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Jesus Wins

March 1, 2020

Scripture: Hebrews 2:14-18

I. Jesus wins for you by becoming a human high priest.

A. What leaps off the page in verse 14 is that Jesus is fully human. Jesus also had flesh and blood, just like you do. Jesus is both fully human and fully God. If you believe that Jesus is only human or only God, you believe heresy. Jesus must be both God and human to save you. Jesus had to become one of us so that He might represent us before God. The Jews had someone represent them before God once a year in the Holy of Holies. And what was the name of that representative? The high priest. See Hebrews 2:17.

B. The practice of the high priest representing the people of Israel before God once a year is mentioned in Leviticus 16: 32-34: “And the priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement… And he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” Jesus is just like the Jewish high priests. Jesus represents the people before God and offers a sacrifice that would bring atonement and forgiveness of sins to all the people who had faith in Him as their representative.

II. Jesus wins for you by defeating death, Satan, and sin.

A. In verses 14-15 we find an answer to the question: why does it matter that Jesus represents us? As our representative, Jesus can die in our place. Jesus came to solve our greatest problems: the problems of sin and death. And how does Jesus win over death for us? Through his own death. Death is only defeated through death: Jesus’ death on our behalf as our representative. Death has been defeated because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin. Jesus defeated death on Easter Sunday, and now we no longer have to fear our own death because we too will be raised from the dead by Jesus our representative.

B. Jesus also defeated the devil who has the power of death (vs. 14). When God created the world, it was completely good. There was no death because there was no sin. But when the devil enticed Adam and Eve to sin, Satan gained the power of death over human beings. And from that moment at the beginning of human history, Satan and God were locked in a battle over humanity. God prophesies in Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” There would be a war between Eve’s eventual offspring, Jesus, and the serpent Satan. Satan bruised Jesus’ heel when Jesus went to the cross. But Jesus crushed Satan’s head.

C. In order to defeat death, Jesus had to deal with the cause of death, sin. He had to defeat sin first. We see how Jesus defeated sin in verse 17. What does propitiation mean? God hates sin because He is holy and good. Something then needs to happen to satisfy God’s wrath over our sin. That something would then make God propitious or favorable toward us. That something that makes God view us favorably is a sacrifice of propitiation: the death of the fully human Jesus, our representative, on the cross for our sins.

Application:
Worship Jesus: your great high priest. There is no one greater. He always wins.

Sources:
Commentaries on Hebrews by Tom Schreiner and Raymond Brown
Bible Study by Michael Kruger

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