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Hebrews: Our Creator and Redeemer and the Fight for Life Print E-mail
Sanctity of Human Life
Sunday, 22 January 2017

OUR CREATOR AND REDEEMER AND THE FIGHT FOR LIFE
Hebrews

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Today we celebrate the sanctity of all human life. We see every child as a gift from God. We value every life because it is made in the image of God. The celebration of human life means that as followers of Christ and believers in God’s Word that we must fight against the culture of death in which we currently life. We fight against abortion on all its fronts: political, personal, financial, etc. We fight against the belief that it is alright to kill those with diseases or the terminally ill. We fight against slave trafficking and racism and other forms of prejudice, which exist because some people view other people as less than human and therefore available for exploitation. We fight against all these evils and more because we value human life. Not only that, but because we see every human as made in the image of God, we fight for unborn babies. We fight for those facing crisis pregnancies. We fight for pregnancy resource centers who are on the frontlines of this fight for life. We fight for those who have faced persecution and hardship for their race. We fight to protect any who cannot protect themselves. It is not so much a fight for rights (although that is part of the battle) as it is a fight for life, a fight for helping people see the value of every human being since they are made in God’s image. We celebrate the sanctity of human life today to remind us and encourage us in this fight.

Today we celebrate the sanctity of all human life. We see every child as a gift from God. We value every life because it is made in the image of God. The celebration of human life means that as followers of Christ and believers in God’s Word that we must fight against the culture of death in which we currently life. We fight against abortion on all its fronts: political, personal, financial, etc. We fight against the belief that it is alright to kill those with diseases or the terminally ill. We fight against slave trafficking and racism and other forms of prejudice, which exist because some people view other people as less than human and therefore available for exploitation. We fight against all these evils and more because we value human life. Not only that, but because we see every human as made in the image of God, we fight for unborn babies. We fight for those facing crisis pregnancies. We fight for pregnancy resource centers who are on the frontlines of this fight for life. We fight for those who have faced persecution and hardship for their race. We fight to protect any who cannot protect themselves. It is not so much a fight for rights (although that is part of the battle) as it is a fight for life, a fight for helping people see the value of every human being since they are made in God’s image. We celebrate the sanctity of human life today to remind us and encourage us in this fight.

The book of Hebrews encourages us in this fight. Our study through the book so far has taught us of the greatness of our Savior, who is better than anything else in this life. He is the greatest treasure of all.  The author has taught us that Jesus is our Creator, the One through whom all things were made, and our Redeemer, the One who sacrificed Himself once and for all for the forgiveness of our sins. He is our Savior and our Lord. In our time together this morning I want to ask and answer one question from the book: How does Jesus being our Creator and Redeemer encourage us in the fight for life. I want to answer with two implications from the book.

Since Jesus is the agent of creation, we should value all of life (1:3, 1:10-12, 3:4)

Perhaps you are here this morning and you are not convinced that all human life has value. Maybe you are not ready to fight on behalf of all life. Well then, let me begin by showing you why all life is valuable to the follower of Christ. Look at 1:3. Jesus is the agent of creation. All things were created through Him. He was there when the Father breathed life and breath into the first man. He was there when He spoke: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’ (Genesis 1:26). Jesus was there when He later said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…’ (Genesis 1:28). All of the life in man that God created was created through Jesus.

The author of Hebrews is arguing here for the deity of Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh. The author will later call God the builder of all things (3:4). The house that we call creation was built by God and it was built through Jesus. Every human life on this planet exists because of Jesus, as Paul writes of Him: all things were created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16). And John writes: All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3). Thus, John and Paul and the author of Hebrews agree that everything was made through Jesus, which means that He is the creator of all human life.

If that is true, then we should value all of life that Jesus has created. He has put His image on every human and therefore every human is created with intrinsic value. Their worth is not based on what they do or who their parents are or what they look like. The value of life is found in the One who created it, namely Jesus. We fight for the unborn because they bear the image of our God. We fight for racial harmony because we believe that all races are God’s creation. The sick or terminally ill are still the work of our God. So keep fighting for life because Jesus created it and it all bears His great image.

