Hebrews 2:10-13 The Founder of your Salvation
Next week is Thanksgiving. It is a time to eat, time to sleep, time to watch football if you are a genuine believer! It is a time to gather with your family or make phone calls or FaceTime. Thanksgiving represents the human need for connection and friendship and intimacy. Like most people, you are running real hard but need to hit the brakes.
You want to care about people and be cared about by people who know you. It is a blessing when you have this kind of intimacy with your blood family and especially when you have Christ in common.
However, this is not always the case. Often there are tensions or unforgiven breakdowns that bring heartache no matter how good the turkey and pumpkin pie is. In the family of God there is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).
I confess that I have enjoyed deep fellowship with my blood brother and parents who know the Lord. However, I also confess that my deepest and safest places I have found are a select few Christian brothers who know just everything going on inside of me.
I have a few friendships who knew me before I knew Christ and we share brother-like bond. However, in God’s plan we all came to Christ and we have deeper bond in the Lord where trust is high and transparency is deep.
This is rare but Hebrews 2 says you can have this too. We all can. As good as Christian friends can be they are never as good as the One friend and family member that every Christian can come to know.
You have Someone who knows everything about you! Everything! He is the safest friend you could have. He walks with you everywhere you go! And, He talks to you. And, He listens. And, He sticks as closer to you as anyone ever possibly could!
The second half of Hebrews 2 introduces this one of a kind relationship that every Christian person has.
1. Jesus is as human as you are (v. 10)
Understanding the kind of commitment Christ has to you only sinks in when you come to understand how human Jesus really is!
The humanity of Christ is the missing key to entering into spiritual intimacy with the Lord. Yes, chapter 1 is one of the premier sections of the Bible written with the express purpose to exalt Jesus as God, very God, Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, who is the Son!
We do not worship angels. Angels worship Christ and we worship Christ! With that said, you can see the exalted Christ, the deity of Christ, and miss His humanity altogether. What’s missing is the knowledge that He relates to your life. That he understands you.
Remember Peter’s three denials and Jesus’s three questions to reconcile him back. “Do you love me?” and Peter’s response, “Lord you know I do!” Jesus needed Peter to grasp Christ’s intimate awareness of Peter’s strengths and failures! This is grace! He told Peter “feed my lambs.”
One of my best friends during my first year of college reminded me that Jesus “understands me.” This was all I need to put wind in my sails!
So, “What authenticates the humanity of Christ? What authenticates being human? In a word, “suffering”.
Verse 10 continues the grand theme of salvation. What we “inherit” (1:14), “pay closer attention to” – not “drift away from” (2:1), “declared by angels” (v. 2), “declared (personally) by the Lord” – “attested…by those who heard” (v. 3), “born witness by signs and wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit” (v. 4). Man who lost paradise by sin was has been given the greatest second chance that could be given! Man, made lower than angels on earth but Jesus came down to take on humanity, being made a little lower than angels to achieve what man could not, paradise regained! “Suffering death, he gives grace!” (v. 9). Building on this, the author says, “For it was fitting” or “It is seemly or suitable.” Something is “fitting” or something obvious or natural from God’s perspective.
“What is it that’s fitting to God?” Before telling us, he reminds us that everything in the universe exist because of God and everything that exists brings Him glory! Always all the time! What the author also said about Christ in Hebrews 1:3!
So, God made it all, sustains it all, and in so doing fulfills his redemption mission, “bringing many sons to glory!” (v. 10). Sweeping people like you and me into his Kingdom! Back to answering what “was fitting?” God made “the founder of [our] salvation perfect through suffering” (v. 10).
The founder of our salvation [“General”/ “Leader] is Jesus, so what does he mean God made him “perfect?” Was something deficient in Christ?
Let me answer it this way. If I were to pass out a Bible quiz with three questions about Jesus that said, “Was Jesus born a sinner?” “Did Jesus ever sin?” “Was it even possible for Jesus to have ever sinned?” You would like to think that you could ace it! The first two questions are a breeze. However, getting the third right would be determined by whether or not you and your Bible teacher agreed on the answer regarding Jesus’ humanity!
Jesus’ impeccability is a yes and no answer. Would Jesus ever sin? Emphatically no! He’s God! Were the three temptations from Satan that Jesus underwent genuinely real, as pass or fail moments qualifying or disqualifying Jesus as our Savior, Emphatically yes!
Put another way, Jesus genuinely grew up, genuinely matured, genuinely made daily decisions to learn and obey the law. Jesus genuinely and passionately cried out the Father for the power to go to the cross, through genuinely tears, doubts, and weakness! Hebrews 5:7-10 provides full commentary on the how’s and why’s!
ESV Hebrews 5:7-10 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus “learned obedience” through suffering! Here it says, “he became the source of eternal salvation” meaning Jesus’ human obedience qualified him to be our Savior!
“It was fitting.” Why? Because our Salvation is sourced in an incomprehensible God who’s sweeping human beings into heaven by means of a Savior who totally gets you! Who had to suffer to grow! Just like any other human who’s ever lived!
2. Jesus is unashamed to be your elder brother (v. 11)
The next verse continues takes things deeper what it means that Jesus is fully human!
He does so, introducing Jesus role as our Sanctifier! Jesus, “the founder of our Salvation” who literally “suffered” while on earth is about the business of daily “sanctifying” every Christian!
What does this mean? It means that Jesus is personally involved in your life and fully committed to making you holy! You say, “I know the saving part is up to Christ-alone but I thought the growing part was up to me!” You really should see your salvation and sanctification in three ways! At a point in time, Christ saved you and this is monergism. “For by grace you have been saved by faith. And this not your own doing…” (Eph. 2:8). When God gives you life, without your help. Then you grow and this is synergism meaning you and God work together. “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12).
