom are all things) to perfect the Son through the cross. It was consistent with His love, mercy, holiness, wisdom, power, grace, wrath, glory, etc, to crush His Son on our behalf on a cross. In what sense is Christ “made perfect?” The idea is to be completed in his requirements to be the captain, author, leader (bring sons to glory), prince, pioneer, trailblazer of salvation. It is really to demonstrate His perfections and complete the requirements to bring salvation to man. He had to suffer in order to complete His ministry as a sacrifice, His identification as a brother, and as an example of how to suffer well. And as the preacher argues here these perfections and excellencies make Him superior to all things! And with the subsequent verses, the relationship of Christ to God is likened to how we related to God.
2. 1 Peter 1:22-23, Rom 11:36, 1 Cor 8:6, Rev 4:11, Heb 12:1-2
3. Illustration: Richard Wurmbrand, who spent fourteen years suffering in a Communist prison, reminds all believers with less than ideal circumstances that “if the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ, and if the heart love Him, you can resist all tortures.” He says, “God will not judge us according to how much we endured, but how much we could love.” The love of God demonstrated in the lives of his people is potent. Wurmbrand gives an example: A Christian was sentenced to death. Before being executed, he was allowed to see his wife. His last words to his wife were, ‘You must know that I die loving those who kill me. They don’t know what they do and my last request of you is to love them, too. Don’t have bitterness in your heart because they kill your beloved one. We will meet in heaven.’ These words impressed the officer of the secret police who attended the discussion between the two. After he told me the story in prison, where he had been put for becoming a Christian.” I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to, review the story of the man who forgave the drunk driver who killed his whole family,
4. The writer gives us the application in v. 18—because Christ suffered a terrible trial, He is able to help those that are suffering trials. Christ has left us an example of how to face suffering and death. If you are facing deep dark trials or death, look at the way that Christ handled it. You may say, “he was Jesus, Son of God,” he had an advantage, but remember that the context here is that Christ was made like us, tried like us, and died like us as humans. So how did Christ face death? He rested in the will of God, which included death. He told others about His impending death and trial regularly. He came to God in prayer, expressing his need of grace, trust in the Father, and submission to his will. He joyfully accepted death. He refused bitterness and anger. He turned His cheek toward the persecutors. He refused things that would dull His mind or soften the blow. He laid down His life willingly. Apply these as you go.
B. Bearing Wrath (v. 17)
1. We are taking this out of order, because of their logical progression. The preacher here makes much of Jesus’ high priestly role in later chapters. Suffice it to say that it was the high priest’s job to make sure that atonement was made. This deals with the theological purpose of Christ’s death--propitiation. The word means to satisfy wrath. God sent forth His Son, so that He would have a means by which to expend His wrath. Jesus didn’t simply divert the wrath from us; he took the wrath for us. God didn’t forget about His anger over sin; He satisfied it. All of God’s fury against every sin was poured out on Christ. He became our sin-bearer, and therefore our wrath bearer. This wrath was a controlled righteous punishment of sin that was committed against a holy God. And no one can escape.