Sermon Series
Hebrews 5:7-9
Date
March 18, 2018
Speaker
Pastor Witt

 

Greeting: Grace and peace are yours from Jesus, who is and who was and who is to come.

 

Text: 7) During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One w ho could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.  8) Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered 9) and once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.

 

Introduction:  Are you a true value shopper?  Do you take time to ponder the price of things you might like to buy?   There are relatively few people in this world who think that money is no object and disregard the price tag as a factor in their purchases.  Some people put considerable time into pondering the price of things.   More do so in difficult financial times as we face now.

 

Here is a price to ponder: In 1950 a man named John Hays Whitney purchased a 1905 painting by Pablo Picasso entitled “Boy With A Pipe” for $30,000.  54 years later, in 2004, it was sold at Sothebys in New York City for the price of $104,200,000.   It is the most expensive painting ever sold in a public auction.  If you or I made payments of $100,000 annually, it would take us 1,042 years to purchase this painting at no interest.  If is hard for us to imagine paying such a price for a single painting.

 

Here is another price to ponder: About 30 A.D., Jesus Christ paid the purchased our souls to rescue us from eternal death.    The price He paid for us incalculable, but it is well worth pondering.  The inspired writer of Hebrews helps us by sharing three precious truths about this purchase in the span of three powerful verses.   As we take time to Ponder The Price Jesus Paid, may the Holy Spirit help us realize 1) This price caused the harshest anguish; 2) This price required the most exacting obedience and 3) This price produces our thank-filled deliverance.

 

1. This Price Caused The Harshest Anguish

The writer of Hebrews invites us to consider this price: “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.”   The writer gives us some insight into the life Jesus lived.   It was surely a life of prayer.  Jesus regularly offered up prayers and petitions to God the Father.   It was also a life of anguish.   Jesus offered His prayers with loud cries and tears.  Those loud cries and tears were caused by the great suffering Jesus endured. Although Jesus never complained to people about His burdens, He could not help but express His anguish to His heavenly Father in prayer.   When Isaiah describes the Savior in his famous 53rd chapter, He speaks of Jesus as “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.   He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.”  He paints the picture of a man who endured great hardships and bore great sadness in His soul.   From birth until death, Jesus was never too far removed from suffering and sorrow.

 

In Psalm 22, we find the words of one of those anguish-filled prayers  that Jesus prayed.   Note the intense sorrow that bleeds through every phrase: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?  Why are You so far from saving Me, so far from the words of My groaning?   O My God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer, by night and am not silent. . .  But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.  All who see Me mock Me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.”   We might wonder: “What kind of anguish did Jesus experience that would cause Him to cry out as He did?”  We are perhaps familiar with some forms of suffering:  birth pains, gall stones, kidney stones, a pinched nerve, a broken bone, major burns over the body, a bout of depression, the death of a child.   They cause us to cry out.   What about Jesus?  Could it have been the anguish of physical death.   Physical death can be harsh for us: chronic pain, slow decline, a loss of powers, the unknown moment, the grim finality.  Surely Jesus suffered much as He died physically, but this was not His harsh anguish.

 

No, the harshest anguish for Jesus was not physical death or the 1st death.  The harshest anguish was something we call the 2nd death.   The second death is what caused Jesus to be “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”  The second death is what caused Him to “sweat great drops of blood” as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.   The second death was the eternal death that came as the punishment for sin.   It was the experience of being absolutely abandoned and cursed by God.  It was the experience of having all blessings removed and all torments inflicted on His soul.  It was the unspeakable agony of His soul being inflicted with the full, fierce, punishing wrath of God and the vast, violent, unrestrained punishment of the world’s sins.  It was the experience of the depths of hell itself.   This is what our Savior faced for us.   No one ever paid this kind of price.  No one else could.

