Sermon #8 Hebrews Notes
Title: “But We See Jesus!”
Text: Hebrews 2:9
Readings: Bob Poncer & Lindsay Campbell
Subject: Looking to Christ – Faith
Date: Tuesday Evening – December 28, 1999
Tape # V-57a - V-61a - V-62a
Hebrews 2:6-8 is a quotation from Psalm 8:3-8. Reading these passages along with Genesis 1:26-28, we see man in his original state in the garden, before the fall.
But here, in Hebrews 2, the Holy Spirit applies these things to God’s elect, as we are in Christ and represented by him as our covenant Surety.
In Christ, God has made man, though now a little lower than the angels, to have dominion over all the works of his hands. In Christ, all who are in him representatively, have been crowned with glory and honor. And soon, “the God of peace shall bruise Satan (himself) under your feet” (Rom. 16:20). This is what we are told in Hebrews 2:6-8.
We do not yet see all things put under our feet. We are not yet, personally crowned with glory and honor. But the basis of our faith is not what we see by natural ability, or what we have personally experienced. The basis of our faith is the Word of God. And the Word of God tells us plainly that these are the things Christ has accomplished for us and shall accomplish in us by his grace. That is the message of our text – Hebrews 2:9.
We see him by faith. We see that he is Jesus, our Savior. We see that he has all things made subject unto him. He has dominion over all things. Though, he was made a little lower than the angels, in his state of humiliation for the suffering of death as our sin-atoning Substitute, he is now crowned with glory and honor.
Indeed, it is because he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross, and suffered death in the room and stead of his people, that he is now crowned with glory and honour as our Mediator (Phil. 2:8-11).
This is clearly stated in the last line of verse 9. Our Lord Jesus Chris was made a man, and made a liitle lower than the angels as a man for this purpose – “that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
The Son of God was made a little lower than the angels by becoming man, by assuming a body of human flesh, frail and mortal, that he might die for his church and people, that he might “taste death.” That is to say, -- The Son of God assumed our nature, he became a man, so that he could die for us and bring us to glory. He became what we are, so that he by the grace of God, through the shedding of his blood to the full satisfaction of divine justice, might make us what he is – holy, unblameable, and unreproveable before the throne of God himself!
Do not be confused by the last part of our text. – “That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Many unbelieving rebels, who deny the gospel message of Christ’s effectual atonement, jump on this text like a duck n a June Bug, and say, “There, that proves that Jesus died for everybody.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
As I have told you many times, there is not a single text in the Bible which even hints at the possibility that Christ may have died as a Substitute for all men, without exception. All for whom Christ died shall be with him in glory. He did not die for those who perish under the wrath of God in hell. To say that he did is to declare that there is no redemption in his blood, that he failed in his attempt to redeem, and that his death is really irrelevant.
The phrase, “That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man,” should be translated, “That he by the grace of God should taste death for everyone.” There is no word for the word “man.” In the Greek text. Verse 9 is simply declaring this glorious gospel truth, which rejoices the hearts of believing sinners. – The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became a man, so that he might die for and effectually redeem and save every one of God’s elect. The “every one” for whom he tasted death are clearly identified in verses 10-18.
· Verse 10 – Every One of the Sons of God
· Verse 11 – Every One of His Brethren, Sanctified by His Blood
· Verse 12 – Every One in His Church, to whom He Declares God’s Praise, whom He calls Brother
· Verse 13 – Everyone of the Children the Father Gave Him to Redeem
· Verses 14-15 – Everyone He Delivers from the Bondage of Death
· Verse 16 – Every One of Abraham’s Seed
· Verse 17 – Every One for Whom He is an All-prevailing, Effectual, Saving High Priest
· Verse 18 – Every One He Delivers Out Of Temptation
Illustration: “There’s plenty of food for everyone.”