ESV Colossians 1:29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
But, then there is one last category to remember. There is the sanctifying work Jesus does in your life that is also monergism, what He alone does in your life!
ESV Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
ESV John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
ESV Romans 8:28-30 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
ESV 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
ESV 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
ESV 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Christians are always being worked on!
Sometimes we are actively in the gym working out and Christ is our life coach. Other times we are sick, seemingly terminal, and the physician of our souls is intravenously pumping in the nutrients for your survival and betterment!
Now, backing up to the beginning of verse 11. “For” reaches back to this “founder of [our] salvation” according to God’s plan was “made perfect through suffering” (v. 10). So this One “who is sanctifying you” as something incredibly in common with you! What is it? We “all have one source” (v. 11). Taken the wrong way, you could think this means Jesus was a created being. We were created by God “our source” and Jesus was created by God the same “source.”
The words “one source” [ex hevos] is not a direct reference to God as the context not pushing the point of Christ’s deity but His humanity. The emphasis of “one source” is the same as in Acts 17:26 where Paul on Mar’s Hill argues that “every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth” came from “one man” [ex hevos] “one source” who is Adam! Paul, like the author of Hebrews argues for a big Sovereign God “who made the world and everything in it” (Acts 17:24), who gives “life and breath” and “made from one man every nation…” (Acts 17:26).
Back to Hebrews 2:11, Jesus is as human as you and me because Jesus came from the human race! What? Wouldn’t this mean that Jesus would have been cursed by Adam’s sin? No, because the transmission of Adam’s sin was interrupted because Jesus’ was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit! The immaculate conception!
ESV Luke 1:35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.
Jesus was born to Mary, just like you were born to your mother! Mary was from the “one source” Adam and Jesus in the sense of being fully human comes from this same “one source” (v. 11).
So what? The author is clear about why this matters. “That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers” (v. 11). Why? Jesus is different than you in the sense that He is the Sanctifier!
He’s your Messiah. He is God and Savior. Still, though He is distinguished from you in this sense, in another sense, He is fully aligned with you, calling you “brothers!”
It is not uncommon for to long for acceptance from family members.
In the ancient world “shaming” was a common practice. Not acknowledging a father, a son, a wife, or daughter.
Parents suffer from the unrequited love of their children. Adult children! Children suffer the feeling of abandonment from parents who will not accept them. Who are ashamed of them! Not with Christ! Christ accepts you! He gladly acknowledges you as family! Whatever you present issues may be!
ESV John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
The intimacy you are given to have with Christ is unparalleled to any other relationship. I am describing a relationship with Christ who knows you and lives in your circumstances, whatever they may be.
Jesus’ half-brothers mocked him, “Go show off at the Feast of Booths” (John 7).
Mary and these half-brothers seeing Jesus starve himself because He and his disciples were so busy preaching, healing, and casting out demons! They “went out to seize him…saying, “He is out of his mind” (Mark 3:21). So, his mother and brothers tried to get to Jesus but the crowd around him was too thick. They called out to him but He answered the crowd!
ESV Mark 3:33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
3. Jesus stands with you as a present Savior! (vv. 12-13)
The author does not stop with Jesus not being “ashamed” of you! He is publically identifies you. He celebrates you!
The author quotes Psalm 22, a well-known Messianic Psalm with several references to the sufferings of Christ when He was dying on the cross. This being the case, verse 22 is the turning point where the story changes. Instead of David or applied to Christ pleading for God’s rescue being in distress.
Now, the Psalmist and as it is applied to Christ, now resurrected, the picture is Him praising God for rescue and victory. For David, the context is Kingdom victory fulfilling Abraham’s Promise to his offspring, “families and nations” becoming worshippers (Ps. 22:27). But, as applied here to Christ, this is public praise over you, as your brother, before all of the family of God! “To my brothers in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise!” (v. 12).
In verse 13, the author sees Jesus speaking in first person quoting Isaiah 8:17. For Isaiah this was a prophetic word of victory! A divided kingdom meant Judah was under siege from both Israel and Syria who wanted to rival the throne of King Ahaz. God’s Davidic covenant did not fail, Assyria would sweep down and conquer both Syria and Israel, while Judah as spared!
The sentiment is clear! Jesus is the Victor while trusting the LORD! However, the next line quoted from Isaiah 8:18 shows why Jesus is speaking from these verses!
Jesus says, “Behold, I and the children God has given me” (v. 13).
“From what vantage point is Jesus making this declaration?” “From heaven down on his children?” No! Jesus speaks from down below on earth with his children! His brothers and sisters! “Where does he sing?” “In the midst of the congregation!”
Jesus shouts victory and sings hymns right here in church with you!
He’s in your foxhole with you!
He understands your needs! He’s growing you even when you’re on life-support!
Jesus is not a distant, disinterested, god! The god of the Greeks? Their founder or their “General” was Zeus!
“With human-like characteristics?” Yes. “With human weaknesses?” Yes.
But their human weaknesses were always driven by sin, but selfishness, and moral compromise!
Their gods suffered in their myths but their gods were not real! Our God is! We have a Suffering – Saving – God! But Jesus’ suffering was motivated by Love! Not Lust! Selflessness! Not selfishness! Nearness! Not Detachment!
As one pastor put it, “No one has suffered more that our God, on the Cross.”
He enters into your human suffering in a way no one else can. He is personally involved in your life and as the Founder of Salvation is your Leader through suffering to conquering glory!