The Book of Hebrews #10 chapter 2:9-18
The Book of Hebrews
The Perfect Savior
Hebrews 2:9-18
 
I like the timing of tonight’s study because, here we are approaching Easter and before us tonight, in  verses 9-18, is a description of the perfect savior.
 
Remember, we are listening in as the author of the book addresses a mostly Jewish audience to convince them of the superiority of Christ.  So far, he has covered one primary comparison and that is angels.  By relationship with God and position and power and inheritance, He is superior.  Even though he became a man, and thus a little lower than the angels, it was temporary.
 
In fact, it had to happen so he could die for our sins.  Because of sin, we were made a little lower than the angels as well, but one day through the work of Christ, we are restored to our place as well.
 
But let’s back to this time when Jesus was made a little lower than the angels (verse 9).  And notice it was “for the suffering of death, that he might taste death for everyone”.
 
Now what we are given in these next verses are five  particulars that were accomplished through His death and resurrection.  Now we are going to have to hurry , and I can’t spend as much time as I would like, but I want to cover all five before we finish.  So let’s jump in.  Here are five characteristics of the perfect Savior.
 
 
Number one: Although Jesus became less for a little while, He became
 
1. Our Substitute
 
verse 9
 
For whom did He taste death? Everyone. That is the substitutionary death of Christ. He died in your place and in my place. This is basic to the gospel.
 
We understand the theology behind that.  Both in the Old Testament as well as the New, that principle is laid out.  “The soul that sisn shall die” according to Ezekiel.  “The wages of sin is death”, Paul wrote to the Romans.
 
Sin brings death. Death is inevitable where there is sin. And God has an option. Either He lets man die and pay for His own sin or He allows a substitute to take the punishment of man and die in his place. And so God said, “I’ll just take care of this Myself”, and He humbled Himself, came to earth, and died in our place. 
 
If He had not become a man and died for us, we would die in our sins.   He is the Perfect Savior because of He became our substitute.
 
He is also identified as
 
2. Our Captain
 
Verse 10
 
 
Now this verse has a lot of information in it.  First of all, we see the power and position of God.  He not only made it all, but He made it all for himself.
 
And He put together the plan for Jesus to be our captain because He desired to have a relationship with mankind.  God's design in the world was to bring men to Himself. 
 
Now if He's going to bring many sons to glory, He's got to tell us how to get there, right? But more than that, He's got to have somebody to take us. It wouldn't do much good if Jesus had just arrived here and left a map to heaven. So instead, God sent us a captain.
 
The word for captain means a pioneer or a leader. It can also be translated prince.  But it always means somebody who does something that somebody else benefits from. For example, it's used of a man who begins a family and others are born into it. Or it's used of a man who founds a city in which others come to live. And commonly it was used of a pioneer who blazed a trail for others to follow.
 
The captain never stood at the rear giving orders. He was always out front blazing the trail. And Christ is not standing at the rear giving orders. He is out in front blazing the trail.
 
In other words, by His own obedience He blazed a trail of obedience that set the pattern for us. And it wasn’t just a trail of love; He blazed the trail in suffering.
 
 
God wanted to bring many sons to glory.  In order to do that, He sent us a captain.  But to get us to where He was, the captain had to suffer and die. He didn't just get at the rear and tell us how to get there. He got out in front and all we had to do was take His hand and He led us into the presence of God.
 
He is the perfect savior because He is our substitute and our captain.  Look at number three.
 
3.  Our Sanctifier
 
Verses 11-13
 
What does it mean to be sanctified?  He is the one who makes us holy.  You say, “Well I'm not holy.”
 
If you are a child of God you are.  If you’ve ever been saved, listen, you are as holy as you’re ever going to be! 
 
You say that's just what I try to make you think.
 
No, I'm not talking about your practice. I'm talking about your position.  Before God, we are absolutely perfect and holy.  You may not act holy, but you are.  Sometimes saints ain’t but you and I are holy. 
 
You may say, “How did I get that way?”  Jesus made it happen.  That’s what these verse are telling us. 
 
We are holy in the sense that before God the righteousness of Christ has been placed in your behalf. And in that regard, what you are and what you act like are two entirely different things. 
 
Listen the goal of Christianity is to get our practice to catch up with our position.  And one day it does.  That’s what we talked about last Sunday.  We see Jesus we are changed to be like Him.  That’s not just in appearance and substance but in behavior and spirit.  But positionally, from the moment of your salvation forward, you're holy.
 
And as a result of being one with Him, He's not ashamed to call us brethren. That's a humbling thought to have the Son of God call me brethren and not to be ashamed of it.
 
And then, for the Jews who were listening, he quotes from the Old Testament. 
 
verse 12
 
Here you have a picture of Jesus Christ calling believers brother from Psalm 22.
 
Now the Psalm 22 deals with the crucifixion and resurrection.  The first part of the Psalm deals with the crucifixion.  This quote is from verse 22 and Jesus says He’s in the midst of the congregation .
 
Now if you've got the crucifixion in one verse and Jesus standing in the midst of the congregation talking to His brethren and praising God in the next, you're going to have something in between.  If you’ve got death in one verse and life in the next verse, what's got to come in the middle? A resurrection.
 
 
 
And so Jesus is pictured in an Old Testament passage in a post resurrection joy with His brothers. That must have been startling for a Jew to discover that Christian brotherhood came right out of the Old Testament!
 
