Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hebrews 2:10-18

Thus it makes sense that God, the very same one who for his own pleasure creates and maintains everything, would finish the job through his own suffering. That suffering was the means through which Jesus would become the perfect pioneer. And he would lead his children through the wilderness to experience the glory of his salvation.

11 So now Jesus is the one who sets God’s children apart in order to serve him without exclusion. That is, he is the one who makes us holy. Holiness is not some kind of spiritual status we attain or merit badge we wear to impress ourselves. He is the sole source of the holiness. And this is why he isn’t ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters -- even though as broken and self-fixated people we too often act shamefully. Jesus is busy transforming us from sinful to holy. 12 As the psalmist testifies in Psalm 22:22 --
When the brothers and sisters gather, I will praise you, Lord, in their midst.
13 Likewise, Jesus says (quoting the prophet Isaiah in the Greek translation of Isaiah 8:17-18),
I will rely on God. Indeed, I’m not the only one. I’m here with the children God has given to me.
14 Since we children are flesh and blood beings it makes sense that Jesus would also take on flesh and blood in order to share in our humanity. In this way he was able to beat the devil, who had a death grip on us. Jesus did this by attacking at ground zero -- death. 15 When he entered the realm of death he was able to extricate us from its power and break us out. All who existed with the ominous shadow of death hanging over their lives are now set free from having to concern themselves with such a permanent fate. 16 Jesus did not conquer death in order to help angels. No this isn’t about settling some distant cosmic dispute. Rather he did it to help people like us -- the very human descendants of Abraham. 17 This is why he had to become like us -- a total flesh and blood sibling. In this way he could act as God’s high priest and pour out divine mercy on us. Through his faithfulness Jesus cleaned us up -- blotting out the sin stains from our humanity. 18 Furthermore, he has positioned himself to help us when we are tempted to sin. You see, since he suffered through such temptations himself he is able to help us maneuver through them.