OUR ELDER BROTHER
‘Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep…’ (Book of Common Prayer).
Read Hebrews 2:10–18
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.[a] 12 He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.”[b]
13 And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”[c]
And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”[d]
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[e] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
- Hebrews 2:11 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 12; and in 3:1, 12; 10:19; 13:22.
- Hebrews 2:12 Psalm 22:22
- Hebrews 2:13 Isaiah 8:17
- Hebrews 2:13 Isaiah 8:18
- Hebrews 2:17 Or like his brothers
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen have you felt God’s face smile on you with a mercy and grace you did not deserve?
When you sin, how do you picture God’s face? Is He frowning? Angry? Disappointed? More generally, is your tendency to see God as far from you, even as a hard taskmaster, who demands you keep up? Wonderfully, the gospel is so much better than we sometimes believe! God is not like our dark hearts presume. He is for us – even desires that we be with Him in glory (10).
And despite our sin, which merits His judgment (17b), He sent His Son. But not in a smash-and-grab rescue; no, God’s eternal Son entered our world of blood, sweat and tears (14). He suffered (9,10). He was tempted (18). He really became one of us (14,17). His death pays for all our sin (14). And God has no more anger left for us (17b). Now we have nothing to fear even in death (15). Though we might often be ashamed of ourselves, He is not ashamed of us (11). He wants us in His family (11,12)! He even has genuine sympathy for us when we are tempted because He completely understands (18).
Read Luke 15:11-32. Imagine the father’s face when he sees his son. Now imagine you and God in this story. How might this change the way you see God reacting when you mess up?
God, I praise You today that You are always and forever with me.
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