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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
Series B

Option #1: "It Was Fitting"
Hebrews 2:9ff
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

I. That the Savior was human--vv11-14a; Heb 4:15; Isa 7:14; John 1:14

II. That the Savior suffer death to defeat death--vv10, 14b-16; John 12:23-24; Phil 2:7-8

III. That this divine/human Savior be our atoning high priest--v17; Rom 8:3; Isa 53:12

Albert Barnes on Hebrews 2:17: It was necessary that he should in all things become like man, that he might suffer in his stead, and make an atonement.


Wherefore in all things--Because he thus laid hold on man in order to redeem him, it was necessary that he should in all things become like to man, that he might suffer in his stead, and make an atonement in his nature.

That he might be a merciful and faithful high priest--That he might be merciful--that he might be affected with a feeling of our infirmities, that, partaking of our nature with all its infirmities and afflictions, he might know how to be a compassionate poor, afflicted, suffering man. And that he might be a faithful high priest in those things which relate to God, whose justice requires the punishment of the transgressors, or a suitable expiation to be made for the sins of the people. The proper meaning [here] is to make propitiation or atonement for sins by sacrifice.

And so:

1. He exercises himself in the things pertaining to GOD, taking heed that God’s honor be properly secured, his laws properly enforced, and both his justice and mercy magnified.

2. He exercises himself in things pertaining to MEN, that he may make an atonement for them, apply this atonement to them, and liberate them thereby from the curse of a broken law, from the guilt and power of sin, from its inbeing and nature, and from all the evils to which they were exposed through it, and lastly that he might open their way into the holiest place by his own blood....

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I want to talk to you about one of the doctors you see. This doctor doesn’t tell you to "say ahhh." This doctor tells you to open wide. Which kind of doctor am I talking about? Right! Your dentist! You’ve very fortunate to have the dentist you had because you could be my age or older and have less than warm memories about your dentist. Okay, now OPEN WIDE!

No, not your mouth! Your ears! If your dentist had some bad times with a dentist when he was a child, I think he would be very careful not to hurt you. What do you think? Well, the Bible says the same thing about Jesus. Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity. As we just heard in the Bible reading, he is human just as you and I are. If your dentist got hurt at the dentist when he was your age, he will understand your fears. Jesus was human so that he could be our Savior. He was human so that he could face a lot of suffering, not just when they nailed him to the cross, but before that. And it wasn’t just the kind of hurt that bleeds; it was the hurt inside--the fear kind of hurt.

The Bible tells us not only that Jesus died to break the power of death over us; he also helps us right now because he understands so very well what it is to be human and what it feels like to hurt. When he comes back or when you and I go to heaven, we will never again be hurt, not here (mouth), not here (mind), nor here (body). Jesus will take away all our pain and all our fear.

Now isn’t that something to look forward to?

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Option #2: "Trigamy!"
Genesis 2:18-24
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
Point: Marriage is made in heaven.
Problem: We institutionalize marriage, refusing each others' help, holding other allegiances--e.g., to parents instead of to spouse.
Promise: Because God "divorced" Jesus, we live happily ever after in Him and through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
1. [Marriage] is an institution, the maintenance of which in its purity the public is deeply interested, for it is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress. (United States Supreme Court, 1888)
2. "Helper" is the Hebrew mind is anything but menial. God saw Adam and determined that something crucial was missing... Adam was made for a purpose that he could not fulfill alone. (Chuck Swindoll)
3. The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected. (Ibid)
4. Swindoll talks about four essential elements of commitment that hold a marriage together:
A supreme commitment: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother" (v24);
A steadfast commitment: "and be joined to his wife" (v24); "joined" means "to weld or glue" per God's law of one man and one wife for one life;
A special commitment: "And they shall become one flesh" (v24); first you leave, then you cleave--not uniformity, but unity... Not a melting of two personalities to form one, but two individuals living and working in concert with common values and shared goals. Unity is diversity brought into harmony; and
A shameless commitment: "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (v25): they enjoy an exclusive, privileged knowledge of each other (intimacy); marriage is a relationship that should be characterized by no secrets and no shame; where there is to be total acceptance, complete loyalty, and unconditional love.
5. Sex is not intimacy. It's designed by God to be the product of intimacy... Intimacy is shared discussion, shared silence, shared history, shared trials and heartbreaks, shared sorrow and grief, shared joy, and shared commitment. (Chuck Swindoll)
6. Marriage is always about a c-word: commitment, to be sure and, because we're in and of ourselves incapable of same, ultimately about the c-word Christ, who models marriage for us and in us and through us.
7. The best marriage is the union of two good forgivers or, better yet, three--the latter who enables and empowers it: a man, a wife, and Christ--trigamy!



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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 12:55:54 PM