Summary: Jesus came to this earth to be our brother in humanity, our substitute so that we don’t have to fear death.
I have an older sister, Becky, whom I love very much. Now Becky is two years older than me and while we were in High School, we had a very interesting relationship: I would follow her and her friends around, and she would ignore me. If someone would ask her who I was, she would be almost ashamed to tell them who I was. Those of you who have older brothers and sisters know may know what I am talking about. Thankfully we both have grown up quite a bit since then and get along great. But it’s interesting, because our text for this morning tells us that we have another brother, one who just celebrated a birthday a couple of weeks ago. And Jesus our brother is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. It’s just like the hymn we sang, but even more, because Jesus is more than just a friend, he is our brother. So today we’re going to see "What a brother we have in Jesus." 1) because he came to bring us to glory and 2) because he came to be our merciful and faithful high priest.
I. He came to bring us to glory.
Two-thousand years ago in a little town called Bethlehem, a little baby was born, and his parents called him Jesus. It’s a historic fact, right? Christ, the Son of God, humbled himself and became flesh and blood like each and every one of us. Jesus became true man, a human being, our brother in humanity.
But why? Why did Christ come to this world and become man? We have to go way back to answer that question. To understand what happened in that little town of Bethlehem two thousand years ago, we have to go back even farther to another place—to the garden of Eden. In that paradise which God had created for man, that same man rebelled against God and ate from the fruit of the tree from which God had commanded them not to eat. Man sinned. He rebelled against the loving God who created and preserved him. But before we point the finger and say "Hey that Adam was pretty lousy." We should take a look at ourselves, because we just keep on in Adam’s example sinning and rebelling against God. Verse ten of our text for this morning tells us that through Christ everything in this world exists, that is, that Christ watches over and protects his beloved creation. But what do we do? At times we doubt his protection. How many people in this world can’t sleep at night because they are scared of death? We worry about money and possessions. We often put our jobs, our money, our families ahead of God and his Word. The writer to the Hebrews said it right, because of our sins, all our lives we are held in slavery. Because of our sins we are slaves of fear and death.
But in verse ten we find Christ’s purpose in coming to this world. Jesus, our brother, came to bring us to glory, to take us to heaven. Verse eleven tells us that he is the one who makes us holy. Christ came to make us holy, just like Adam and Eve before they sinned. Now that is a loving brother. Christ came to set us free from the bonds of sin, fear and death. We are no longer slaves, but free. Heaven is ours.
And that was God’s plan from the very beginning: to save the world from their sins. After the very first sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden God promised to send a Savior. He promised them one who would destroy the power of death and the devil. And this Savior was going to be the "seed of the woman," a man, our brother in humanity, to take our place under the law, to live the perfect life which we cannot. That was God’s plan. He truly is the "author" of our salvation, as the text says. As the divine author of our Salvation History, God planned it out and then won in it for us on the cross. The Greek word for author here also has the idea of a person who prepares and leads the way. According to his gracious purpose, God has given us a way to heaven, our dear brother Jesus, who truly is the way, the truth, and the life.
Yes, the almighty and everlasting God lowered himself to take on human flesh. Christ became our brother in order to bring us to glory, to save us from our many rebellions against him. That is true brotherly love. But our text tells us that he came as our brother for another reason as well: to serve as our merciful and faithful high priest.