Wednesday: The Roles of the Trinity: Hebrews 13:20-21

Sermon: An Easter Benediction

Scripture: Hebrews 13:20-21

In this week’s lessons, we look at the great benediction toward the end of Hebrews, as we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Theme: The Roles of the Trinity

Yesterday, we looked at the biblical idea of a covenant, and gave some examples. Now those are all great covenants. They were great blessings to the people who received, believed, and obeyed them. But they are not as great as the covenant that's spoken of in Hebrews 13. Why? First of all, because it's an eternal covenant. That is, it goes back into eternity past. It was established among the persons of the Godhead before this world even came into being. And because it's eternal, it's going to last forever.

It's also the greatest of the covenants because it's a covenant within the Godhead—that is, between the persons of the Trinity. You and I don't enter into this covenant at all except that we're the beneficiaries of it. Charles Haddon Spurgeon worked with this a little bit, recognizing that a covenant is a legal matter and that it's the kind of thing we can explain or understand perhaps by legal proceedings. We, above all, ought to understand it today because we live in such a litigious society. Our country has more lawyers than any country in the world, proportionate to the population. Everybody's making contracts, and breaking them, and arguing over them.

Spurgeon imagines a scene in heaven where the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit sit down around the table to work out a covenant agreement that's going to have to do with the salvation of the race. And because it's a covenant, it's expressed in official language. In Spurgeon’s pretended conversation among the members of the Trinity, this is what each person said.

First, God the Father speaks, and He says:

I, the Most High Jehovah, do hereby give unto my only begotten and well-beloved Son a people, countless beyond the number of the stars, who are not yet created, who shall be by Him washed from sin, by Him preserved and kept and led, and by Him at last presented before my throne without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. I covenant by oath and swear by Myself, because I can swear by no greater, that these whom I now give to Christ shall be forever the objects of my eternal love. Them will I forgive through the merits of His blood. To these will I give perfect righteousness. These will I adopt and make my sons and daughters. And these shall reign with me through Christ eternally.

The Holy Spirit speaks, taking up His part of the covenant:

I hereby covenant that all whom the Father gives to the Son, I will in due time quicken. I will show them their need of redemption. I will cut off from them all groundless hope and destroy their refuge of lies. I will bring them to the blood of sprinkling. I will give them faith, whereby this blood shall be applied to them. I will work in them every grace. I will keep their faith alive. I will cleanse them and drive out from them all depravity and sin, and they shall be presented at last, spotless and faultless.

And then last of all, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks:

My Father, on my part I covenant that in the fullness of time, I will become Man. I will take upon myself the form and nature of the fallen race. I will live in their wretched world. And for my people I will keep the law perfectly. I will work out a spotless righteousness, which shall be acceptable to the demands of thy just and holy law. In due time I will bear the sins of all my people. Thou shalt exact their debts on me. The chastisement of their peace, I will endure. And by my stripes they will be healed. My Father, I covenant and promise that I will be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. I will magnify your law and make it honorable. I will suffer all that they ought to have suffered. I will endure the curse of your law, and all the perils of your wrath shall be emptied and spent upon my head. I will then rise again. I will ascend into heaven. I will intercede for them at your right hand, and I will make myself responsible for every one of them, that not one of those whom you have given me shall ever be lost. But I will bring all my sheep, of whom by my blood thou hast constituted me the Shepherd. I will bring everyone safe to thee at last. 

Now you understand, I'm sure, that this is just a human way of talking about something that's timeless in the mind of the Godhead. We can't enter into the mind of God. We only understand what He's revealed to us, and it is covenantal language that we find in Scripture. While this is a pretended conversation, we also know that everything that Spurgeon wrote into those three paragraphs is drawn from Scripture. He's not making it up. God gave us an eternal covenant established among the persons of the Godhead, which has as its goal your redemption, that you might be saved from sin, and live for Christ, and triumph over sin and death by the power of His resurrection. 

Study Questions:

  1. Why is the covenant spoken of in Hebrews 13 a greater one?
  2. What does each person of the Godhead do in this eternal covenant?

Key Point: God gave us an eternal covenant established among the persons of the Godhead, which has as its goal your redemption, that you might be saved from sin and live for Christ, and triumph over sin and death by the power of His resurrection. 

Application: Give praise to God for all the spiritual blessings He has graciously given to you through the eternal covenant He has made and carried out.

For Further Study: Download for free and listen to Philip Ryken’s message, “The Easter Sermon of Jesus Christ.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.