Summary: Can we realize how glorious His glory is? And he shares it with us!
Concordia Lutheran Church
Pentecost 18, October 4, 2009
Bringing Many Sons to Glory
† IN THE NAME OF JESUS †
Grace to you and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!
A Grand Canyon Passage
You stand there, and your mind and your eyes have an argument about whether what you see is really as incredible as it seems. The pastel colors seem almost washed out, as the distant causes them to fade just a little. Depth perception is almost impossible, the distances just too incredible to compute. There is a reason it is called one of the wonders of this world.
The one time I was there, there was a man, with an easel, trying to capture what he saw. I do not think he understood the magnitude of the task – you could paint for years, and only cover a small quadrant of the canyon
And as one stands at the south edge of the Grand Canyon, one can feel insignificant.
There is one important thing, that one must remember about the Grand Canyon, while one is standing at its edge, contemplating the forces of nature, and the power of God which created it.
It’s a hole in the ground. A big, and very deep hole in the ground. But you can either remember this, or learn it the hard way… (stare over and down the pulpit to the floor and wave)
One of our readings today, is what I call a Grand Canyon passage. There is a lot to it, some of the most majestic theological doctrines come into play. The two natures of Christ, the communication of attributes, Christ’s humiliation and exaltation. It views the doctrines of Justification and Sanctification and the gifts of the Spirit, doctrines about angels, and about the Creation. It even deals with the Trinity, and the Atonement, and the Covenant requiring blood. You could teach an entire seminary level doctrine class – just on this chapter.
Yet, one phrase, a small subordinate clause, sticks out to me – the equivalent basic concept of the Grand Canyon being first and foremost a hole in the ground.
You see, this passage is about God’s glory, as seen in “His bringing His many sons to glory!”
Lest we drift away….
Important enough for testimony
As you stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon, for some there exists almost a sense of wanting to experience the incredible view closer. And so you see them inch closer, eventually some will cross the boundaries, maybe the want to look straight down off the cliff edge. You see them drift closer and closer to the edge, as they in awe not only forget the Canyon is a very deep hole in the ground, but also this little law – called the Law of Gravity.
The author of Hebrews, three times in this passage, draws our attention to the main concept, and its importance. Verse 1, ‘we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it!” He then restates it – if we neglect so great a rescue, so great a deliverance, a salvation, how then will we escape what we owe for our sins.
This truth, that Christ has brought many sons into glory, is even backed by the testimony of the entire Trinity. In verse 3, it uses Lord, the title of Jesus to say that our salvation was first proclaimed by Him. Over and over his message echoed through the Holy Land – the Kingdom of God is among you! It was then backed by God the Father, through the signs and wonders, the very power of God demonstrated by Jesus. Power over disease an demons, and even death, confirmed that Jesus authority was not like that of political and religious leaders. The Holy Spirit also testifies to this, as through the church, the gifts of the Spirit are distributed and used. The height and the depth, the breadth and the width of God’s love, seen in the cross, and in the effect that incredible act has on the people who trust in Him.
With all this, from logic to God’s own testimony, we are told – focus on this, understand this, Get this one thing straight.
You do not need to escape, for you have been rescued…
If you were to walk or crawl or drift too near the edge of the Grand Canyon, you could find yourself needing to be rescued, perhaps even very dramatically rescued.
Life has a cliff edge like that, and we all drift towards it pretty regularly. Hear how this passage describes it, from a different translation,
For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. Heb 2:2 (NLT)