Since Jesus gave Himself to serve us, we should give ourselves to fighting for others

In the author’s argument for the greatness of Jesus, he points out that Jesus was willing to leave heaven and put on flesh to save us. Look at 2:14-18. Jesus’ work was to save us from our sins. How did He do this? He began by taking on flesh to share in flesh and blood with the people that He came to save. He was made like his brothers in every respect. Why did Jesus do this? Why did the One through whom all humans were made actually become human? He did this 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. He took on flesh to bear the wrath of God for the sins of His people. His incarnation was an act of service. He took on flesh to serve us as our High Priest and make propitiation for our sins. He did this for us.

Not only did He take on flesh to serve us, but Jesus was willing to suffer in the flesh to serve us. Look back at 2:9-10. Jesus suffered for us all. He tasted death for us all. He was made perfect through suffering so that we could one Day be perfect through faith in Him. His suffering was not arbitrary. It had a purpose. He suffered and tasted death for everyone. He suffered to serve. Look also at 5:7-9. Again the author notes that Jesus suffered while in the flesh and was perfected by this suffering. And what was the purpose of this suffering? The author of Hebrews tells us: He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Jesus was perfected by suffering so that we could have eternal salvation. He bought our admission to Heaven with His suffering. He served us through His incarnation and He served us through His suffering.

Not only did He take on flesh and suffer to serve us, He also sacrificed Himself to serve us. The author of Hebrews is showing to his readers that Jesus’ sacrifice is superior to any of the sacrifices offered under the old covenant. And what is it that Jesus offers? Look at 9:24-28. Jesus put away our sin by the sacrifice of himself. He died on a cross to save us from our sins. He did not offer the blood of bulls and goats. He offered His own blood. He spilled out His own life at the cross. We will all die and all face judgement, but the glorious good news is that He is coming back to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Christ offered Himself to bear the sins of many. He gave His life to save us from our sins.

If this is true, if Christ really did put on flesh and suffer and sacrifice Himself to save us from our sins, then we should give ourselves to serving others. The author of Hebrews makes this very point at the end of his letter. Look at 13:1-2. In giving some final exhortations to the readers, he encourages them to keep loving each other and keep showing hospitality to others. In other words, keep serving one another and keep serving others. And why do we do this? Look at 13:12. Jesus suffered at the cross, outside the gate, in the place of humiliation to sanctify the people through his own blood. This is why we lay down our lives for others, which is what the author commands us to do next. Look at 13:13-16. Did you catch that language? Jesus sacrificed Himself for us, so we should sacrifice ourselves by doing good to others and sharing what we have. We share our voice in the service of the unborn and the sexually exploited. We share our money to support those who labor in these efforts. We share our homes with the marginalized and the needy. We do this because we belong to Christ. We share our lives because He shared His life with us. He gave Himself for us so that we could give ourselves for others.

Conclusion
The great Jesus that we encounter in the book of Hebrews demands that we value the life He has created and serve those who need our help. He is our Creator and Redeemer and that implies that we should be willing to join the fight for life. So what can we do? Let me close with some practical ways that you can fight for life.

First, keep praying. Our local PRC is continually putting out prayer requests on their Facebook page. They need us to pray for the clients that we serve. We need to be praying that they will choose life. We need to be praying their unborn children, that God will protect them and keep them safe. We need to be praying for the volunteers at the PRC. Pray that they will have time to serve and wisdom and compassion when they do serve. Pray for Sandi and Amy who are there most of the time fighting for life. The work can be tiring, especially when it involves stuffing hundreds of envelopes to encourage donors to keep giving. It is hard work so keep praying. Pray for your neighbors and our community that we will be reconciled racially. Pray for blacks and whites and hispanics to view each other as equals, to see each other as made in the image of God. Pray that we will know how to end the racial divide in our city.

Second, keep giving. I know many of you are giving to support the PRC. I thank you so much for all that you have done. The Lord has so faithfully provided for this ministry through people like you. Keep it up. May the PRC in our community have all that it needs to fight for life until the fight is over!

Third, keep volunteering. Our church is well represented at the PRC and I am thankful for that. But I encourage you to keep serving in this way! Perhaps the Lord is calling you to adopt or foster. I pray that the notion of an ‘unwanted child’ will be eradicated in our communities and in our country and in our world. And that can only happen when Christian families step up and care for these children. I am thankful for all that we have done and are doing along these lines as a Church and I pray that we will continue to do more. Since Jesus is our Creator and our Redeemer, may we continue to be a people who fight for life. Amen.

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 February 2017 )

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