Hebrews 9-10, Part 16.
Before the universe had even been created, God existed. Before time began, he was present. God himself was all that was. His Person has always existed as One in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Three in One have always existed in completely harmony of relationship.
Even before humanity had been created, God the Son had already been given the mission and goal of redeeming us and of restoring God’s planned order of creation — a universe of love, harmony, security, and peace. This plan was already in place, because God knew sin would come into the world through the evil actions of the tempter when coupled with the brilliant curiosity of the man and the woman he had created. All was foreknown.Even before humanity had been created, God the Son had already been given the mission and goal of redeeming us and of restoring God's planned order of creation — a universe of love, harmony, security, and peace. Click To Tweet
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment —to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:7-10 NIV).
In the Biblical record we have assurance of the eternal love of a good God, One who seeks and saves the lost, One who lays down his life for us. We also have a record of Jesus’ intentionality from before creation. He would be the One to redeem us.In the Biblical record we have assurance of the eternal love of a good God, One who seeks and saves the lost, One who lays down his life for us. We also have a record of Jesus' intentionality from before creation. He would be the One. Click To Tweet
In Isaiah 49, the prophet is given a glimpse into a conversation within the Godhead about the redemption that the Son would accomplish. Isaiah wrote it down for Israel and, thus, for us, kept and preserved for over two thousand years. Here we have the Son speaking of what God said to him:
“He [God] said to me [Son, Jesus], “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”
But I [Son] said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand,
and my reward is with my God” (Isaiah 49:3-4 NIV).
Even knowing how difficult the task would be, how hard-hearted humanity would become, still the Son came. Even knowing that as a human man he would feel entirely spent by the task, completely poured out, still he came. Peter, an eyewitness, later wrote this about Jesus’ emotions when facing the cross and how he entrusted himself entirely to God, providing for us an example of how to trust God during times of persecution, insult, and trial.
“But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.‘[Isaiah 53:9] When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly…” (1 Peter 2:20-23 NIV).
The Son knew he would experience a feeling of heaviness and human discouragement, as if he had spent himself for nothing, as if the mission was all in vain. He knew he would come to the end of his human self. And, he did. Yet still, the Son planned with the Father to come as our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. He entrusted himself entirely to the God who judges justly. Obedience to the Father’s plan and love for us propelled him forward to this ultimate sacrifice. Because of the Son’s faithful obedience to this plan to redeem us, the Father honors him. The Isaiah passage continues…
5 And now the Lord says—
he who formed me [Jesus] in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I [Jesus] am honored in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strength—
6 he [God] says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles [that’s most of us],
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
7 This is what the Lord says—
the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
to him [Jesus] who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
to the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you [Jesus] and stand up,
princes will see and bow down,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you” (Isaiah 49:5-8 NIV).
When it was time to replace the Old Covenant that could never purify humanity, a covenant requiring an annual offering that resulted in those who had made sacrifice feeling just as guilty as before, yet with no recourse until the Day of Atonement on the following year, Jesus stepped up. He gave his life, including not only Jews, but also Gentiles (all non-Jews), in his mission. He established a New Covenant. He obeyed the Father and kept to the plan they had made before the earth was even formed.
3 But in these sacrifices [of the Old Covenant] there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book’” (Hebrews 10:3-7 ESV).
God prepared his Son a body in the womb of a young virgin Jewish girl, so that his Son could be born to die. A body was prepared for this eternal spirit, God the Son, present everywhere and yet now compressed into a human body to live a human life. He became one of us, walking among us, loving us, reproving us, teaching us, and eventually dying for us.
Though among us, he was entirely unique. His ears were open to the Father’s words. He walked in perfect obedience to God. He loved with all of his being. He cared for the outcast and sick. No one like him had ever existed on this earth before.Jesus became one of us, walking among us, loving us, reproving us, teaching us, and then dying for us. He was entirely unique. His ears were open to the Father's words. He walked in perfect obedience. He loved with all of his being. Click To Tweet
8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” (Hebrews 10:8-9a ESV).
And, because the Father planned for our redemption, and the Son obeyed, keeping to the plan, living an obedient life, teaching us how to please God, wrestling it out with the Father in those final moments in Gethsemane, his lifeblood spilled, he was able to inaugurate a second covenant. The first covenant passed away. We are no longer under law, but under grace.
“He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:9b-10 ESV).
By giving his life for us, Jesus gains us everything — every possible thing we could ever need to live this life, to come out the other side in God’s presence, and to know God with the deepest intimacy possible. These he obtained for us.By giving his life for us, Jesus gains us everything — every possible thing we could ever need to live this life, to come out the other side in God's presence, and to know God with the deepest intimacy possible. Click To Tweet
Since all of that is true, and the Apostle Paul understood the richness of these truths, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he gushed out these precious words of praise, worship, and affirmation:
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ [which we do], if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, [and we do have all of those] then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11 NIV).
That glorious passage spells it all out. We have every reason to draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of our faith. We need not doubt our salvation or fear the future, no matter what happens, for our hearts have been sprinkled clean from a broken and evil conscience, our sins forgiven and our consciences purified. We have been forgiven because of Christ.
In and through Christ, we have everything we need to live a godly life.
So, let us hold fast to our confession, our hope in him for everything, for he who promised is indeed faithful and has proven it with his life, his death, and his resurrection. Let us praise him with grateful hearts!We have every reason to draw near to God in full assurance of our faith. We need not doubt our salvation or fear the future, no matter what happens. We have been forgiven because of Christ. Let us praise him with grateful hearts. Click To Tweet
How does the intentionality of the Son change and impact your life? What does the eternal purpose of God to redeem and to save you mean to you?
Find the next Hebrews series post, right here.