 

2. The Price That Required His Exacting Obedience

The writer of Hebrews points out a second aspect of the price Jesus paid for us: “Although Jesus was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered.”   The writer tells us that the price for our souls required Jesus to learn and express a very strict obedience to God.  You and I learn obedience differently than Jesus did.   We are born disobedient to God.  In Romans, Paul says that “our sinful nature is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”  We must be transformed spiritually so that we can unlearn disobedience and learn what it means to obey God.   Although we can make progress, we do not ever reach perfection.

 

Jesus, however, was always obedient in spirit.  Born with a sinless nature, Jesus was compliant and committed to God from the beginning.   In Psalm 40, He expressed this obedience.  “Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – it is written about Me in the scroll.   I desire to do Your will, O My God; Your law is within My heart.”   The challenge for Jesus was that He had to live out His obedience in difficult life experience.   He was tested and tried and required to translate His obedient spirit into practice.   Jesus also had to obey to the greatest degree.  He had to be perfect.  His record had to be flawless and unblemished.  To disobey even once would mean failure.   Though tempted and provoked by sinful people and Satan Himself, facing pressures we cannot imagine, Jesus had to live a perfectly obedient life.  He had to become obedient to death, even the shameful, painful death on the cross.

 

The writer of Hebrews adds the thought that “Jesus was heard because of His reverent submission.”   He tells us that what Jesus was required to do He did.  Jesus obeyed in spirit and deed perfectly. He gave the Father His “reverent submission.”  In commenting on these words “reverent submission”, one Bible scholar said: “Jesus was careful and watchful to do what is right in every situation of His life.”  He did all that was required.  He finished a perfect life.  He paid the price of unbroken obedience for us.   He died a success and was raised in triumph.

 

3. The Price That Produces Our Thank-Filled Deliverance

The third point the writer of Hebrews makes points to the blessed benefit of the price Jesus paid for our souls.  The price of harsh anguish and exacting obedience secures our deliverance.  He writes: “Once made perfect, Jesus became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”   The words in Hebrews are similar to Saint Paul’s when he writes in Romans 5: “The result of one act of righteousness (by Christ) was justification for all people.  Through the obedience of the on Man, the many were made righteous.”

 

Because Jesus has paid high and holy price to God, He now owns the distribution rights to salvation.  He has won them.  Now He may give them.  He has earned them and now He can bestow.  If salvation is to be found, one must go to Jesus to get it.   Let’s rejoice that salvation is available.  Rejoice that salvation is God’s free gift.   Rejoice that it is given by lovingly.

 

The writer of Hebrews said that Jesus is the source of salvation for all who obey Him.  Here the writer is not teaching salvation by works.  He is speaking of the “obedience of faith.”   The Bible’s teaching is very clear.  People are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ for the purpose of doing good works.  True faith shows itself in obedience to God and His will.  The faith in believes in Jesus expresses itself by behaving for Jesus.

 

Because Jesus paid the price of salvation, we are led to grateful obedience.   We delight in the truth that because Jesus paid for our salvation, we shall never know the crushing burden of guilt, the full severity of God’s curse, the overwhelming penalty of God’s judgment and the eternal torments of hell.   This makes us glad and grateful.  We want to show our thankfulness by being obedient to our Savior.   We want to follow God’s directions that we forgive others as we have been forgiven by Christ, that we love others because Christ has loved us, that bear each others’ burdens as Christ has carried ours, that we tell others of the debt we all owe to God, but cannot pay, and of the price Jesus did pay so that may be saved.

 

Close.  The person who purchased the Picasso painting “Boy With A Pipe” for $104.2 million is not known.  Neither is the purpose for which it was bought. We can only guess.  However, the purchaser of salvation  and His purpose is known.   We don’t have to guess.  Jesus has paid the price of our souls so that we could be delivered.   That purchase gives us so much to ponder.   In the remaining weeks of Lent and for the rest of our lives, let us think often of the harsh anguish He endured, the exacting obedience He gave and the thank-filled deliverance we enjoy.  Amen.

 

Blessing: To Christ who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious throne without fault be glory now and forevermore.  Amen.