The Holy Spirit’s purpose in Hebrews 2 is to set forth the superlative excellence and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the context, he has been describing the supreme purpose of God – that in all things Christ might have the preeminence. To that end, God visited man in grace and exalted man to the place of highest dominion over all his creation in the person and work of Christ. As we have just seen, that is the message of verses 6-8. At present, however, we do not see this purpose of God accomplished. “We see not yet all things put under him.” We do not yet see all things put under the feet of God’s elect. “But we see Jesus!” That is my subject tonight. “But we see Jesus!”
Proposition: Seeing the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, exalted upon the throne of sovereign dominion over all things, we are confident of our own exaltation and glory in him.
Divisions: There are four points to my message tonight. I want to answer these four questions fro the Word of God.
1. What is it to see Jesus?
2. Who sees the Lord Jesus Christ?
3. Who is the Jesus we see?
4. Where do we see the Lord Jesus Christ?
I. What is it to see Jesus?
Some may think that question is redundant. You may think, Pastor, everyone knows what it is to see Jesus.” In a sense, that is right. Everyone who sees knows what it is to see. But ask a blind man, who has never seen what it is to see. He cannot tell you, because he does not know. I do not doubt, for a moment, that some of you here are yet blind. It is my prayer that, this night, God the Holy Spirit may give you eyes of faith and cause you to see the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is it to see Jesus? Seeing him with the natural eye, if you could, physically see him, would be of no benefit to your soul. Many who saw him walking on this earth benefited nothing from seeing him.
Seeing him with natural understanding alone is of no benefit to a man’s soul. God does not by-pass the mind to get to the heart. But if all the knowledge you have of Christ is an intellectual, carnal, factual, theological knowledge, you do not know him. You have not yet seen him.
Illustration: The Gnostic Heresy
Seeing Christ by miraculous visions is equally deluding. Multitudes delude themselves into thinking they are saved because of visions they have had, or visions others have had concerning them.
What is it to see Jesus? I know this…
· No one ever can or will see Christ until he is revealed to you and in you by the power and grace of God the Holy Spirit. – You can’t see him until you are born of God and given eyes with which to see him. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see.” You cannot see “until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts.” Faith in Christ is the result of a divine revelation (2 Cor. 4:1-7; Gal. 1:15-16).
After his Damascus Road experience, God sent one Ananias to Saul of Tarsus, to explain to him what God had done for him and in him. And in this, Paul tells us, he was the pattern for all them who would afterward believe the gospel. In other words, Paul tells us that if God saves a sinner, this is how he does it (Acts 22:14-15 – Paul’s Defense at Jerusalem)
· I know this, too, God reveals his Son to and in his people through the preaching of the gospel (Eph. 1:11-14; 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
What is it to see Jesus? To see Christ is to know who he is and what he has done. To see him, is to trust him, to believe on him, to have “the eyes of your understanding enlightened” by God the Holy Spirit, so that you see who he is, what he did, and why he did it. If ever you see him, you will trust him. And if ever you trust him, you will see him.
A. Salvation begins, in the experience of it, with see Christ (Isa. 45:20-22).
Illustration: The Brazen Serpent
The Israelites were not saved by examining the serpent, testing its brass, feeling it, or even being in its presence. They were saved by looking on the serpent. So it is with us. Sinners are saved by looking to Christ.
· Not Looking to our Feelings
· Not Looking to our Experiences
· Not Looking to our Parents
· Not Looking to the Church
· Not Looking to our Works
· Not Looking to our Decisions
· Not Even Looking to our Look
We are saved by looking to Christ. Hear me, now. Are you listening? If you look to Christ alone for your everlasting salvation, you are saved, born of God, and accepted in the Beloved!
There is life for a look at the Crucified One,
There is life at this moment for thee,
Then look, sinner – look unto Him and be saved,
And know thyself spotless as He!
