150322 Hebrews 5:7-9

Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Hebrews 5:7-9

Theme: Jesus Is The Only Savior

Just about each night, one of the tv stations shows re-runs of the television show "M.A.S.H." In one of the episodes, a pilot, who flew over 50 bombing missions, came to the hospital claiming that he was Jesus Christ. The mental stress that this pilot suffered from carrying out a job that brought only death and destruction was so great, that he tried to block it out by saying he was the Savior of the world. During the episode, many of the doctors knew that this man was not Jesus. But at the end, as the man is leaving, the company clerk, "Radar", asks this man to bless his favorite teddy bear, just in case he is who he claims to be.

Since Jesus walked on this earth over 2000 years ago, there have been many people who claim to be the Savior of the world. Jesus himself said this would happen. In Luke chapter 21 Jesus says, "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them." But the Bible makes it clear that there is only one Savior for you and me and all mankind. In Acts chapter 4 we read, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Today, as we gather together here in our Lord's house, we join in giving thanks for the Good News that Jesus is the only Savior!

If we would want to, we could simply break down all the teachings found in God's Word into two basic parts. Those teachings that tell us what a loving Savior-God has done for you and me; and those teachings that tell us what the one and only true God expects from us as we live out our days here on this earth. As we get ever closer to the events of Holy Week, we focus our thoughts and attention on Jesus. As we look forward to the Savior's triumphal ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, as we look ahead to the events of Good Friday and our Savior's suffering and death on the cross, as we eagerly await the Good News of Easter Morning, we focus on Jesus. Today is not about you and me, and what we can do for our loving Savior-God. Today is all about the Good News that Jesus in the only Savior!

The first point we want to take away from this section of God's Word in Hebrews chapter 5 is that Jesus is our only Savior because he willingly suffered in our place. Listen to how the Holy Spirit led the writer to the Hebrews to describe this suffering, "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." This brings to mind the scene of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Matthew chapter 26, Jesus tells his disciples, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." As true God, Jesus knew what was coming. He knew he would be arrested and beaten by his enemies. He knew that his flesh would be ripped apart by the whips that would strike him over and over. He already saw the nails being driven through his hands and feet. He also knew that his Father in heaven would forsake him and make him suffer all the pain and torment of hell as he hung there on that cross. And yet, for you and me, Jesus was willing to endure this suffering. Again, from Matthew chapter 26 we read, "Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'"

Each week during our Worship Services you and I join together in a confession of our sins and our need for a Savior. In great sorrow over our sins, you and I confess to the holy and just God that all we deserve is to suffer his anger and wrath over our sins. The Lord God has every right to make your life and mine as miserable as possible while here on this earth and then to send us to a life that never ends in the pain and torment of hell.

But today you and I rejoice in the Good News that Jesus is the only Savior. Jesus is your Savior and mine who willing suffered hell in our place. The prophet Isaiah writes about this suffering in chapter 53 of his prophecy, "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

This brings us to the second point we want to take away from this section of God's Word in Hebrews chapter 5. Jesus is the only Savior, not only because he willing suffered hell in our place, but also because as our perfect Savior he has made heaven our home. Listen again to our reading from Hebrews chapter 5, "Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him." Here is an example where our NIV translation of the Bible fails us a bit. If we just relied on this translation we are left with the idea that Jesus was just another human being, who over time became perfect. But the original Greek language, and the rest of the Bible for that matter, makes it clear that Jesus was perfect from the beginning. A better translation of the phrase "once made perfect" would be "having reached the goal". What the Holy Spirit is saying through the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews is that Jesus had one goal in coming to this earth. That was to live a perfect life for you and me, and to offer up that perfect life as the sacrifice for your sins and mine. The Bible makes it so clear to us that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted, yet was without sin. As the perfect Savior, Jesus Christ "became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him."

How can you be sure that you will go to heaven? This is a question that Satan loves to put into our minds. He will tempt you and me into thinking that Jesus isn't our only Savior. Satan would love us to pull out from the rest of the Bible a verse such as I just read, wanting us to believe that you and I have to somehow help out in securing our place in heaven. Yes, by the working of the Holy Spirit on our hearts, you and I desire to live a life that is pleasing to our Lord. But, you and I know that we fall far short of the 100% perfection that the Lord demands for life with him in heaven. Our Father in heaven knew that you and I couldn't live a perfect life, so he sent his one and only Son, Jesus, for you and me. Because he resisted each and every temptation of the Devil, Jesus is the only Savior! Because he willingly offered up his perfect life on the cross, Jesus is the only Savior! Because he rose again in great victory on Easter Sunday, Jesus is the only Savior! Jesus Christ is your Savior. Jesus Christ is my Savior. Because Jesus is the only Savior, you and I are able to join with the hymn writer when he writes,

Jesus, all our ransom paid, All your Father's will obeyed,
By your suff'rings perfect made: Hear us, holy Jesus!

One of the memories I have from my childhood is going camping, sitting around the campfire while drinking a "Jolly Good" soda. Jolly Good sodas came in all different flavors. But you could always tell the difference between a Jolly Good soda and the "original" soda they were trying to imitate. There is just something about the original that makes it better than anything that tries to copy it. There may be those who pretend to be Christ. They may even convince people to follow them as the promised Messiah. But you and I know the Good News that there is only one Savior. What Jesus did for you and me will never be copied by another human being. Jesus lived a perfect life for you and me. Jesus suffered hell in your place and mine. Jesus died for you and me. Jesus rose again in great victory. Jesus will give you and me that same victory as we look forward to taking our place at his side forever in heaven. Jesus is the only Savior! Amen.

 

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Oconomowoc, WI 53066
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