The Expository Files

 We See Jesus
“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels…”

 Hebrews 2:9


Some have wondered what it would be like if God had to endure the things we do as human beings. Some have accused Him of unrighteousness because He promises to punish those who disobey Him, but He has never faced what we face. How would He live as a human being surrounded by temptation? For example, God has told us not to hate one another. He even includes our enemies in that… even the worst of them. How would God do if He were a man and was told not to hate others? Could He do it?

What people fail to understand is that God has already done so, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 2:9). He, in fact, prayed for those who treated Him with unspeakable cruelty asking for their forgiveness. When we look at Jesus, we learn much about God.

See Jesus On The Cross
“...who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death…” (Hebrews 2:9). It was about 6:00 PM, which was the beginning of the Hebrew day, that Jesus and ten of the apostles were heading west toward the setting of the sun on their way to Jerusalem and their last Passover meal. In slightly less than 24 hours. Jesus would be dead, and His battered body would be lowered from the cross.

How He did suffer for our sins! The King of the Universe and Savior of the world hung on a cross onto which His body had fastened by large nails. The pain and suffering were constant, and existed on many levels; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. One hymn speaks of those hours in which the heavens became unnaturally darkened saying:

“Well might the sun in darkness hide
and shut His glories in;
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
for man, the creature's, sin”

The whole scene speaks of the horrible nature of sin for which the pure One was shedding His blood. The sorrow and agony, the mother and friend nearby, the laughs and mocking of the enemies, the soldiers gambling for the garments. There was not just death in the air that day, but what the Hebrews writer refers to as “the suffering of death”. It was not an easy death and neither was it quick. It could not be.

But it does show us the extent of God's love for us, the sinners Jesus died to save(Romans 5:6-10). The thorny crown is testimony of God's love. Do you suppose that focusing on Jesus like this will aid us in overcoming temptation? Will it help me to love my God more? Will it lead me to love my brothers and sisters in Christ to a greater extent? My neighbors? My friends? Even my enemies? Do those who neglect their discipleship often meditate upon the love and sacrifice of Jesus for them?

See Jesus in His Church
The Hebrew writer also refers to Jesus as being “crowned with glory and honor” (Hebrews 2:9). There are many things to notice about Christ and His church. When it comes to giving God glory, we do this in the church and in Christ; “ Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21).

Jesus reigns in the hearts of His disciples as king. He prophesied when it would be that He would begin this reign over His kingdom. He said that during the generation that lived on the earth during His ministry He would commence His reign (Mark 1:14,15; 9:1; Matthew 16:18-19). He also emphasized that it would not be an earthly kingdom. His is a spiritual reign in the hearts of His people (John 18:36).

The citizens of His spiritual kingdom are also referred to as His church. The church is the collection of His people. He shed His precious blood for the church (Acts 20:28). He loves His church (Ephesians 5:25). He is head of His church and all things about it (Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:23). Yes, once Jesus was crowned with thorns. Now He has been crowned with glory. Let us honor the Son of the Living God as we make His will our own, respect His authority and word, and make His attitudes our own.

See Jesus in Me
“...that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9). When Jesus died on the cross, He didn't just die for a select few. There was not a certain race or ethnic group or language group for which He died. He did not die for people who lived only during a certain time or on a specific continent. He did not just die for relatively good people nor just for the worse sort of people. Nor did He die only for those poor enough or rich enough. He died for all. Everyone. Everywhere.

What this does from me depends on my response to His grace. He offers salvation to all, but becomes the source of salvation only to those who obey Him by faith:

“And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,” (Hebrews 5:9).

Our baptism into Christ marks the beginning of what the Bible refers to as a new life (Romans 6:3-8). That new life is empowered by the gospel as it directs us toward heaven and if we are wise enough to listen to it. The victory at the end of the journey is eternal and full of glory. There can be no greater exaltation for any of us!

“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9). It is so very important that we see, really see, Jesus!

By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 19.11; November 2012