B. Salvation continues and is maintained by looking to and seeing Christ Jesus, our Savior (Heb. 12:1-2)
We must ever look to Christ. Set your affection on things above. Set your affection on him! “Looking unto Jesus,” we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in him. “Looking unto Jesus…”
1. We grow in grace and in knowledge in him.
2. We are motivated, governed, and ruled.
3. We persevere in the faith, overcome our trials, endure our temptations, and endure unto the end.
4. We find comfort, peace, and assurance in a world void of comfort, peace, and anything sure.
C. Salvation ends, is consummated, by seeing Christ (1 John 3:1-3).
Heaven is seeing Christ as he is, in all the glory of his person, in all the majesty of his exaltation, in the completion of his finished work, seeing him and looking on him, without interruption, without distraction, without cessation!
· “We see Jesus” in the dawn of grace.
· “We see Jesus” throughout the days of our pilgrimage in this world.
· “We see Jesus” at the end of our days, throughout eternity, in heaven’s glory.
Oh, may God graciously enable you to see the Lord Jesus Christ now, and forever. To see him is to live forever!
II. Who sees the Lord Jesus Christ?
Our text says, “We see Jesus.” I ask -- Of whom does the text speak? Who sees Jesus? Who is this Jesus? Where is he seen?
Who is the “we” spoken of here? Who sees the Lord Jesus Christ? I know this – No can see him by natural means, or by ability. The natural man has no eyes with which to see him, no ears with which to hear him speak, and no heart with which to seek him.
NOT AFTER THE FLESH!
A person can know much about Christ and not see him. You may know the historical facts of his life and the doctrine he taught, and even rejoice in what he taught and the example of his life, and yet have never seen him. Many there are who know Christ after the flesh, by human means and with human ability. However, the Scripture tell us that believers do not know Christ after the flesh, but after the Spirit (2 Cor. 5:16).
The fact is, no one can see, know, and trust the Son of God until he is born again by the power and grace of God the Holy Spirit.
A. If any sinner sees the Lord Jesus Christ, it is because Christ has been revealed to him and in him by the grace of God (Gal. 15-16; Matt. 16:16-17).
I am talking about spiritual sight. Spiritual sight is the gift of God the Holy Spirit (Matt. 11:25-27).
Anything you can see, know, or do by nature, by your own wisdom, will, and power, is not spiritual and is of absolutely no spiritual benefit to your soul.
· Judas knew as much about Jesus as Peter; but he did not know him.
· Judas saw his face, but never saw the glory of God in his face.
· Judas touched the Savior, but was never touched by the Savior. Judas kissed the Son, but was never kissed by the Son.
· Judas saw Christ’s body, knew his origin and the history of his life and ministry, and knew the Master’s doctrine.
· Judas saw everything about Christ, but never saw Christ.
Christ was always before the betrayer, but never in him. Christ’s power was observed by him, but never experienced by him. Do you understand what I am saying? Christ was never revealed to and in Judas. And without that revelation, Judas could not and did not see him. Salvation comes by divine revelation. All who are saved are saved like Saul of Tarsus, by seeing that Just One in whom God almighty is made to be “a just God and a Savior.”
B. If you and I see Christ, it is because he has been revealed to us and in us by the power and grace of God the Holy Spirit (Matt. 13:13-17; Eph. 1:17-19).
God sends blindness and darkness upon many, as he did the Jews of old; but some see, because he causes them to see. This is what our Lord teaches us in Matthew 13.
Children of God, hear this and rejoice – “Blessed are your eyes, for they see!” The fact that we now see him, the fact that we now trust him, the fact that we now come to him is proof positive that he has been revealed to us and in us.
1. If you see him, it is because he chose you (John 15:16).
2. If you see him, it is because he redeemed you.
3. If you see him, it is because he has called you by his Spirit and revealed himself in you.
I am not interested in when you came to see him. I am not talking about how clearly you see him. It is not at all important how you came to see him. But this is important, indeed, this is vital – Do you see him? Do you trust Christ alone as your Lord and Savior? If you do, you are born of God. If you do not, you are yet under the wrath of God. The curse of the law is upon you. The glittering sword of divine justice is drawn against you. The wrath of God is upon your. You are yet without God, without Christ, without hope!
III. Who is this Jesus? -- (Tape V-61a)
Our text says, “We see Jesus.” How blessed! The very name of Jesus, to the eye and ear of faith is full of blessedness. It is the name most precious and sweet to all who know him.
