Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jesus Our Big Brother (Hebrews 2:10-end)

A sermon introduction & outline:

Whether or not we have an elder brother, I guess we could imagine the ideal, perfect big brother.

Someone we loved and admired, who was a role model for us – perhaps even a hero to us.

Imagine you were about to start secondary school.

It would be good to have an older brother who had gone there before you.

He’d know just what it was like to go from being one of the oldest in your little village school of about 100 pupils, to the one of the youngest in a school of nearly 2000.

He could sympathise when you got lost, or when you were bewildered by the range of subjects.

He understands that all the different teachers take a bit of getting used to.

And he can help you out:

He can alert you to the ways of Mr Smith, the geography teacher.

And he can explain to you how the canteen works – recommend to you the best puddings and tell you what meals to avoid.

Perhaps there’s a bully at the school:

A pupil in the year above who terrorises all you first years.

To you it seems like the whole school is in the bully’s power.

But your big brother can come and sort him out.

He beats him up and the bully won’t mess with you again: he’s utterly defeated, his grip is broken.

Maybe you don’t turn out to be such a good student as your big brother.

Your coursework is due and you’ve done next to nothing for it.

You’re bound to fail.

It would be a total disaster.

Leaving aside the ethics of it for a moment, wouldn’t it be amazing if your big brother handed in his assignment for you, and you got top marks?

Perhaps you get into dreadful trouble at school and you’re about to be expelled, but your big brother takes the punishment for you.

Our passage suggests that we can see these things reflected in the Lord Jesus, the perfect big brother:

(1)   Jesus became our big brother so that he could understand what it’s like to be human, sympathise with us and help us (v18).

(2)   Jesus became our big brother so that he might destroy that bully the devil who held the power of death against us (vv14-15)

(3)   Jesus became our big brother so that he might solve our big problem by making atonement for our sins (v17)

The full audio version should be available here in due course.

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