Before I begin: thank you everyone who has offered congratulations on my recent engagement. Your prayers and words mean a lot to Christine and I. Now, please take time to read Hebrews chapter 2.
I have a couple of things I want to focus on in this chapter. I'm choosing not to spend time writing about how Jesus says He's not ashamed to call us brothers even though that is an amazing truth. I want to look, instead, at our charge to hold fast to the Gospel and the claim made in verse 10 that Christ was made perfect.
First, we must cling to the Gospel.
"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard (the Gospel), so that we do not drift away." Hebrews 2:1
In our personal lives and in our churches corporately me must always keep the Gospel the focus of our vision. As a church we should never be so concerned about doing "Christian things" that we lose sight of the Gospel. We should never be so familiar with the Gospel message that we forget its magnitude. I mean, how many times have we casually said, "Jesus died for my sins"? That should blow us away; that should not be a throw away line. So, in our churches we must have the Gospel as the center of our worship services, Sunday school classes, etc or we might as well go to a Kiwanis Club meeting instead.
Personally, we need to keep the truth of the Gospel the center of our being. If we don't always remember Christ's victory for us we will let our circumstances blur the truth that God is for us and in control. Remember what Jesus said to the 72 messengers in Luke 10:20:
"Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
If we find our strength for living in anything other than Christ's victory for us we will be shaken and destroyed. We'll be like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. The rains will come, and our house will come crashing down. Rather, be like the wise man and build your house on the rock that is Christ's victory on the cross. When the rains come your house will stand firm.
The second thing that I noticed in this chapter was verse 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."
Okay, did I read this right? Does this say that God made Jesus perfect? It seems to. Well, wasn't Jesus always perfect? The answer to both of these questions is "yes".
Jesus was always perfect and will always be perfect. He has always existed in perfection and will always exist in perfection. So, how did God make Jesus perfect through suffering?
Here's my understanding: Jesus was perfect, but until He sacrificed Himself on the cross He had not yet perfectly become the author of our salvation. In order to become the author of our salvation He had to submit Himself to death on a cross because that is what the Old Testament prophesies said He would do. If He was not bruised for our inequities then God, through Isaiah, was a liar. When Jesus finished God's task He finished it perfectly. He was made perfect for this role through suffering. I hope this clears that up because it is a confusing idea.
So, pay more careful attention, therefore, to what you have heard (the Gospel), so that you do not drift away. Keep the Gospel the focal point of your being today.