#6 To Identify with Humanity - Part 2 series: Lessons on Hebrews
by John Lowe
The basis of the Greek idea of God was detachment; the basis of the Christian idea is identity. Through His suffering, Jesus Christ identified Himself with man. Through this identity, Jesus Christ sympathizes with man. He literally feels with them. It is almost impossible to understand another person's sorrows and suffering unless we have been through the same thing. Because He sympathizes Jesus Christ can really help. He has met our sorrows; He has faced our temptations. As a result, He knows exactly what help we need; and He can give it.
Dear reader, please do not be offended by what I am going to say next. By divine decree sins’ demand upon the sinner had to be met by a sinless substitute, and only by death for sin could a man be reconciled to God. Although Jesus Christ was the Son of God, the sinless One, undefiled, without guile, perfect God and perfect man, and though He was God Himself, His perfect life does not save us. His virgin birth does not save us. Actually, His teaching does not save us. His miracles do not save us, nor does His example save us. But it is His death upon a cross that saves us. If you can convince me that all God did for this lost world was to pitch the Bible down here, then I am ready to turn my back upon Him. But that is not what God did. He came down to earth and took upon Himself our humanity. Because He suffered and died upon the cross, I am prepared to trust in Him. I am prepared to love Him because of what He has done for me and all lost mankind.
Today, Jesus stands at the head of a great number of people, destined to share in His honor and glory. He certainly accomplished something unique on behalf of others (v. 9) and is rightly called “the source of eternal salvation” in 5:9. Three times we are told that He was made perfect (here; 5:9; 7:28). There is no sense in which He was morally imperfect, but by His, suffering and temptation, His death and heavenly exaltation, He was qualified or made completely adequate as the Savior of His people. The implications of this divine teaching will become clearer as our study progresses
She was qualified and Jesus was not a man in whom God did something. The humanity of Jesus does not mean that He was a religious genius. It doesn’t mean that He was a martyr to a cause. It doesn’t mean that He was setting a good example. Christ’s humiliation accomplished two things: (1) It brought glory and honor to the person of Christ; and (2) it procured man’s salvation by making man’s salvation possible. Christ took humanity to heaven and there is not only a Man in glory but there is a glory in that man which was not there before.
11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.
As the “perfected” Savior, Jesus makes men holy or “consecrates” a people to God (10:10, 14, 29; 13:12). Hebrews uses three Old Testament texts to show how this happens. Psalm 22:22 speaks about the proclamation of God’s deliverance by someone who had experienced terrible suffering and rejection. These words apply supremely to Jesus as the resurrected and ascended Lord proclaiming the victory achieved through His death. We might say, “He sanctifies us” - to be sanctified doesn’t mean what the average person thinks it means. Well, sanctification, when it is used in connection with the Holy Spirit, has to do with the work of God in us, to make of us the type of representative He wants down here on this earth. It is the work of the Spirit of God in the heart of the redeemed. However, sanctification, when used in connection with the person of Christ (as in this Epistle to the Hebrews) is not purification. It is not a condition but a position that we have in Christ. He was the Just One who took the place of the unjust so that He might bring us to God. And He has brought us now into the family of God. Jesus has brought us into the family of God. He is the firstborn among many brethren; He is the Head of the family, and He calls us brethren because we all become sons of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers have a unique relationship with Christ. The writer of Hebrews speaks of complete identification of the Holy One with a people He is making holy. Jesus Christ is united to us and we are united to Him (we are spiritually one.).
Jesus loves the sinner, He loved them so much that He died to save them, but they cannot be referred to as His brethren (brothers and sisters) until they believe in His finished work and His shed blood. When they become recipients of God’s grace, partakers of Divine nature and new creations in Christ Jesus, they are then His “brethren (brothers and sisters).
So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
In the family of God, He is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters but I would never dream of calling Him, brother. I had a friend who made it a practice when he prayed to Call God, daddy. I couldn’t do that because for me that would be too informal and would indicate a lack of respect.
That is really wonderful, that Jesus is not ashamed of me because I must confess that I have done some things that I am ashamed of and if you had been there you would be ashamed of me too. But Jesus is not. I am forgiven and my shame is gone too. Christ’s sanctifying work on the cross is so perfect that God sees us in Him, as perfect as He is. Such is the magnificence of Christ’s work that he can bring us into the presence of angels and the presence of the Father Himself and say, - “These are my brothers and sisters” and He might just glance at me and say, “This one is with me.”
12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly, I will sing your praises.”
Jesus proclaimed the victory He achieved by His death on the cross. In so doing, He gathers around Him and sustains the congregation or church of His spiritual brothers and sisters. Isaiah 8:16-18 speaks about Isaiah and his disciples being united by their trust in God thus becoming signs and symbols to unbelieving Israel. Hebrews takes a sentence from Isaiah 8:17 (I will put my trust in him) as a pointer to Jesus’ faithful reliance on the Father in the carrying out of His earthly ministry.
This verse is a quotation from Psalm 22, the great psalm of the cross. The first part of Psalm 22 denotes the humiliation of Christ, and you are actually given the last seven words of Christ on the cross. In Psalm 22, the Lord is prophetically seen on the cross comforting Himself with thoughts of the people who would forever be identified with Him as a result of His death. Beginning with verse 22 of the psalm you have the exultation of Christ: “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee” (Ps.22:22).
Gospels give the facts of the crucifixion
Psalms give the feelings of the crucified
in the assembly, I will sing your praises.”
The KJV has “in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” After describing the death of Jesus, it has Him in the midst of the church declaring the name of the Father and singing praise to the Father.
13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
And again, “I will put my trust in him.” This verse is a quote from 2 Samuel 22:3 and Isaiah 8:17-18. In Isaiah 8 we read of the impending Assyrian invasion the outward circumstance in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 8 were unpromising, but the eye of faith looked beyond appearances to the ultimate triumph
I think it is very important that we keep in mind the ones to whom this epistle was written. It was, of course, written to the Jewish people. This will enable me to give a correct interpretation that, I trust, might lead to an application to your heart and to my heart.
And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
Isaiah 8:18 is used to identify the church given to Jesus by God. His persistence in faith, even to the point of death, makes it possible for them to have faith. Faith binds the family of Christ together.
One day, in the presence of God the Father, God the Son will confess us openly and joyfully before the great congregation in heaven.