“How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In the believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fears!”
A. The person seen by the eye of faith is Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.
Old John Kershaw put it this way…
· “He is the promised Messiah—
· the Ancient of Days –
· the Bright and Morning Star –
· the Branch which should come out of Jesse’s rod –
· the Sun of Righteousness that should arise with healing in his wings –
· the Seed of the woman that should bruise the serpent’s head –
· the Immortal Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us –
· the child born, the Son given, whose name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, upon whose shoulders the government of all things in heaven and earth is placed—
· the King of kings and Lord of lords –
O this is glorious person seen—the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all fulness dwells, who is Head over all things to his body the church. Adored be his name! He is ‘over all, God blessed forever!’”
B. This One whom we see, this One who must be seen, is called “Jesus.”
This is very unusual. Seldom did the inspired writers of the New Testament use the name “Jesus” when speaking of the Lord of glory. “Jesus” is the name of our Savior’s humiliation as a man. Yet, here, our Lord is called “Jesus;” and the name is used in such a way as to speak of him in the highest, most honorable way possible, as the exalted Lord of heaven and earth, with sovereign power and everlasting glory rightfully belonging to him. Why did the Holy Spirit use this name here to describe him? We find the answer in the place of the name’s origin (Matt. 1:21).
1. This Jesus, whom we see by faith, whom we trust as our God and Savior, is the effectual, all-sufficient, and only Savior of sinners (Acts 4:12).
This is not an “want-to-be” savior. Oh, no! He is not one who offers salvation. He is the Savior! No one but Jesus Christ can give pardon to the guilty, life to the dead, rest to the weary, peace to the troubled, joy to the broken-hearted, liberty to the captive, and comfort to the disconsolate. If you would be saved, you must see that Jesus who is “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” There is no Savior, no refuge, no shelter, no hiding place for sinners, but Jesus, who is the Christ.
Illustration: “To whom shall we go?”
We see that Jesus who came to save his people from their sins, now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, exalted with all the glory of eternal deity. What can this mean? It means that…
· The work he came here to do is now completely done (Heb. 10:10-14).
· This man is himself God!
· All for whom this man entered into heaven must follow him there!
There is a man in glory! In that man I see the pledge of the Father’s eternal purpose. Son, very soon, there will be a race of chosen men and women just like him in glory. Then, all things shall be put under the feet of men. Yes, we shall sit with Christ on his throne, as he sits with his Father on his throne, and we shall reign with him over all things (Rev. 3:21; 22:5). Every man for whom he tasted death shall reign wth him in eternal life!
2. All who “see Jesus,” all who are born of God, all who believe God, all who are saved, all who are heirs of eternal life, all who are the children of God see this Jesus as their only, all-sufficient Savior (1 Cor. 1:30-31).
C. “We see Jesus” as the Christ, the Savior who was chosen, ordained, appointed, and anointed of God (Psalm 89:19-36).
1. He is an almighty Savior.
2. He is a chosen Savior
3. He is an exalted Savior.
4. He is a covenant Savior.
5. He is a sure Savior.
D. “We see Jesus,” the Christ, in the glory of his exalted dominion as Lord of all (John 17:1-2; Rom. 14:9; Phil. 2:8-11).
You do not see Jesus at all, if you do not see him in his true character. If the Jesus you see is not the Lord of all things, the Lord of all people, the Lord of all heaven, earth, and hell, the Lord of all history and all the events of history, then the Jesus you see is a phony, a fake, an imaginary idol god man has conjured up and sold to you. Jesus, our Savior, is the Lord God omnipotent, the blessed and only Potentate, by whom kings reign and princes decree justice. He is, as the Book says, “The Prince of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5; Dan. 4:34-37).
1. Jesus is Lord of creation (John 1).
2. Jesus is Lord of providence (Rom. 14:9).
3. Jesus is Lord of salvation (John 5:21).
4. And Jesus is Lord in the hearts of all his people (Lk. 14:25-35).
To see Jesus is to see him as my Lord. It is to bow to his sovereign dominion, surrender to his rule, and trust his righteousness, blood, and saving power, grace, and goodness.
