22nd September 2022
Read (Hebrews 2.17-18)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
It is remarkable when we consider the earthly life of Christ. He wasn't a little bit human and a little bit God. His humanity didn't convert His divinity and equally His divinity didn't convert His humanity. He was and is true God, true man but always without sin. Think on this for a wee second...there was a date in history that Jesus took His first steps, there was another moment that He would have been weaned off His mother's milk and on another occasion Jesus started working alongside His earthy father Joseph.
Christ was made like us in every respect. But why? Surely it was possible for Jesus to come as a fully grown man and go immediately to the cross? Why did He need to spend over thirty years here on earth? Why did He become the eldest son and big brother of an earthly family? Why did He have to become a subject of the Roman empire? Why did he attend weddings and funerals? Why a physical body and an awful death? What was it all for?
The Apostle explains that Christ was made like us in every respect so that He might become our faithful high priest in God's service (v17). As the church worshipped in the Old Testament they did so by way of sacrifice and priesthood. But this system was temporary until the arrival of Christ. At Calvary, Christ showed Himself as our priest and our sacrifice. He went to the place of the skull where He Himself laid down His life as a ransom for many. The Temple is no more because Christ is the true temple. Sacrifices are no more because Christ's sacrifice was sufficient. The priesthood is no more because Jesus is the true priest.
On the cross Jesus made "propitiation" for His people's sins. That's a difficult word to say but it's an important word to learn. When we speak of "propitiation" we talk of Christ's sacrifice being one that turns away the wrath of God. Let me say that again...Christ's sacrifice turned away the wrath of God. If you think of the wildest of storms with rain, thunder and lightning beating down upon your house, you still won't grasp the furious anger of God towards sin.
Sinners caught in the storm of God's wrath will surely perish. Just as you could do with an umbrella on a rainy day, so too do we need something to protect us from God's anger. Christ fulfils this great need. The wrath of God is furious indeed but those who trust in Christ will find that He faced the anger of God so that we never will. Jesus became sin for our sake. He is our propitiation - His sacrifice turns away the anger of God.
Jesus was made like us in every respect so that He might become our faithful high priest. Christ who was truly human and knew all the struggles of humanity made propitiation for our sins.
We would do well to remember this truth and we would do well to remember that the cross wasn't "easy" for Jesus. We incorrectly think that because Jesus was true God and true man then perhaps the nails didn't really hurt and the agony wasn't really that bad. May God forgive us. Christ's suffering is beyond our imagination. He suffered. He was tempted. He was crushed. Yet He did not sin and He did not fail.
Today if you are being tempted and today if you know suffering then there really is only One who can help. Christ was made like you in every respect and today as your great high priest He is able to help you in your temptation (v18). Lift your eyes to Him dear child of God, He faced God's wrath so you don't have to, lift your eyes to Him.
Q59 Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath? From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week, ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.