Five Ways Jesus Blazed the Trail to God

Introduction

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. For he said to God, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people.” He also said, “I will put my trust in him,”  that is, “I and the children God has given me.” Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

Hebrews 2:10-18 NLT

In 1804-1806, two explorers, Captain George Clark and Captain Meriwether Lewis, were sent by President Thomas Jefferson to find a way across the old, trackless West from St. Louis to the Pacific Coast. Such an expedition involved tremendous preparation, special provisions and wise decisions. It was accomplished through threat danger and many hardships, as Lewis and Clark’s journals make clear. When the explorers returned the whole American West lay open to development. This is the thought behind the word used here of Jesus … he opened up a completely new spiritual country. Hebrews 1 directed us to listen to the exalted and resurrected Son of God. Hebrews 2 tells us to follow Him – he’s the trailblazer  – the pioneer of faith. Here are Five Ways Jesus Blazed the Trail to God!

Jesus Declared a New Path (2:10)

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.

Hebrews 2:10 NLT

It is God’s choice to bring many children into glory. It is God’s plan to send Jesus to open up a new path: to be a pioneer. 2:10 NIV … the pioneer of their salvation
Barclay: Can mean Founder or Originator. It always means someone who begins something in order that others may enter into it. He begins a family that someday others may be born into it. He founds a city that others may someday dwell there.  He blazes the trail for others to follow.  Jesus is the pioneer who blazed the trail to God for us to follow.

It was God’s plan that Jesus became human and experience what it was like to be a human. Through His suffering, he was made the perfect pioneer of salvation. Through his suffering, he was identified with humans. Through his suffering, he sympathizes with humans. He feels with them. Through his sufferings and sympathy, he knows how to help us.

“No matter how much we suffer, we can never suffer beyond the ability of Jesus to sympathize with our suffering. We can never out-suffer Jesus. He knows and understands the hurts of living and dying in this world from his own personal, painful experience.”

Hoping For Something Better, Nancy Guthrie

Jesus Defined a New Family (2:11)


So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.

Hebrews 2:11, NLT

As a result of the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus: Jesus makes his followers holy (sanctified) – set apart to belong to God. Jesus makes his followers family (brothers and sisters) – not ashamed! The author quotes Psalm 22 and Isaiah 8 to illustrate his point. Jesus became a human being so that he could pioneer the path to God by making us holy and making us family.

He Destroyed Satan’s Power (2:14-15)


Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

Hebrews 2:14,15 NLT

He broke the power of the devil: death and the fear of death.

Christians must take the devil seriously. Scripture testifies that Satan is our enemy. In fact, 1 Peter 5:8 says that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. He delights in perverting the gospel and preventing it from being preached. He is a liar (John 8:44); he is a deceiver (2 For 2:10-11; 11;14; ph 6.11); he is a destroyer (John 10:10); and he is a tempter (MT 4:1-11; 1 Cor 7:5). In short, the devil is maliciously and comprehensively opposed to God’s being, God’s character, God’s purposes, God’s people, and God’s glory

Christ-Centered exposition: Hebrews, R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

The power and work of the devil is death. He introduced it into the world. He was the lord of death because sin, which produces death, was under his control. “Jesus broke the devil’s grip on His people when in death He became the death of death…” F. F. Bruce

He Diminished our Fears (2:15b)


2:15b Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

The fear of Death. There are so many fears associated with death. Nancy Guthrie reminds us of the answers of God to the fears we have about death in her book Hoping For Something Better.

*Are you afraid of the unknowns beyond death’s door?  John 14:1-3 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

*Do you fear the pain of losing someone or the pain your departure will leave behind?  John 14:16 AMP And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—

*Do you fear the separation death brings from those you love? Paul said we should encourage one another with these words – 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

*Do you fear the finality of death? 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

*Do you fear facing the judgment that will follow death?  Romans 8:1-2 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Guthrie says “We have to learn to tell ourselves the truth about life and death. And the source is God’s Word. When we listen to it and ingest it, it changes how we think and how we feel.

If death cannot separate the people of Christ from God’s love which has been revealed in Him, it can no longer be held over their heads by the devil or any other power.  1 John 3:8b But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. In one sense death is no more, in Christ death is already destroyed. In another sense, complete victory over death awaits the final consummation, for “the last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26). (Lightfoot)

He Demonstrated His Love (2:17-18)


Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.  Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

Hebrews 2:17-18, NLT

Once again the Hebrew writer affirms that Jesus became like us so that he could be our High Priest (next sermon!) He could take away our sins. He can help us when we are being tested. He endured to the end without faltering. He has met our sorrows; He has faced our temptations. Therefore he knows how to help us find our way to God. All of this is a demonstration of his great love for us. 1 John 3:16  says, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Conclusion

Jesus came to be a pioneer, to blaze a trail to God for all of us. He declared a new path. He defined a new family. He destroyed Satan’s power. He diminished our fears.
He demonstrated his love. Have we received the gift of Christ … the promise that comes from his purposes when he came to earth? He blazed the trail to God … are we following?

Jesus blazed the trail to God for us. The question of this text is are we following Him?

*Are we living by faith or just on religious cruise-control?

*What are we doing to bless the Family that Christ gives us? Involvement, Attendance, Service, Prayer?

*Are we living under Satan’s grip or in Jesus’ powerful hands? Have we given ourselves to Christ? Submission to Him is the first step of discipleship. 

*Are we living in fear or faith? Do we trust Him to carry us through the toughest times of our life?

*Are we demonstrating love for one another? The lost? Our community?

Jesus is our Trailblazer in the life of faith – but only if we are following Him! Hebrews 1 – Are you listening to Him? Hebrews 2 – Are you Following Him?


LifeGroup Questions

Superhero movies rule at the box-office -, especially in the summertime. What has been your favorite superhero movie? Or, did you have a superhero you were a fan of when you were a child?

In verse 10, Jesus is described as “founder of our salvation” / “trailblazer”.  In what ways do you see Jesus as the trailblazer for our salvation? 

What are some ways we might underestimate / overestimate the devil? How does Christ’s victory over the devil affect your view of the enemy?

How does this passage help prepare Christians for the inevitability of death? How do the accomplishments of Christ calm fears about death?

Hebrews 2:18 is a wonderful promise. How does Jesus help us when we are being tested?

To what extent did Jesus become like his “brothers”? What did this include or not include? (vv. 14-15, 17; see Heb. 4:15; Philippians 2:7) Why is this important?

What else did you see here that you wanted to talk about?


Resources:
Jeremiah, David. Lesson Outline.
Barclay, William. Daily Study Bible Hebrews.
Bruce, F. F. Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Guthrie, Nancy. Hoping For Something Better
Lightfoot, Neil R. Jesus Christ Today: A Commentary on the Book of Hebrews
Mohler, R. Albert. Jr. Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Hebrews
Stedman, Ray. IVP New Testament Commentary series, Hebrews.