IV. Where do we see Jesus? -- (Tape V-62a)
Faith in Christ is often described, defined, and represented as looking to Christ and seeing Christ. If we would be saved we must be found “looking unto Jesus” (Isa. 45:20-22).
Just as those Israelites who were bitten of fiery serpents found life by looking to the brazen serpent, so we can be saved only by looking to Christ (John 3:16-16; 12:32).
Without question, in our text, the Apostle is talking about seeing Jesus by faith upon the throne of glory and grace in heaven. But all who see Jesus by faith see him in a multitude of places. The longer we see him, the more we see him. And the more we see him, the more the places in which we see him.
A. “We see Jesus” in the eternal Godhead (1 John 5:7).
He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” This man, Jesus, is God the Son, the second Person of the Holy Trinity.
B. “We see Jesus” standing as our Surety in the covenant of grace (Prov. 8:30-31).
He was brought up as our Representative before the world was made and pledged himself as our Surety to redeem us and save us.
C. “We see Jesus” in the dawn of time, creating all things by the omnipotent power of his sovereign will (John 1:1-3).
This Man is the God who created man. He is the One without whom nothing was made.
D. “We see Jesus” in all the types, shadows, promises, prophecies, and doctrines of all the Scriptures (Lk. 24:44-47; John 1:45; 5:39; Acts 10:43).
Jesus Christ is the One of whom the Book of God speaks. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End of Holy Scripture.
E. “We see Jesus” in the fulness of time coming into the world to save His people (Gal. 4:4-5).
As a Man, he is God come to save. His name is Immanuel – God with us! (Gal. 1:4-5; 1 Tim. 1:15).
F. “We see Jesus” obeying the law of God as a Man, as our Representative (Rom. 5:19).
By this Man’s obedience to the law of God, he established perfect righteousness for God’s elect. He magnified the law and made it honorable, that he might bring in everlasting righteousness for us.
G. “We see Jesus” dying upon the cursed tree as our Substitute (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 1 Pet. 2:25).
What a glorious sight this is! The Son of God bearing our sins in his own body on the tree, died under the penalty of sin. And by his death, he put away all the sins of all his people forever!
H. “We see Jesus” rising up from the tomb, triumphant over death, hell, and the grave.
He broke asunder the iron bars of death. He took the keys of hell, and locked its doors shut forever for his people. He led captivity captive. He rose to life, liberty, and power for us (Col. 2:14-15).
I. “We see Jesus” ascending up on high, exalted as Lord over all, to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to his people (Acts 1:9; 2:36; 5:31).
Yes, we see Jesus, ruling the universe, in absolute sovereignty, for the salvation of sinners chosen and redeemed by him.
J. “We see Jesus” making intercession for sinners at the right hand of God, as our Advocate and High Priest (Heb. 7:24-25).
Arise, my soul, arise! Shake off thy guilty fears;
A bleeding Sacrifice In my behalf appears.
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written in His hands.
Five bleeding wounds He bears, Received on Calvary:
They pour effectual prayers, They strongly plead for me.
“Forgive him, O forgive” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”
K. “We see Jesus” in the house of his friends (Matt. 18:20).
1. Through The Preaching Of The Gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-7).
2. In The Ordinance Of Baptism (Rom. 6:3-7).
3. In The Celebration Of The Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:24-26).
4. By The Revelation Of The Spirit (John 14:16).
L. And “we see Jesus” coming again (Rev. 1:7).
“Behold, He cometh!” Yes, Jesus is coming again in the power of his resurrection glory.
1. He is coming to save.
2. He is coming to judge.
3. He is coming to make all things new.
4. He is coming now!
Application: You have heard my message. You have heard my testimony. You have heard all that I have experienced. You have heard all that I know - “We see Jesus!” Now, I pray that you all may see him. May God be pleased to make him known to you. Oh, may God give us grace ever to be found looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”