Hebrews 3/ June 15
“the builder of all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4)
The first chapter of Hebrews addressed Christ’s superiority to angels (1:4), with the second chapter speaking of His becoming a little lower than them (2:9) during His time of tasting death for everyone. Next it teaches of His not being higher or lower but equal to mankind through His descent to earth by becoming flesh and blood (2:14) so to render powerless him who had the power of death. When Christ died on the cross He suffered and paid a penalty for which He was not guilty. Death is the penalty justly rendered for the sins one commits; and though tempted, Christ never sinned (2:18, 4:15), therefore he died unjustly and was then able to conquer death. This victory gained He kept not for Himself but passed onto mankind, to those who believe. As the author wrote, “(Christ) had to be made like His brethren in all things” in order “to make propitiation for the sins of the people”. (2:17)
This introduces a truth that is often overlooked or denied: that Jesus was completely flesh and blood. Then how did He perform miracles? Did He perform them or did God perform them through Him? In Acts we read, “many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles” (2:43), which is repeated in chapter 5(:12); so the works were being performed through Christ as it was the apostles.
Why is there such need to emphasize the humanness of Christ? It’s due to that if Christ used any form of supernatural forces to accomplish His resistance of sin then we would not be able to accomplish the same work. The whole purpose, “to render powerless him who had power of death” could only be done by one over who death could have control; and if Christ had any form of God to Him then He could not die for God can not die.
People seem to fear the idea of a “fully human Jesus” for to them it takes away from His Deity, but in reality it’s simply another form of God such is the Holy Spirit. We are quite comfortable with the Holy Spirit never having a body, always living within believers. We accept God the Father as One who has never been seen (John 1:18). Even in the resurrection Christ retains a bodily form and abilities such as walking (Luke 24:15) and eating (24:43). He bodily ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-11-“in just the same way”). As Stephen was stoned,he looks up and sees Christ standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56) In the final judgment our Lord rides a horse (Revelation 19:11).
When looking at Hebrews 3, the author directs our attention to the fact of Jesus remaining faithful to God as had Moses (3:2). The difference, however, was Moses was faithful only as a servant in the house and family of God, yet Christ remained faithful as the Son over the house (3:5,6). This book points out that we are the house of God if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end (3:6). Holding on is a big point.
The believers of today are compared to the Israelites who left out of Egypt with Moses but all died in the wilderness (3:7-11). They never arrived in the promised land due to having never sincerely held faith in God, they started complaining and speaking doubt the moment they got out of Egypt (Exodus 14:11,12). God had no intention of them entering the promised land due to their lack of faith in Him.
This consideration is further verified as we continue to read- v12, “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.” (3:12), an unbelieving heart— and one verse down, “For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,” (3:14), the unbeliever doesn’t hold on because deep within them they never truly believed. Everyone came out of Egypt (3:16), all professed to believe, but when it came down to living it out they fell away.
The chapter closes with a warning, “And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” Weigh your faith, is it true? Does it hold even in difficult days, in times of questioning? Hold on, don’t let go for God will never let go of you. As v14 says, “For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,” hold on, keep holding on until the end.