Bringing Many to Glory (Hebrews 2.5-18)

Long before verse numbers were added to the Bible, the Hebrews writer used a less than helpful method of citation: “…there is a place where someone has testified.” Some place in the Bible it says… This some place happens to be Psalms 8.4-5:

… what is man that you are mindful of him,

the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands;

you put everything under his feet” (Psalms 8:4–6 NIV)

The psalmist ponders why God would be so concerned about humanity. Because the psalmist speak of “man” in the collective sense, the Hebrews writer can take advantage of the singular, which he applies, as you might expect from this ancient preacher, to Jesus.

In becoming human, Jesus became a little lower than the angels (following the LXX), but now he has been exalted far above them. Notice as you read Hebrews that the author wants us to understand that it was the Man Jesus who was exalted.

The logic of what follow may be difficult for modern readers to follow. It goes something like this: Jesus was exalted because he died > because he died, he can somehow experience death for everyone > by doing this he will bring many children to glory > since he is the “author of their salvation” > who is somehow made perfect by suffering.

Did you follow that? It’s OK, if you did not.

The big picture is that this Jesus who was made a little lower than angels in becoming human and is now exalted can fully identify with those who belong to him.

How’s that? Better?

Jesus and his followers now belong to the same family and Jesus is not embarrassed to claim them as his siblings. It is precisely Jesus’ humanness that makes him “able to help those who are being tempted.” It is this that makes him the perfect priest we all need.

Jesus understands what you are going through. He has been through it himself. Now, the writer of Hebrews claims, Jesus, in his exalted state, remains our Man in heaven.

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