Summary: Exposition of Heb 2:5-8 regarding Christ and the gospel
Text: Hebrews 2:5-9, Title: Eating Death, Date/Place: NRBC, 8/22/10,
A. Opening illustration:
B. Background to passage: the writer/author is continuing with his argument about the superiority of Christ over angels, almost like the warning passage was a parenthetical statement. And we get a little more insight into the incarnation of Christ as the writer compares it to mankind and his position in Creation from Psalm 8. He is transitioning from the position of Jesus to the Person and Work of Jesus in the next few paragraphs.
C. Main thought: musing on the incarnation of Jesus.
A. Made Lower Than Angels (v. 7, 9)
1. The writer compares man and Christ. Quoting from Psa 8:4-6 (read it), he reminds them of David’s words about the place of man in relation to God and His creation. He says that man is a little lower than the angels, refering to the fact that angels are heavenly, and man is earthly for now, not to the image of God which men bear, and angels don’t. The implication of the Greek is not only “a little” but “a little while,” so this making of a lower rank than angels for man and Christ is temporary lot; for man will one day judge angels, and Christ is the King of the angels, and will receive their worship. But the writer says the same thing applies to Jesus. He was temporarily made lower than the angels. He disrobed of his external manifestation of divine glory, and took on (an addition, not a subtration) human flesh, and dwelled among us. And for a time is in functional subjection to the Father. This understanding will be expounded on in the next paragraph. He wants to remind the Heb of this
2. Psa 8:4-6, Philip 2:5-8, John 1:14,
3. Illustration: “The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.” - Martin Luther, Light of the World, You stepped out into darkness…Humbly you came to the earth you created, all for love’s sake became poor…
4. Our redemption lies upon this great truth. If Jesus was not fully man then His obedience as the representative head for our race is invalid (we are all still under Adam), His sacrificial atonement on the cross doesn’t count for us either because He was not a sufficient substitute for us, He cannot mediate between us and God, He can’t be our example, He can’t identify with us in sorrow or temptation, He can’t fulfill the role of a High Priest, His body can’t be like ours in heaven, nor can He exist in that way with us for eternity. If Jesus was not fully God then He couldn’t bear an infinite amount of sin in a three hour span, Salvation would come through man and not God, then He was a liar, the bible is false, and again He could not be a mediator. And if either of those to things are true our salvation is a farce, and we are still in our sins, and will perish, and of all men are most miserable, because we are wasting our time on a lie, denying ourselves for nothing, . If you believe that he was anything other than these two things, than you believe in the wrong Jesus, one of your own design. And your eternal destiny is damnation, and not heaven. Oh, but if this Jesus is the God-Man…
B. Tasted Death (v. 9)
1. The next event on the divine calendar was the crucifixtion and death of Christ. This death accomplished much more than you or I give it credit for. It says that it granted him to be crowned with glory and honor, which we will get to in just a minute, but it also allowed Jesus to taste death for everyone. Now there is much debate as to whether or not Jesus died for everyone or for everyone in the church. He definitely tasted death for everyone, simply because He died, and everyone dies. It depends on your understanding of the benefits of the atonement (the covering, or shedding of blood). At the very least one may explain that Jesus didn’t die for unbelievers in the same sense in which he died for the church. But the very seems to say everyone. But knowing what death is like doesn’t really seem to be the intention of this text. Spiritually we think of someone who tastes something for someone else as a substitute. Which is not the case for unbeliever that will eventually be punished for their sin in hell.
4. I feel as though I am speaking out of both sides of my mouth. But either way, He died, and He paid the debt that He didn’t owe on behalf of those who couldn’t pay. And death is the important thing here, not really whether or not the atonement is limited or unlimited. God was made lower than the angels, temporarily, then He died. God died! Crazy! But it was the best and wisest and maybe only way for sinners to have their debts paid. And now he could justly bring many sons to glory, those that the Father had given Him.