Summary: The two "S’s" of Jesus Christ’s identity are contained in this short section of Scripture.
Hebrews 5:7-9 WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?
Who is Jesus Christ? These next two weeks you will hear a lot about him. Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. Then comes Good Friday. Then comes Easter. This is that time in the year when you hear people talk about Jesus Christ. Unlike Christmas, Easter has escaped the intense commercialism that might sweep away its true spiritual meaning. Unlike Christmas, when school children sing about a fat man and snow, no one really knows what to sing or to do, when Easter arrives. After buying some candy and painting some eggs, most people wonder, “Is that it? What is the deal with Easter?” And so many are left to talk about Jesus Christ, and who he is.
Who is he? Everyone believes he existed. Unless you are completely uneducated, you at know that there was such a man named Jesus. Secular histories, unconnected with the Bible, talk about a Jewish teacher named Jesus who lived in the early first century who upset a lot of people. He existed. But after that, opinions go in different directions about who he was. Was he really the Son of God? Was there more significance to his death than what meets the eye? Did he really rise from the dead?
You know the answers to these questions. This morning, we want to get rid of any doubt you might have in your mind about who Jesus Christ is. This is the fifth Sunday of the Lenten season, and we have used our Sunday services to rid ourselves of weaknesses and sins in our hearts. Today, if there’s any doubt in your heart about who Jesus is, any confusion, then it is my prayer this morning that the words we study will help you understand more clearly who Jesus , this person you are going to hear so much about in the next two weeks.
Our text for today, taken from the book of Hebrews, chapter 5, talks about the identity of Jesus Christ. To help us remember the content of this section, think of it this way - “the two S’s.”
S #1 is from verse 7: “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” There’s our first S: submission. Who is Jesus? He was the Son of God, and he submitted to the will of his Heavenly Father. This verse describes Jesus praying to God with loud cries and tears. The picture here is the Garden of Gethsemane. Shortly before he was arrested, Jesus looked into the future and he could see what lay ahead of him – he could see all the suffering and death. It was a terrible thing. And all of it was optional.
Why do you think God keeps you from seeing your future? Perhaps it’s because if we knew that something bad was going to happen, we would lose our minds worrying and stressing over it. What if God let you see into your future, and you found out that you were going to die a slow and gruesome death tomorrow morning? It would be a terrible thing, to know that.
That’s what Jesus went through right before he suffered and died for our sins. He could see what lay ahead of him. And it wasn’t just the physical suffering that made him recoil. It was the spiritual suffering – he was about to have all the sins of the world placed upon him. He was about to have God the Heavenly Father punish him for the sins of all mankind. Jesus could see this in his future, and it was a terrible thing.
He could have bypassed the suffering, if he wanted to – all of it was optional. After all, he was the Son of God. At any moment he could have said, “No, I won’t lower myself to that level. I won’t do that for the human race.” But he knew that this was the only way to save people from total destruction. And so he submitted to the Heavenly Father, as it says, “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” He submitted to the betrayal, to the arrest, to the all-night trials, to the beatings, and finally, to the crucifixion. When you ask yourself, “Who is Jesus Christ? Why is he suffering on a cross?” Think of the word “submission.” Of all the words that describe Jesus Christ, perhaps one of the best is the word “submission.” This is how he took your sins away.
There is another “s” in this section that I would like to focus on for today. Verse 9: “And, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” The Greek word for “made perfect” actually means “to complete” or “to finish.” Once Jesus completed his suffering, what happened? He became the source of eternal salvation. There’s your other “s” - source.