Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When We All Get To Heaven"1 (Lyrics)
I have been on a cruise ship, travelling among the islands of the Caribbean. One of the privileges was for each passenger to meet and greet the captain of the ship. Fully dressed in uniform, he graciously welcomed each passenger and posed for photographs as a memento of the visit. Of course, in naval tradition, in time of marine disaster it is the captain who "goes down with the ship", or at least ensures that every passenger and crew member has been rescued before he himself leaves the sinking vessel.
I love how the writer of Hebrews describes Jesus as the Captain of our salvation, ready to sacrifice Himself for his family.
Hebrews 2:10-13 – For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You." And again: "I will put my trust in Him." And again: "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me." (NKJV)
We might imagine that God could have designed some other way to save His people than allowing His own Son to suffer and die, but He made the choice to do this, because true, intense, and complete love and giving involves sacrifice. When David was negotiating with Araunah for the oxen to sacrifice to end the plague, he said:
2 Samuel 24:24 – No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing. (NKJV)
The love of God had to be demonstrated in sacrifice to meet the demands of justice for our sin, so He chose to become human so that He could suffer and die on our behalf.
The Scriptures declare that Jesus was made perfect in His suffering, not because He was not perfect in deity, but was made perfect in the experience of pain and death. He had to complete His time on earth, with sorrow and pain, to become the Captain of His people's salvation. Because He was sanctified by His sacrifice, we in His family are also sanctified, by the Brother Who came to be one of us. We can now join Him in fellowship in our congregations, in times of quiet with God, as acknowledged family members.
I pray that you will put your trust in the Captain of our salvation, the Son of God Who became Son of Man, to take on Himself the penalty for our sin, being ready to go down with the ship before He allowed one single member of His family to drown in sin and death. Join me in praying with singer Sarah Begaj:
Prayer: "Captain of our salvation, I am free from expectations. Be Captain over all my thoughts, be Captain of the path I walk. Empower me, Lord, once again to walk in Your Spirit and not in sin. Empower me to be bold and brave, proclaiming Jesus the One Who saves." Amen.