************ Sermon on Hebrews 2:10 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on October 25, 2015
"The Author of Salvation"
"Fix your thoughts on Jesus" (Heb 3:1). That's what Hebrews says at the beginning of the next chapter. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus" (Heb 12:2). That's what Hebrews says in chapter 12. Hebrews says this to Jewish Christians who are thinking of returning to the Jewish faith because of persecution. "Fix your thoughts on Jesus. Fix your eyes on Jesus." Don't fix your thoughts and eyes on the Old Testament heroes of faith we find in Hebrews 11. Don't fix your thoughts and eyes on Mary or the saints -- as is done by the Roman Catholics. Fix your eyes and your thoughts on Jesus.
So far in our study of Hebrews the focus has been Jesus. What have we been told? Jesus is the "Son" (Heb 1:2). Jesus is God's last Word (1:2). Jesus is the "heir of all things" (1:2). Jesus is the Maker of the universe (1:2). Jesus "is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being" (1:3). Jesus is the sustainer of all things (1:3). Jesus "provided purification for sins" (1:3). Jesus "sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven" (1:3). Jesus is superior to the angels (1:4-14). Jesus is our brother (2:11). Jesus is a "merciful and faithful high priest" (2:17).
Our text this evening provides one more description of Jesus: Jesus is the "author" of salvation (2:10). The same word is used again in Hebrews 12:2 where Jesus is described as the "author" of faith.
I Who Jesus Is
A Jesus is the author of salvation. What does this mean? What does it say about Jesus? The Greek word is "archegos" and conveys the idea of being the leader, the one who goes first, the one who is at the head of a group, the one who opens or clears the way for others. "Archegos" describes an inaugurator, a trail-blazer, a pioneer -- someone whose achievements benefits those who come behind him.
Think of the pioneers to the American west. The pioneers were the first to enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others. They cleared the brush, plowed the land, and built a house. They were the trail-blazers.
When I started college, I wondered about the names of the residence halls. They had names like Boer, Bennink, Beets, Veenstra, Schultze, Eldersveld, Noordewier, VanderWerp, Rooks, Van Dellen. After a quick search in the library I discovered they were the founding fathers of the Christian Reformed Church. They were the pioneers who blazed the way.
Think of our troops in Afghanistan. When a patrol goes out someone always has to take point. To take point means to go in front as you advance through hostile territory. The soldier on point is frequently the first to take hostile fire. He risks his life by being the first. He clears the way for those who follow him. Thanks to him, the way is open and safe for the soldiers in his unit.
This is what Hebrews means when it tells us Jesus is the author of salvation. He takes point. He is the pioneer. He is the trail-blazer Who clears the way for those who follow Him.
B Adam was the first archegos. He was called to lead the human race in obedience. He was called to lead the human race to glory. Our Bible reading puts it this way:
(Heb 2:8) In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.Not everything is subject because Adam sinned and failed and fell short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). The result was the opposite of what should have happened. The world became a hostile place with enmity between man and God, man and Satan, man and woman, man and animal, man and man (Gen 3:8-19; 4:1-12). Instead of paving the way, Adam turned the world and everything in it into a hostile jungle. Not only was man removed from the Garden of Eden but it became off-limits and its entrance was guarded by a cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life (Gen 3:24). The trail Adam blazed was one of death and destruction and slavery and fear.
C Jesus came as the second archegos (1 Cor 15:45-47). He came to undo the disaster unleashed by Adam. He entered the jungle to lead us back to the garden. He broke through and subdued all its opposition to God. He dealt with God's curse. He cleared the way into God's presence for all who believe in and follow Him (Heb 10:19-20). He, more than any other, is the pioneer, the point man, the trail-blazer.
Jesus, my brothers and sisters, is the author, the archegos, of salvation. It is He Who blazes the trail to the Father's presence and throne.
II What Jesus Does
A That bring us to our second point: what Jesus does as the archegos of salvation.
One theme we see over and over again in the Bible is the idea that suffering brings honor and glory. Joseph, for example, suffered through many years of dishonor and imprisonment before rising to a place of honor in Pharaoh's court. Moses spent forty years exiled in the wilderness before he went back to Egypt to lead the children of Israel. David had to flee for his life and lived in caves and holes in the ground before he became king of Israel. Daniel faced scorn and a sentence of death for refusing to pray to Darius but later achieved honor as a prophet. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the king's fiery furnace and then promoted to high positions in the province of Babylon. Suffering brings honor and glory.
According to the book of Hebrews the same principle applies to the Lord Jesus Christ: suffering brings honor and glory. Look at verse 9:
(Heb 2:9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.Suffering brings honor and glory. Don't we see the same principle laid out in the beautiful hymn of Christ that we find in Philippians 2:
(Phil 2:6-11) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (7) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! [DO YOU HEAR ALL THE SUFFERING?] (9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [DO YOU HEAR ALL THE GLORY?]Suffering brings honor and glory.
B But the author of Hebrews does not merely observe that the suffering of Jesus brings Him honor and glory (2:9); in our text he also makes the judgment that this is fitting and proper:
(Heb 2:10) In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
As the archegos of salvation it is fitting that the Son of God took our human nature and entered into our fallen, sin-ravaged world. It is fitting that on the cross He bore God's judgment against our sin. It is fitting that He experienced the divine curse.
