Summary: Jesus is a pioneer whose suffering shows us God’s victory and gives us access to God.
THE KINSMEN REDEEMER
Text: Hebrews 2:10 -18
Have you ever heard of the law of the kinsman redeemer? There are three things that have to happen for someone to be redeemed. The first rule is that the redeemer must be a relative to those in debt. The second rule is that a redeemer must be willing to act for his lost brothers and sisters. This rule sounds like an echo of being a “brother’s keeper”. The third and final rule is that the kinsman redeemer must be able to pay the price for redemption. (M. R. DeHaan. Studies In Revelation. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1998, pp. 106 – 110). If you go to the book of Ruth in the Old Testament, then you will these three rules play out as Boaz is the kinsman who saves Ruth. What Boaz did for Ruth, Jesus does for all of humanity.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten So that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish (John 3:16). Have you ever pondered what that really means? The word “so” gives us a much stronger emphasis.
Nevertheless, every hero has his nemesis---a seemingly unbeatable opponent. The nemesis in this story has limits and goes against God’s Son. The nemesis uses fear, deception, blackmail, guilt and exploitation against God’s people. Satan is a nemesis to Christians.
Jesus is a pioneer whose suffering shows us God’s victory and gives us access to God.
Have you ever wondered about how we make mistakes? 1) Failure: Adam failed to be what God meant for him to be. Don’t we also fall short of who it is that God intended for us to be? Aren’t we all human and capable of making mistakes?
2) Missing the mark: A golfer’s errant shot ended up on an ant hill. He squared up , took a big swing---and missed. Thousands of innocent ants were killed. The hacker took another swing---and missed again. Another wave of ants was destroyed. Panic stricken ants scurried everywhere.
One ant finally took charge. “Follow me, “ he cried with authority. Another ant yelled , but where are we going?”
He pointed to the golf ball sitting in front of them. “There. If we don’t get on the ball, we’re going to die!” (Edward K. Rowell & Bonne L. Steffen. eds. Humor For Preaching & Teaching. Grand Rapids: Baked Book House, 1996, p. 179). Getting on the ball might help in getting things done but it will not save us! We need a Savior for that!
How does Jesus become our Savior? 1) Trading places: Would you trade places with someone who was in need? Would it depend on whether the one with whom you would trade places was a friend as opposed to a stranger or even an enemy? Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to us as one of us. Jesus came from heaven to earth to get us from earth to heaven. Jesus came to save us from our sins. 2) God in human flesh: Jesus came to help us change our nature. Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. 3) Kinsman Redeemer: Now why does that matter? It matters because Jesus is our kinsman Redeemer! When Jesus came to us as one of us, He also came as God in human flesh---God’s only begotten son! Remember John 3:16? Analogy: A seamstress sews pieces of cloth to each other. Is that what God did in Jesus Christ? Jesus shared in our human nature that we might share with Him in his divine nature through being baptized into His likeness.
Does Jesus succeed where Adam failed? 1) A Fail safe: We think of a “fail-safe” as ideal because it is impossible for the “fail-safe” thing to fail. Is Jesus a “fail-safe” savior? The answer is obviously and emphatically “yes”! Paul explains it well: 1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. …. 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit”. 2) Exemption: If you noticed today’s text begins and ends with suffering--- the suffering of Jesus Christ! 3) Impartiality: Matthew 5:45 reminds us by saying “… so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (ESV). 4) Etymology: There are two different words used for suffering in the Greek. The first word translates as hardships and the second translates as experience. The point is that Jesus understands every hardship that you have suffered or will suffer.
Some ask, “Why would a loving God allow suffering?” 1) Inquisitive: Have you ever asked that question? Why doesn’t God just end our suffering? 2) Theodicy: Someone coined a name for those kinds of questions. Theodicy. Theodicy is a branch of theology that questions how could God’s goodness coexist in an environment where evil also exists. 3) Explanation: Evil has limits and will one day cease to exist. Max Lucado is among those who describe how evil is allowed to exist but will one day lose its power and cease to exist. Max Lucado once compared evil’s energy and activity to a spinning top that eventually loses all its energy and falls over. (Max Lucado. Max On Life.) What is the point?, you may ask. The answer is simple, God makes all things [even things that were meant for our downfall] to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). God always wins and good will always triumph over evil because nothing is impossible [or limited]/ with God!