Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hebrews 7

Hebrews Chapter 2 verse 5-18

Up until this point in Hebrews, the key idea has been that Christ is a better messenger of God’s truth than prophets or even angelic messengers, because he is God. The next several sentences are each easy to understand their clear statements, but seem pretty unclear about how they fit into the stream of thought in Hebrews.

It’s may be easier to understand if I “cut to the chase.” I think the thought in Hebrews moves to a complementary idea. Not only is Jesus Christ a superior messenger because He is God, Jesus Christ is also a superior messenger because He became human. It’s hard to understand because the plural words in the original, don’t translate well into English. To put it simply, most of the time the word “him” is used it should be understood as plural. It’s not talking about one man (Jesus) it’s talking about all of mankind. The Contemporary English Version is clearer than most others.

6 Somewhere in the Scriptures someone says to God, "What makes you care about us humans? Why are you concerned for weaklings such as we?
7 You made us lower than the angels for a while. Yet you have crowned us with glory and honor.
8 And you have put everything under our power!" God has put everything under our power and has not left anything out of our power. But we still don't see it all under our power.
9 What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels. Because of God's wonderful kindness, Jesus died for everyone. And now that Jesus has suffered and died, he is crowned with glory and honor!

The point is that we humans are built to have dominion over creation, but because of sin we do not. “But we see Jesus” who was made human like us and has been glorified and returned to full dominion and authority. He became human and led the way for all humans to be restored to the dominion. That’s why verse 10 calls Jesus the “pioneer” or “firstfruits.”

14 We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death.
15 But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying.
16 Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham's descendants.
17 He had to be one of us, so that he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins.
18 And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted.

Jesus Christ, perfect God became perfect man. As such his message to us is much better than the Old Testament message. He is God. He is Man. He has pioneered the way for mankind. He is a superior messenger because his life, death, resurrection, and glorification IS the message of good news for all of us.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hebrews 6

The fifth truth about Jesus is that he is the sustainer of all things. The word "sustainer" comes from the concept of “carrying.” He carries all things. It’s also in the present – active tense. He is doing it now.

The sixth is that he accomplished cleansing for sins. Notice that cleansing is more than forgiveness. Forgiveness means overlooking the problems, while cleansing means eliminating the dirt, washing it away, removing it. Additionally, the verb is in a tense that English doesn’t have. It basically means that it is happening now and will continue to happen. Our cleansing was done on the cross, but it is also being done now. He is washing you and me clean, now.

Finally, the seventh, and finally, he sat down at the right hand of Majesty.

Seven truths about Jesus
Heir of all things
Creator of the world/ages
The light from God’s radiance glory
Representation of His Essence
Sustainer of everything
He accomplishes cleansing of sins
He is seated at the right hand of the Father

Seven truths that should leave us blessed, grateful, and amazes: If we really let these truths sink in, worship will spring spontaneously from our hearts.

It’s a good time to read the rest of the chapter (Hebrews 1). The author had the same reaction.