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Hebrews 2:14-18

02.22.2011

Pretend you can time-travel, and we’re zooming back through the wilds of history to the ancient date of Thursday, February 17, AD 2011. Oooh! People were so different then! What funny clothes and accents and ideas they had.

Oh, look!  It’s the release date/time of NatNav’s Heb 2:14-18 post!  We’re just in time.  Let’s bask in the wisdom, shall we?

2:17 | I’m going to zero in on a particular phrase for this post, addressing, I think, some of the issues discussed last week about God’s righteousness.

Therefore, He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. [Emphasis mine]

In what sense does Jesus have to do anything?  Is He not God?  Is God not sovereign?  In one sense, there is an internal logic to God’s salvific work.  Once He sets out to reconcile fallen man to Himself, He has to proceed in a certain manner to remain consistent with His attributes of holiness and justice and righteousness. 

At a deeper level, though, I think we can arguably extend the reach of this ‘had to’ to cover the decision to reconcile us to Him in the first place.  That is, the previous paragraph describes how, once God sets out to save mankind, there are necessary implications on how that is to be done.  But I think we can take a step back up the causal chain and suggest that God’s character makes it so that He ‘has to’ reconcile men to Him. 

Let me stipulate, I don’t believe He owes it to us to save us or to some higher power, personal or otherwise.  Rather, God’s faithfulness to His own character attributes demand that the moral order of creation which was disrupted at the Fall be put right.  God decreed in the Garden that man should have dominion over the world and be His agent there.  But because of the Fall, man is paralyzed by fear of death.  God is thus compelled, by Himself, to rectify the situation, redeem creation, and reconcile fallen man to his holy Creator.

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