The Danger of Drifting.
Read Hebrews 2:1-3.
In Hebrews chapter 1, we had seen that Christ is superior to prophets and angels. So the author exhorts believers to pay closer attention to the message they have heard (Hebrews 2:1). Otherwise they are in danger of drifting away from Christ. Drifting is moving in the wrong direction from where ships are anchored. It is a slow process. Salvation is a gift from God and never to be neglected. Christians should avoid drifting by growing in the grace and in the knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). If we are preoccupied with the world and neglect the gathering of believers, prayer meetings, fellowship and the study of the Scriptures, we are prone to drift. Hebrew Christians came to Christ from Jewish faith and ritualism. After they became followers of Christ, they suffered public ridicule and persecutions from Romans and as well as from Jews (Hebrews 10:32, 33). There was shame associated with the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Christianity was not a recognized religion. So they were tempted to go back to their old religion to avoid persecution and shame. These Christians were not anchored in Christ. So the author exhorts and warns the believers to give more earnest attention to the things they have heard. Otherwise they are in danger of drifting away from Christ. The writer asks the crucial question. ”How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation"? When Adam and Eve disobeyed they forfeited their glory and dominion. Israel received just punishment in the Old Testament when they disobeyed the Law. If so, how severe would be the punishment of those who neglect the great salvation revealed by Jesus Christ. God sent his Son to rescue us from our lost state. The author asks the crucial question "How shall you escape if you neglect so great salvation?" This is the great salvation and the only way people can be saved.
Christ is the author of the great salvation:
Read Hebrews 2:4.
The gospel was predicted in the Old Testament and announced by Lord Himself (Genesis 12:3; Mark 1:14). It was confirmed by those who heard Jesus. They were the eyewitnesses of Christ (1 John 1:2-3). Also God verified this salvation with signs and wonders. Signs were the veracity of the gospel message and confirmed its truthfulness. These were marks of apostles in the early church (2 Corinthians 12:12). Also the gospel was confirmed by gifts of the Holy Spirit. Apostolic ministries were accompanied by these miracles to prove the truthfulness of their message. Since there is no continuation of apostleship, there is no continuation of these sign gifts. If apostles were foundational, there is no need for signs and miracles today (Ephesians 2:20). Why is it such a great salvation? Because salvation cost the life of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16). It is the only way people could be saved (Acts 4:12). It is accessible to all. It gives eternal life. Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned by good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone and in Christ alone. People end up in hell because of their willful and deliberate decision to reject God’s offer of this great salvation. Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior to be saved?
Drifting can lead to Doubting.
Author warns the readers about the danger of neglecting such great salvation. Those who do not take the Word of God seriously will drift away from Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:1). Drifting can lead to doubting and doubting to hardness of heart (Hebrews 3:7-13). This would lead to hardness of heart and dullness of hearing the Word of God (5:11). Those who neglect the Word of God will despise it sooner or later. This can lead to a sinful lifestyle (10:26). Knowing the truth never saves anybody but faith in Jesus Christ. Those who despise the Word may refuse even to listen to the gospel. They cannot escape the judgment of God (Hebrews 12:25). If you are drifting from Christ, there is no place to go. Jesus is waiting for you. He wants you to come back. He will welcome you and restore you to His fellowship. His Word reveals the great plan of salvation. Christ wants you to grow in grace and in the knowledge of him. So do not neglect the great salvation God offers. The Study of Scriptures, the gathering of the believers and prayers are important for not to drift from Christ. God wants us to be anchored in Christ, so that we may not drift from Christ. Do not neglect the gospel that brings eternal life to the soul.
Christ Is Superior In His Humanity. 2:5-18
Christ’s Humanity enabled Him to become our Savior: Hebrews 2:5-7.
The theme of the epistle of Hebrews is the superiority of Jesus Christ. In our last study we had seen the danger of drifting from Christ. When Adam sinned, he forfeited his glory and dominion over the creation. But God sent his Son to become a man to restore Adam's lost estate. The plan of salvation involves the Son of God becoming human so that he could die as a perfect sacrifice for us. Christ was made little lower than the angels so that he could die for us (Hebrews 2:7). Angels could not die. Hebrew Christians came to Christ from a Jewish background. For Jews the concept of a suffering Messiah was inconceivable and a stumbling block. In chapter two, the author proves that Christ in His humanity has become our perfect Savior by his death on the cross. His humanity enabled Him to regain man's lost destiny and dominion. It also enabled Him to bring many sons to glory. He restored us into the family of God (2:10-13). His death and resurrection set us free from the fear of death (2:14-15). His resurrection broke the power of the devil and death. By becoming human Christ has become our living sympathetic High priest (Hebrews 2:16-18). Only Christ is able to save us completely.
