Reflections For Life
JESUS vs DEATH
RUN THE RACE | The Hebrews Series
Hebrews 2 : 5 - 18
Pastor Lou Gallo
April 12, 2020
“For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again,“Behold, I and the children God has given me.” Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Hebrew 2 : 5 - 18
Jesus is the One who will rule the world to come, the new creation when He returns and establishes His Throne forever. It’s not the angels!
Verse 6 says, “It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
The author is quoting Psalm 8, which is referring to humans being made a little lower than the angels – for a little while. The author connects Psalm 8 to Jesus in that He is the perfect human and to be very clear Jesus is fully man AND fully God.
Jesus is the true picture of humanity, the last Adam who realizes in himself the glory and authority that the first Adam and his children, all lost, because of sin.
He understands our weakness and frailties as we face them in this life and He himself sympathizes with our struggles and weaknesses, having walked on earth for 33 years, fully God.
So, for a little while Jesus was temporarily made lower than the angels. He was humbled to a status lower than the angels, but now, the verse goes on to say, He has been exalted (to the right hand of the Father), crowned … with glory and honor, thus having everything put in subjection under his feet.
8b-9 says, “Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
The fact is that right now during this virus crisis, it’s hard to see Christ ruling over all things. Is this virus God’s judgement? Does it mean we are in the end-times? It may be too much to say that natural evils like the Corona virus or any other type of disaster is God’s judgement. Certainly we know that God judges sin – there are consequences for sin. God uses things like plagues to expose mankind’s sin and mortality and turn people them to Himself. Corona virus is a natural evil brought upon the world by Adam’s sin. The earth is groaning under the weight of sin and this is proof. This is a complex situation and I don’t want to be simplistic about the issue. Regarding the question of the end-times – Hebrews 1:2, “…in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son…”
We are in the end-times – the next thing big event in redemptive history is Christ’s return – the end. But this virus is proof that at present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. Christ’s complete and total rule will be fully realized in the future, and at the end of the age. When that occurs, mankind will experience the completeness of the rule referred to in Psalm 8 when EVERYTHING is under His control. His Kingdom is here but it is not fully here.And, even though HIS complete rule is not fully complete, those who are Christians see Him crowned with glory and honor. We are acknowledging His authority, His sovereignty, His rulership over everything. Even though we don’t see it completely. We see it by faith!!
Jesus is crowned with glory and honor. How did He achieve this glory and honor?He suffered death for our sins!
Verse 9 tells us plainly, But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
He tasted death for everyone! Everyone, meaning those who have turned from their sins and put their faith and trust in His work on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. He tasted death for everyone! For all who are His! To taste death means to suffer death. Not a partial death. A complete physical dying – dead! He is crowned, PRESENTLY with glory and honor because He didn’t remain dead! He rose from the dead. Christ’s resurrection is at the heart of our faith! On the cross He paid for sin, in His resurrection He conquered death.
1 Corinthians 15:14-23 says, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”
What humanity once had, but lost in the first Adam, Christ has now gained back by the One who became a human being for that very purpose. In Jesus, humanity has begun to realize its true purpose.
If you do not know Jesus this morning – you are dead already. Though you may be alive physically, you are in reality dead.
In my Daily Bible reading on Friday, I read from Mark 15:16 – 32, I read how Jesus was mocked. He was mocked by the Roman Soldiers, the Roman and Jewish leaders, He was mocked by the Jewish people who passed by Him. Before I knew Christ – I was a mocker! I was dead – spiritually dead. I was not the person I was created to be. Christ in His mercy, while I was still a mocker – saved me! It is by His mercy and grace and through the faith He gives – I repented. That’s when I became alive! That’s when I was born again! Made alive – in HIM!!
If you don’t know Jesus this morning I urge you to turn from your sins and be made alive as well. Cry out to God to forgive your sins and cause you to be born again and truly live! For those of us who know Christ… We have been made alive!
There’s a principle here for us too. In dying, there is exalting. Jesus is exalted in His humiliation.Jesus said, if you want to save your life you must lose it!
Matthew 16:24-25, “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
You want to really live? Give your life away!
First, this dying is in our conversion – being born again! We die to our old way of living – living for ourselves.
Second, this dying is our living for Christ and not ourselves.
1.One and one – One day, one person. Every day touch one person.
2.Special Easter Offering – Give for our Easter Offering to help expats in Busan during this virus crisis. We want support those who are in need – both material needs and more importantly those who are in spiritual need. We have an opportunity to reach those who are isolated during this unusual time.
Questions for Reflection:
Are we living in the end-times? How do you know?
What is the principle of death bringing life? What difference does that make in your life?
What are some practical ways to die to yourself?
Are there others you know who you can touch with words of hope and encouragement?
Are there any non-Christians you can touch with the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection?
We pray that this exercise will strengthen your relationship with the Lord as you draw near with confidence.