Gospel Matters (C,D)

C. Gospel fellowship in the flesh (2:10-13):

Verse 10 is the “gospel verse” of Hebrews. Paul had revealed to the Colossian saints in reference to the now crowned King that “all things were created through Him and for Him” (Cl 1:16). Therefore, it was appropriate “for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things,” to be the origin also of eternal salvation for those who would seek to be His brethren whom He would bring into eternity. In order to do this, the Son could not remain in the “form of God,” but had to empty Himself into the flesh of man for an offering for the sins of those whom He would bring into eternal glory (Ph 2:5-8).

Those who are sanctified—that is us—and the One who sanctifies—that is Jesus—are brothers because of the love offering of the Father. The love offering of the Son brought us into brotherhood with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because we have been cleansed of sin by His blood, He can now have a brotherhood relationship with us. This relationship could exist only when the sin that separates us from God was washed away by the blood offering of the Son of God (See Is 59:1,2; compare At 22:16).

It is not, therefore, that we seek to establish conditions for ourselves in order to have a relationship with God. It is He who sought to establish a relationship with us. Through the offering of His Son He has accepted us. It is our responsibility to accept His acceptance of us through our obedience to the gospel of His Son.

In the prophetic context of Psalm 22, David rejoiced in his willingness to proclaim the name of the Father in the assembly of Israel when the Israelites came together for their feasts of celebration. The Hebrew scribe applied the statement to the Son of Man who would joyfully proclaim the name of the Father in the midst of His assembly (church) of the sanctified (See Ep 5:19; Cl 3:16).

The declaration and celebration of brotherhood between the resurrected Son, and those who were sanctified by His suffering, can be possible only on the foundation of the gospel of grace that was revealed through the suffering Servant, who at the time of writing, was the crowned King.

Because His brothers had previously risen from the grave of baptism, having washed (cleansed) away their sins in their obedience to the gospel (At 22:16), they were claimed as brothers by the Sanctifier. Our trust is now in Him, not in ourselves. Our righteousness is from Him, not from ourselves in our former religiosity wherein we sought to self-sanctify ourselves through works of merit. “Therefore, having been justified by faith [in Him], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rm 5:1).

D. Gospel deliverance (2:14-18):

In order to accomplish all the preceding, there was the necessity of incarnation. Brotherhood between God and man could never have been pronounced from heaven, or made possible on earth, without the demonstration of incarnation on the part of Deity. There had to be an eternal sacrifice on the part of the One who brought all flesh into existence. And since the flesh of bulls, sheep and goats are all created flesh, they could never be a satisfactory offering for the sins of humanity against God (See Hb 10:1-4). The offering of animals was insufficient because animals had no choice in their offering under the Sinai law. The incarnate Son of God, on the other hand, offered Himself (Ph 2:7). Of His own will He made a choice to transition between spirit and flesh in order to be a suitable offering for those who would later seek to transition into eternity.

Therefore, “since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same.” This is the gospel of the incarnation. Before creation, the Father, Son and Spirit determined the totality of the gospel. Since God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are love, then they had to create that which they could love. But in order for those of “flesh and blood” to respond sincerely with love to their Creator, they had to be created free to make all their moral decisions.

There was thus risk in the creation of flesh and blood. The risk was that the created would have the volition to reject the love of the Father, Son and Spirit. And for this reason, the Son had to volunteer Himself as the reconciliatory offering to bring “flesh and blood” into fellowship with the Father, Son and Spirit (Ph 2:7).

Since the created were in the bondage of “flesh and blood,” they needed to be delivered from the bondage by death. The good news of the incarnation, therefore, was necessary. But the gospel had to move beyond incarnation. Offering was necessary in order to reveal love (Jn 3:16). Offering was necessary in order to “give aid to the seed of Abraham,” whom we are by faith (Gl 3:7). Aid need not to be given to angels, for they are always in the presence of God (Lk 1:19). Therefore, we needed One to stand in the presence of God on our behalf (1 Tm 2:5). So the crucified and resurrected Christ ascended “to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hb 9:24). He is there as our high priest and mediator.

It was necessary, therefore, that the Son of God would truly give up being in the form of God (Ph 2:6). It was necessary in order that He “be made like His brethren.” This was all necessary in order “that He be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God.” If these things did not transpire in the existence of the eternal Word, then there could have never been an “atoning sacrifice for the sins of the people.”

It is not that the Son of God was incarnate with reservations. He could sin. He could suffer. He could be tempted, as we, to sin against the God of His origins (See Mt 4:1-17). And because He was able in all ways to suffer and be tempted as His brethren in the flesh, “He is able to aid those who are tempted.” He is a Savior who can empathize with our needs. Though He is now our King in heavenly places, He understands our predicament in the bondage of “flesh and blood.”

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