Future world will be subjected to Him: Hebrews 2:8-9
God created man in his own image to reign over his creation (Genesis 1:26-28). But man disobeyed God and forfeited his glory and dominion (Hebrews 2:7-8). It is a quotation from Psalms 8:4-6. Fallen man has become subservient to angels for a short time. Now man is subjected to sickness and death. He is bound by time and space. Man is afraid of animals and lost his dominion over creation. But God was mindful of a mere mortal man who rebelled against Him. He considered us and sent His Son to save us from sin. As a result, He is now crowned with the "Glory and honor". This cannot be said about angels (2 peter 2:4; Jude. 6). One day man will be crowned with glory and honor. This follows the example of the exaltation of Christ. Christ remembered us in our low estate. In His incarnation Jesus was made lower than angels to die on the cross (2:9). But now He is crowned with glory and honor. He will reign over the world to come. Some scholars consider the "World to come" may be a reference to the Millennial kingdom. Christ left his heavenly glory and became a man in order to rescue us. Praise be to His Name!
Christ became man to suffer death for us: Hebrews 2:10.
The Cross is an essential part of the plan of salvation. God became man in order to suffer and die. Thus Christ was made perfect or fully qualified to bring many sons to glory through suffering. Christ was always perfect. But by His perfection our salvation was not made possible. We are saved through the death of Christ and not by His sinless perfection. Here perfect, simply means Christ was completely qualified to provide salvation. The perfect Son of God has become our perfect Savior by becoming human and dying on the cross. If He is not perfect, how could He become our atoning sacrifice for our sins? On the cross Jesus cried "It is finished". He was obedient to his Father. Christ died in order to rescue people from every tribe, language and nation (Hebrews 2:9; Revelation 5:9). He was perfect so that he was able to make atonement for our sins. Also He was perfectly qualified to become our Savior and our high priest. Thus He became the author and finisher of our salvation. He is the captain of our salvation who brings many sons unto heavenly glory (2:10). This knowledge would give us peace in times of troubles.
Christ brought us into God's Family: Hebrews 2:11-16.
Jesus was not ashamed to call us His brethren. Looking at us who are messed up in many ways, Jesus is willing to say “Here am I and the children whom God has given”(Isaiah 8:18). Those who believed Christ are the children of God (John 1:12). They are united in Christ as brothers. Verses 12 and 13 are quotations from Psalms 22:22 and Isaiah 8:17-18. In Psalms 22, David foresaw the suffering and the coming glory of Christ (Hebrews 2:22). The risen savior called His disciples brethren to show their family relationship (John 20:17). Never before disciples were addressed this way. Christ’s death and resurrection restored our lost family relationship back to God. Are you in the family of God? (John 1:12). Adam's sin brought fear and death to the human race (Romans 5:12). Christ's death and resurrection set us free from that fear of death (Colossians 2:14, 15). The fear of death does not mean fear of dying. It rather means the fear of the coming judgment. The believers are free from the condemnation of sin because Christ has endured our judgment on the cross (Romans 8:1). Christ conquered death and the devil by his death and resurrection. Death could not keep Christ in its grip (Acts 2:24). Jesus said "Because I live you shall also live" (John 14:19). Believers should not be afraid of death, because when we die we are at home with our Savior in glory (2 Corinthians 5:8). Through His death and resurrection, Christ destroyed the Devil, who had the power over death. The word destroy simply means made powerless. Christ holds the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18).
Christ is our sympathetic High Priest: Hebrews 2:17-18.
Christ did not come to save fallen angels but to save the fallen human race. This is the heart of the message of this epistle. Christ was not under any obligation to save us. Yet He came voluntarily to reconcile us to God by becoming a sin offering for us (1 John 2:2). Christ was faithful to the Father, in that He did not lower God's holy standard. He endured God's wrath for our sins on the cross. Jesus tasted death for everyone (2:9). He is also our merciful High priest. He died on our behalf. He is our compassionate High Priest. Compassion is love in action. Christ is able and willing to help us in our temptations because He experienced them all yet without sin. He helps us to overcome temptations by fortifying our will and by strengthening us in our weaknesses. Christ knows exactly how we feel. He will provide comfort and strength in times of our need. God wants us to find our satisfaction and strength in Christ. What a wonderful Savior!