But if you will remember, right after the resurrection, Jesus said to Mary, "Go tell my brethren to go to Galilee and there they will see Me.”  Did you realize that is the first usage of that term “brethren” by Jesus?  Doo you know why?  Because it was the first time they were ever His brother. That's a beautiful thought. There were His friends; they were His sheep; they were His servants, but not brothers until the crucifixion and resurrection made it possible. 
 
And so Jesus grabbed Psalm 22 not only to prove His death and resurrection, but show them that that brotherhood begins in resurrection.
 
Then He takes another text from Isaiah 8:17 to prove His point and it’s found there in verse 13. 
 
There you have Christ admitting that He lives by faith. And Jesus Christ takes His place as our brother, not in nature for we are human, He is divine. Not in power for we are human and He is divine.  But in righteousness we are brothers and in faith toward God we are brothers.
 
That will help you when you are called on to walk by faith and to submit yourselves to God and to live in dependence on God.  We aren’t doing anything more or anything other than Jesus Himself did when He was here. 
 
He is our substitute; He is our Captain; He is our Sanctifier.  Here’s the fourth one.  He is
 
5. Our Conqueror
 
verses 14-15
 
Somebody had to break Satan's power over us.  If we're going to be free to live with God and experience what God has, somebody's going to have to shatter the power that holds us down.
 
Now the greatest power Satan has over us is death.  It is the ultimate demonstration of the effects of sin.  Death is the ultimate weapon in the devil’s arsenal. 
 
And if Satan can just hang on to a man until he dies, he's got him forever.  So if there will ever be ultimate victory, somebody’s going to have to destroy death. 
 
And remember, we are still answering the question, “Why did Jesus die?”  Here we have another answer.
 
"That through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is the devil."
 
The only way to destroy Satan was to rob him of his weapon. And his weapon is death. Satan knew that God required death for us because of sin.  Satan knew that as in Adam all died.  And Satan wants to hold on to men until they die, because once they're dead, that's the end.
 
And that’s what verse 14 is alluding to.  We are all “partakers of flesh and blood”.  And we have this sin nature and sin leads to death.
Therefore, it is critical that this weapon of death be taken away. 
 
Now to take away the effectiveness of death, you’ve got to have a stronger weapon.  You can't fight against a machine gun with a bow and arrow. And if all Satan's got is death and God's got something greater, then Satan's weapon is useless. And so Jesus provided something better than death. And what could be better than death? Life. And with life, Jesus destroyed death.
 
That's exactly what it means in verse 14. It says, that "through death He might destroy him." Did you notice that it was through death that He destroyed Satan's power of death? Did you get that?
 
His dying destroyed death. Why? Because He went into death as a partaker of flesh and blood like us and came out the other side and showed that He could conquer it.
 
And then, verse 15, He made it available to us. It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that provides the believer with eternal life. It's the only thing that could ever have done it.
 
And we are freed from the threat and the fear of death because Jesus has conquered it. It’s one of the reasons He had to be made a little lower than the angels. 
 
So we see our perfect Savior as our substitute, our  captain, our sanctifier, our conqueror, lastly
 
 
 
5. Our High Priest
 
Verse 16
 
He didn't come to redeem angels. I mean, if He's going to come and redeem angels, then He would have become an angel.  But He came as a man.  He took on himself the form of Abraham's seed and became a Jew.
 
And as a man, He came to reconcile men to God.  That was the job of a priest.  The priest’s job was to get a man to God.
 
Jesus came to take man into the presence of God. And beyond that He came to help those that are tempted. He wanted to feel everything we ever felt that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest.
 
You see He came not only to save us, but He came to sympathize with us. It helps us to remember that Christ was a human being also. No matter where you are, He was there before you got there. And you can get down on your knees when the going gets tough and you can say, “Lord, You know what You went through when You were here.  Well, I'm going through it now. And He'll say, Yeah, I know.”
 
But He’ll also say, "But there is no temptation taken you, but such is as common to man and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that you may bear it.”
 
Isn't it wonderful when you have a problem to go to somebody who's been there and through it and out the other side with victory and lean on them a little?
Listen, Jesus didn't just arrive in the world and die. He was in all things tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He wanted to be a merciful and faithful and sympathetic high priest. He was hungry. He was thirsty. He was overcome with fatigue. He slept. He was taught. He grew. He loved. He was astonished. He marveled. He was glad. He was angry. He was indignant. He was sarcastic. He was grieved. He was troubled. He was overcome by future events. He exercised faith. He read the Scripture. He prayed all night. He saw. He sighed in His heart when He saw another man in illness. Tears fell from His eyes when His heart ached. He had it all. He felt everything you'll ever feel.
 
In fact, He felt and experienced it to a much deeper degree than we’ll ever understand.  Listen, the one who never gives into temptation, feels temptation to its extreme on every occasion.
 
Most of us will never know the degree to which temptation can go because we succumb about halfway down the line at best. And Jesus never sinned and thus He took the full shot of every single temptation that ever came and He felt every pain that you and I will ever feel.
 
And because of that, because He was made a little lower than the angels, as a result of that, we have a merciful and faithful high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.
 
I'll tell you something: I don't want a cosmic God who’s out there somewhere and rather indifferent to me. I want somebody who knows where I hurt and knows what I’m going through and can encourage me and do something about it.
And so the Holy Spirit is saying to the Jewish reader, “Take a good long look at Jesus.  He had to become lower than angels because He came as the perfect Savior.
 
He is our substitute, our captain, our sanctifier, our conqueror and our high priest. 
 
Let’s pray
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