V1313And again, “I will put My trust in Him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”. This section starts with a quotation in which the Manhood of the Messiah appears in a wonderful way. True manhood never becomes more apparent than in putting confidence in God, no matter what the circumstances may be. It is a quotation from Isaiah (Isa 8:1717And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him.) who is determined to wait on the Lord persistently and to look forward to Him, while he is in the midst of a nation for which the Lord has hidden His sight because of their sins. That confidence characterized the Lord Jesus when He was on earth. This is the confidence that the recipients of the letter – and you too – may have.
What people were saying, mocking Him, when He hung on the cross, “He trusted in God”, was the power of His life until death. This confidence in God is of fundamental importance in a situation wherein still nothing appears from the realization of God’s plans and wherein everything appears to be the opposite. Every adversary that Christ endured on His way on earth could not take away His confidence in God or even reduce it a little bit. In this He is your and my example.
However, He is not only an example. He also relates us to Himself in that confidence that He has in His God. He trusts that He and we, the children, will go through all the difficulties together and that we will arrive in the period of blessing and joy that we are looking for. This too is a quotation from Isaiah (Isa 8:1818Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.). What Isaiah has said about himself and about his children the writer applies also to Christ and the remnant. “I and the children” indicates that Christ has connected Himself as Man to the children that God has given to Him. Here it is about the spiritual children of God in this time. They are related to Christ.
Therefore it is not about children of Christ or children of the Lord Jesus. The Bible never uses such expressions for believers. Here it is about the children of God who by Him are given to the Lord Jesus. Like in the way the children of Isaiah who, also in the meaning of their names, were a testimony to God’s faithfulness in the midst of God’s people, the believers of nowadays are in the midst of the apostate Christianity on earth.
In this quotation lies a great encouragement. With a confidence that is so typical of Him, He gives aid to everyone who are given to Him by God. He points at them and says, as it were, to God: ‘These are the children You have entrusted to Me. I will lead them safely through all difficulties and I will bring them where I am.’
V1414Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,. Before God could entrust them to the Lord Jesus, however, He had to become Man first. And not only that. If the Lord Jesus wanted us as children to be one with Him in His position before God, then it was necessary that He first made Himself one with us in our need. That’s why He partook of “blood and flesh”. The time before He became Man, He had no part in that, but He had to do that to be able to die. His death was necessary, because man was subjected to death.
Due to the fall of man satan confiscated man and got leverage over him, a power that he exerts through death. The Lord Jesus came to put an end to that. Only death can eliminate death. A beautiful illustration you find in David who killed Goliath with his own sword (1Sam 17:5151Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.). It also had to be the death of a man to destroy death for men. The Man Christ did that. In that way the resurrected Christ gained “the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev 1:1818and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.), which means that He has full authority over them.
V1515and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.. Through His triumph over death and by destroying (that is: extinguishing or paralyzing) the devil, the Lord Jesus worked an awesome redemption. With redemption there is mention of an enemy who had a total control over you, in such a way that you yourself had no possible way to liberate yourself. By sowing a fear of death, the devil made sure that men remained under his control. The devil always reigns by fear. Death is the “king of terrors” (Job 18:1414“He is torn from the security of his tent,
And they march him before the king of terrors.
). Concerning us, this fear has gone, for Christ has taken away the threat of that. Now death doesn’t scare us anymore.
V1616For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.. The Lord Jesus has not come to earth to die for angels. His concern was “the seed of Abraham”. Literally it means the company to whom this letter is addressed. They are not only physically the seed of Abraham, but they are also and in particular in a spiritual way his children (Jn 8:33-3933They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.35The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.37I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.38I speak the things which I have seen with [My] Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from [your] father.”39They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham.). The latter are of course also the believers from the Gentiles (Gal 3:7-97Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.8The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, [saying,] “All the nations will be blessed in you.”9So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.; Rom 4:9-129Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.”10How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;11and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,12and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.) and therefore God grabbed you and saved you. He accepted you and you are His.
V1717Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.. To be able to accept you and other countless people, the Lord Jesus had to “be made like His brethren”. That meant that He changed heaven for earth and came to dwell as Man in the midst of men and partook of their life. That was a tremendous humiliation for Him. And if you imagine that He took the lowest place among men (Phil 2:5-85Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, [and] being made in the likeness of men.8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.), He really went through whatever a person could possibly go through. No matter how bad a situation may possibly be, it is not unfamiliar to the Lord Jesus.
In a perfect way He made Himself like the brethren. He has released everyone who He calls His brethren, from the power of the devil. You saw that in verse 1414Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,. However, there were also sins that had to be reconciled. That is said at the end of verse 1717Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people..
For both problems there was only one solution: death. To be able to die the Lord Jesus had to become Man. Through His death and resurrection He conquered death and him who had control over it, that is the devil, and He reconciled the sins of God’s people. Therefore He could justly be “a merciful and faithful High Priest”. He is merciful with a view to the misery, the temptations and the afflictions in which you may find yourself. He sympathizes with you. He is also ‘faithful’. He is that to Himself and to His promises. He is focused on the aim and He will lead you there, right through all the hardships and misery.
In all those things His concern is the “things pertaining to God. He never does something for you that is apart from God. He sees your life in connection to God. As High Priest He is busy on your behalf, to help you that you may satisfy God in everything.
First as High Priest on earth He had to make propitiation for the sins of His people. He did that and therefore God can deal with His people and can also be with them on earth. As long as His people are on earth, they need support and encouragement. Therefore the High Priest, when He accomplished the work of reconciliation, is now seated in heaven to continually be the High Priest. To God everything is in order; the sins are reconciled, but there is still a way to go. With a view to that way the Lord Jesus is making efforts, so that God’s people will glorify God on that way instead of becoming unfaithful and then waste the blessing.
V1818For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.. Nobody else can help His people like He does. Before His death He lived a perfect life, wherein He got to know all the afflictions and temptations that can happen to an individual. Whatever suffering you may possibly go through, He has suffered it (Isa 63:99In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the angel of His presence saved them;
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.
). Therefore He can sympathize with you and give you the help you need. That help pertains to all the difficulties that the faithful believer receives if he wants to do God’s will.
There is no believer who manages to achieve the final goal by his own strength. You need help, support, compassion, and the intercession of Somebody Who knows the dangers of the journey and Who has overcome. It had to be Somebody Who has persevered in the toughest afflictions and thus has suffered and therefore is able to sympathize with others. That Somebody is the Lord Jesus.
During His life on earth He experienced all weaknesses (not: sins, for that He only dealt with on the cross and only in the three hours of darkness, 1Pet 2:2424and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.) of ‘being Man’. He knows what it is to be a helpless babe and to be a child growing up. He knows what it is to be an adolescent and to be an adult. He knows what it is to be hungry and thirsty and to be tired and sad. He knows what it is not to be understood, to be despised, to be rejected, to be neglected and to be blasphemed. He knows what it is to suffer hardships and to die. He has gone through everything to be able to be your High Priest in heaven now.
The temptations of the Lord Jesus in the desert are a beautiful example in this way. He was tempted in earthly matters, in worldly matters and in religious matters (Lk 4:1-121Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.3And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”5And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.6And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.7Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”8Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”9And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here;10for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’
‘ON [their] HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”
12And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”). He responded to all the temptations, that the devil was trying on Him, with God’s Word. The Lord Jesus is engaged as a High Priest in heaven in making you mindful with God’s Word when you have to cope with temptations of the devil. If you quote God’s Word, the devil shall flee.
Now read Hebrews 2:13-18 again.
Reflection: What has the Lord Jesus ever done to be High Priest? In which things is He High Priest for you?