Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
The cross was (and is) a stumbling block to unbelieving Jews. However, to all who believe, the cross is the steppingstone to Heaven. We do not despise the cross. We lovingly kiss it. Thus our author continues his effort to remove scandal from the cross.
Heb. 2:10a “For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things,..”
All things are “for” God the Father, and “by” Him. Nothing surprises Him, in everything He accomplishes His purposes. We do not understand all the methods of His government. His ways are “past finding out.” However, we have insight enough to see that the plan of salvation He devised for us “became Him.” The cross was a fitting thing for Him to do. It was consistent with His character. “Never was God more Godlike than when, in the person of Jesus, He was crucified for our sins” (Pink).
It was becoming of God, who is love, to do this amazing thing. Only a God of love could conceive such a plan, and carry it to fruition.
Heb. 2:10b “…in bringing many sons unto glory,…”It is hard to know which is more amazing: God allowing His only begotten Son to come from Heaven to Earth, or God allowing adopted sons to come from Earth to Heaven. Our plan of salvation “becomes” God, for only a God of love would want us in Heaven.
Believers will someday share the majesty, which belongs to God. We are headed for glory, which is exactly what Jesus has now (v. 9). When this is accomplished, men shall finally be all they were originally meant to be (v. 7). Though created to have glory, rebellion tarnished our crown (v.8). But someday, everything God meant for man shall belong to those in Jesus.
This truth must infuriate the Devil. Demons have stomped us, humiliated us, lured us into evil—it must be frustrating for demons to know that the lowly creatures of Earth they have pushed around for millennia will someday sit on thrones next to God. No wonder Satan hates us. He will sink in the bottomless pit forever, and roast in never ending flames, but believers are going to bask in glory.
Our coming glory not only infuriates demons, it must also intrigue angels. Glorified saints will someday be the most remarkable creatures in all of God’s creation. God, for whom and by whom all things were created, has so ordered creation, that sinners saved by grace shall ultimately be His premiere showcases. We will be more amazing than angels.
Angels may have been created happy, but we have been redeemed. They do not know what it is like to fall, and be lifted by a loving hand. Angels do not know what evil is, but we have known it to the full, and will someday have the unequalled feeling of knowing what it means to be set free from evil. Angels do not know what it is like to fall, and be lifted by a loving hand.
Had God made men perfectly glorious from the beginning, we never would have had an opportunity to sin, and therefore never could have fully experienced the condescending love of God. Had God forgiven us without atonement, we never could have fully understood His justice. However, we have not been glorious, and we have received atonement. Therefore, we will forever have a better grasp of God’s love and justice than do the angels.
Angels never knew pain, they cannot revel in the knowledge or “nor more tears.” Only men can appreciate the absence of tear ducts. Angels know nothing of grief and death. Man alone shall be able to praise forever the One who rescues from the plagues. We shall be creatures who have everything, but know we deserve nothing. We shall feel deeper gratitude to God than angels can feel.
Heb. 2:10c “…to make the Captain of their salvation…”
The word “archegos” (KJV: Captain) refers to a leader, a pioneer who blazes a trail for others to follow. Jesus, champion of our spiritual warfare, opened for us the road to glory. He blazed the trail of salvation on which “many sons” travel to Glory. As captain, Jesus leads his soldiers. He never stands at the rear giving orders. He is out front, guiding us.
The father “brings” the sons to Glory (v. 10b), but they can only be brought if someone goes where they are to get them. God the Son, who dwelt among us, is our File-leader, our Pathfinder. The father brings us home through the leadership of the Son.
Heb. 2:10d “…perfect through sufferings.”
Let us immediately remember that Jesus had no moral faults. Our text simply means that through suffering Jesus became exactly the kind of Captain mankind needed.
A true Captain must live among His soldiers; He must share their experiences. This is one reason ministers of the Gospel have to suffer. They thereby can better relate to the hurts of their people.
It is the lot of men to suffer. We live in a world of trouble and sorrow. If one wants to be our leader, He too must suffer. We want a friend, someone who shares our hurts. Since Jesus was meant to be our Captain, He had to travel the same road taken by His followers.
He experienced no exemption from the hardships of His army.
“In every pang that rends the heart
The man of sorrows had a part.”
He has felt all we feel. We can even be so bold as to say that Jesus suffered worse than any of us has ever suffered. “We can go through no darker rooms than He went through before.”
Have you lost this world’s goods? Jesus lost the goods of Heaven. Have you known hunger? Jesus went forty days without food. Do you struggle with temptation? Jesus endured it to the point of sweating drops of blood. Do you know pain? Jesus laid Himself upon the altar as a whole burnt sacrifice.
His suffering was made worse by the knowledge that, at any moment, he could end the pain by merely expressing a wish. He never yielded to that temptation. He wanted to be a Captain we could trust. He wanted us to have no doubts about His ability to hurt with us in our time of need. He is the Perfect Captain.
The Devil tripped man in Eden. As a result, suffering entered the world, and humanity began a Hell ward course. Because of the evil one, suffering men had to fear everlasting Hell.
It was only appropriate, very becoming of Him, that God would divert the destiny of men from Hell to Heaven through the agency of a suffering man. Suffering humanity, a curse of the devil’s doing, was turned by God into an ultimate blessing.
Satan is forced to see his own cause defeated in the very realm, which he created. Suffering humanity is Satan’s creation. God entered that realm. He became a suffering man, and in that cloak our Captain attacked the Devil.
Demons boast, “Man is ours. We humbled him. Suffering is ours. We caused it.” However, God crushed the demons on their own territory. “Looking upwards from their beds of fire where they bite their iron bands in vain, how will they see the wisdom and power of God as more than a match for the wisdom and might of their leader” (Spurgeon).
It was becoming of God to let Jesus suffer. It provided us a Perfect Leader. “Glorious Captain! Who would not follow thee?” It is becoming of all men to follow Jesus.