20th Sunday after Pentecost
Hebrews 1:1-4 New Living Translation (NLT)
Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.
Hebrews 2:5-12 New Living Translation (NLT)
And furthermore, it is not angels who will control the future world we are talking about. For in one place the Scriptures say,
“What are mere mortals that you should think about them,
or a son of man that you should care for him?
Yet for a little while you made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them authority over all things.”
Now when it says “all things,” it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all things put under their authority. What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.
So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. For he said to God,
“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.
I will praise you among your assembled people.”
During Lent this last year, our church did a series called, “Who Is Jesus?” We looked at the various aspects of Jesus – first that He was 100% God, but He was also 100% human. During that series we outlined exactly why Jesus could be the Savior of the world.
The opening paragraph of the letter to the Hebrews, reminds us that “The Son (Jesus) radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.” This sentence reminds us that Jesus is God. Jesus is God from the very beginning – He was with God at the creation – and he is the sustainer of the universe. Everything is under the command of Jesus. Yet this very same Jesus came to earth – He was incarnate in our human bodies – He humbled himself to the point of dying a slave’s death on the cross to die and cleanse us from our sins. On the third day, he was raised to life through the power of the Holy Spirit and now sits on the right hand of God.
In the second part of the reading, we are reminded that Jesus by grace, Jesus tasted death so that he could bring many children to glory. Jesus is the only one possible to bring us to salvation. Jesus also died to make us holy. He made it possible that we could do exactly as God commanded when He said, “Be holy, as I am holy.” Jesus is the only one who could make that possible. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are adopted into Christ’s family and we have the same Father. “Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.” How cool is it that the one who created and sustains the universe is willing to call us his brothers and sisters? That is amazing grace and it shows how much he loves us.