December 19, 2011
LOWER THAN ANGELS
“But we see Jesus,
Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honor, that He,
by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.”
It is often pointed out that while Hebrews 1 stresses and underscores the deity of the Man, Christ Jesus, Hebrews 2 displays the true humanity of Him Who is Son of God. To this end, the writer first introduces us to the quote of Psalm 8 concerned with “man” and his place in creation. Assigned a position of headship over all, he lost it (“we see not yet all things put under him” v 8). Sin cost man his place of leadership and headship in God’s creation. But were God’s plans forfeited? Had God’s own righteous character led to the derailing of His purposes?
Enter another Man! Once again, this Man comes into the world and is a “little lower than angels.” He voluntarily places Himself under the law – angels had administered the law at Sinai (Gal 3:19). He is made for a “little while” lower than angels. It was only during those 33 years that He took that place: the Creator of angels, the One Whom they served, and the One Whom they will worship at His second advent (ch. 1:6), took a lower place, for a “little while.”
It was with a “view to the suffering of death.” All was in view of the work He would accomplish at Calvary. He “tasted” death for everything (Newberry, R.V.). All creation will know the redemptive power of what He accomplished there on the cross. All that was lost in Adam, more than was lost in Adam, will all be restored by the One Who became “lower than angels to die in our stead.”
1. What does the imagery of “tasted death” convey to you?
2. Why does he introduce the “grace of God” in verse 9?
3. For it “became Him” or was consistent with His character, becoming or fitting to His nature, to make the Lord Jesus perfect through suffering. In what way was this fitting to God’s character?