Aim: Jesus became man to rescue mankind
Introduction: Picture a family run campground, run by a Father and Son team. Now the son, who helped build the campground would have every right to sit in His office and send out memos to the counselors and campers. But He knows that to really train the counselors, it would be best if He didn’t just tell them, but showed them. Jesus did exactly that, and so much more. Last week we learned about how Jesus was above all, higher than the angels, King, creator, sustainer of all things, an exact representation of God. And this week we learn how He became fully man, not only to teach us – but to save us.
Division 1: Hebrews 2:5-18: Jesus became lower than angels to sit down as king
Principle a: Jesus suffered death to give us life
Illustration: Several years ago I went camping with my son and we slept in the old canvas army tents. Besides the fact that they smelled bad and had spiders, it rained that first night. Now, I know you aren’t supposed to touch a canvas tent in the rain, but, it was just too tempting. Sometimes it was just accidental, brushing against it trying to get out of the way of the times before when I touched it to see what would happen, but soon we had water pouring in.
While we may live in a stinky old tent that we got from our parents who got it from their parents (i.e., our sinful bodies), Jesus offers us a gift of a brand new tent to live with Him.
Application: what are you doing that you know you shouldn’t? Are you holding onto your stinky old ways or do you accept the gift? Are the rains falling in your life now (if not, they will) – what shape is your tent in?
Principle b: God didn’t lower the bar, Jesus lifted us up on His shoulders
Illustration: I’m not perfect. No one is perfect. Have you ever said that? I have. But it is wrong – Jesus was perfect while fully a man. The only way to stand in the presence of God is to be completely without sin – otherwise you would be undone by the conviction of your sin. We don’t get into God’s presence by being better than others, we get there by being perfect – God didn’t lower that requirement – he didn’t lower the bar – but he did raise the floor by allowing us to stand on the one who was without sin and step over the bar without any work of our own.
Application: Are you trying to be good to be better than others or to obey God? What are you trying to earn that has been given as a gift? Do you recognize the perfect son of man?
Division 2: Hebrews 3:1 – 4:11 Jesus/Moses – faithful servants, but Jesus is supreme
Principle: Faith and obedience have always been the requirements to enjoy God’s promised rest
Illustration: One of the things to watch for when camping is where you pitch your tent. It is tempting to pitch it down next to a river. Water and food are handy, its comfortable, sure there are the mosquitoes and bugs, but such is life, right?. But when rains come it is important to be on higher ground. God brought his people out of the slavery of Egypt, but they refused to move their tents – they fought him, they ignored him, they disobeyed. His desire for them was that they would heed his warning , they were creating their own storm of disobedience and they were not safe – but they refused. As a result, they died, drowning forever in their own stubbornness. We are warned to listen and not be deceived by sin, to put our obedience in God and do not follow the example the Jews did with Moses.
Application: The storms of life and temptation are coming – are you listening to the warnings or fighting them? Do you learn from the stories in the bible or relive them? What part of your life do you need to submit to obedience to God?
Division 3: Hebrews: 4:12-13 The word of God is alive and active, cutting, judging and saving
(These 2 verses are the memory verses for the kids this week and one we would all be wise to commit to memory!)
The word of God is alive (not history, not dead, not just words – it has life)
The word of God is active – not passive, not waiting, not absent – active
The word of God cuts ( I sure felt this one throughout this week’s study – meditating on the living word, encouraging others every day, honoring the sabbath day of rest, living like someone given new life, obeying)
He is the judge – there will be an account taken for the time I am given on this earth
There is nothing hidden, period. If that doesn’t strike fear into you, then you are truly in denial – imagine every action, thought, glance, deception, lie you every made, exposed for all to see.
And, most amazing of all – through all of those facts – Jesus became like me to die for me to pay the price to save me from the very judgment that I deserve. When you think about it, it makes no logical sense – why would the creator of everything, knowing everything do this for me? There are only two things to say:
1. John 3:16 answers that question in one of the only places in the bible that it gives us a “why” in regard to God’s behavior – “for God so loved the world” – it was love
2. The only thing that could possibly make less logical sense than what God did would be to reject the gift that He has provided – to reject His love rather than sharing it back to Him and to others.
Luke 8:18 says “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.” When we think about our response to God’s love we can see how this becomes not only understandable, but the only thing fair and true. Fill your hearts with God’s love and share it, protect it, cherish it, encourage others, grow in closeness with Him and He will pour out more and more love to you. But if you take the love of God only for your own gain, complaining, disobeying, continuing to sin, trying to use God and His church only to better your own life, then that life that you think you have will not last – nothing is hidden, not even our hearts.
I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul was a tent maker.
The storms are coming – how about a new tent? If anyone’s in Christ, he is a new creation. While you are at it, why don’t you just go ahead and pitch your tent right inside God’s house?
Division 1: Hebrews 2: 10-18: Jesus became man to raise us up to be his brothers