As the archegos of salvation, it is fitting that Jesus began the same way as you and me: in the womb. In the womb of the virgin Mary, He took on our flesh. He Who made the universe, He Who sustains the universe, became incarnate as an embryo -- so small, so fragile, so dependent on His mother for survival. In a world in which sin infects us all from the womb (Ps 51:5), God did not begin with a mature man. Our Lord must begin His work in prenatal darkness.
As the archegos of salvation, it is fitting that Jesus emerged from the womb and went through all the stages of human life. He didn't grow up in an abundant Eden with perfect parents. Anything but. He grew up in a working man's home in which even those who loved Him did not understand Him. When He started His ministry, He confronted the Devil while weakened by hunger and thirst and surrounded by the wild beasts of the wilderness.
As the archegos of salvation, it is fitting that Jesus was tortured and beaten and crucified. It is fitting that He was heard to cry out, "My God, My God, why have your forsaken me?" (Mt 27:46).
As the archegos of salvation it is fitting that Jesus should die and be buried and on the third day rise again from the dead.
C Our text says Jesus, as the archegos of salvation, is made "perfect through suffering" (Heb 2:10). Jesus is "made perfect"? What can this possibly mean? Does it mean Jesus is lacking something, that He has some deficiency? Does it mean Jesus has sin? The answer is No, No, a thousand times No. The Bible is clear that Jesus has no blemish or sinful defect. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth" (1 Pet 2:21-22). He was "tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin" (Heb 4:15). He was altogether perfect.
We need to understand the word "perfect" as completed or finished. Jesus' suffering and death and resurrection and ascension into heaven and glorification completed or finished the work He came to do. Jesus' suffering and death and resurrection and ascension and glorification completed or finished His work to provide purification for sins (Heb 1:3).
What started in the womb, what continued through birth and life, was finished and completed when He arose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and was seated at the right hand of God the Father.
III What Jesus Brings
A This brings us to our last point: what Jesus brings as the archegos of salvation. What does Jesus bring? He is "bringing many sons to glory" (Heb 2:10).
I want you to realize that what happens to Christ happens to those who believe in Christ. Don't forget, as the archegos, Christ is the trail-blazer, the pioneer Who prepares the way, the One Who takes point for the safety and security of those who follow Him. As the Easter song puts it,
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! As with Christ, suffering brings honor and glory. Peter puts it this way in his first letter:
Following our exalted Head; Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise; Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Alleluia!
(Christ the Lord Is Risen Today)
(1 Pet 5:10) And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
So, there awaits us the glory of heaven, the glory of life with God, the glory of living with God in the new heaven and new earth. As the archegos of salvation, Jesus has prepared the way. He is getting a place ready for us. And someday we will follow His path and enter into His glory.
You know what this glory is like: He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (cf Rev 21:4). Ours is the glory of a new and better life in a new and better body on a new and better earth. This is the first thing we can say about the glory that awaits us.
B At the start of our Bible reading is a quote from Psalm 8. Psalm 8, in turn, is David's meditation on the creation of man in Genesis 1:26-28. It reflects on the way Adam was made as the image and likeness of God and was given dominion over all the earth.
Remember what happened? When Adam fell into sin, man went from God's beautiful garden into a hostile jungle. Instead of having dominion over all things, man became a slave of things. As Hebrews puts it, "Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him" (Heb 2:8).
It is Jesus Who brings "many sons to glory" (Heb 2:10). What glory? The glory that was meant to be ours since the beginning of time. The glory of being perfect stewards of a perfect universe. The glory of being the divinely appointed gardener who turns the whole earth into the Garden of God. The glory of exercising dominion rather than being enslaved. This is the second thing we can say about the glory that awaits us.
C As the archegos of salvation Jesus is going to make us into radiant reflections of God Himself. We started off this way in the beginning. Man was furnished in his mind with a true and beneficial knowledge of God and things spiritual, in his will and heart with righteousness, and in all his emotions with purity; indeed, the whole man and everything about him was holy. However, rebelling against God at the devil's instigation and by his own free will, he deprived himself of these outstanding gifts. And, in their place man brought upon himself blindness, terrible darkness, futility, and distortion of judgment in his mind; perversity, defiance, and hardness in his heart and will; and impurity in all his emotions. But, in Christ, this original glory is restored to us. This is the third thing we can say about the glory that awaits us.
The last couple of months I have been talking to Christine Fukano and Bert Van Dyk about this glory. Both told me they are ready for it. Both told me they eagerly await it and pray for it. Both told me they are tired of their present body of death (Rom 7:24) and are confident that when they leave this life they are going to glory: the glory of the new life, the glory of exercising dominion, the glory of reflecting God.
Is this your confidence? I need to ask because verse 9 says Jesus tasted death "for everyone." But our text from verse 10 says He brings "many sons to glory." I want you to realize that the "everyone" of verse 9 is limited by the "many" of verse 10. Do you hear what is being said? Hebrews is reminding us that not everyone is going to glory! Christ has not blazed the way for everyone. Christ has not been glorified for everyone. Christ is not the archegos for everyone.
Is this your confidence? That someday you will be brought to glory because of Christ? Let me tell you right now that for this to happen you need to fix your eyes and your thoughts on Jesus. Don't be like the original audience of Hebrews who was so tempted to take their eye off the prize. Don't be like the original audience of Hebrews who was tempted to go back to the false security of their old faith.
Repent of your sin. Keep your eyes and your thoughts fixed on Jesus. And you, by the grace of God, will be one of the many sons and daughters taken to glory.
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