Hebrews 2:8 – 9 — “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
In the last study on the Epistle to the Hebrews, we saw that the world to come will be governed by the Son of Man. That Son of Man is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ revealed in glory. He will have all things put in subjection under His feet:
1 Corinthians 15:24 – 25 — “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet.”
God’s created order for this world is that it is to be put under the subjection of man:
Genesis 1:26 – 28 — “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
God’s order for this earth will be established. This should shed light on the question of why He has allowed mankind to continue on as we do. Why has God not destroyed this world? His purpose for this world is for man to reign over it, but none of Adam’s children qualify for the task. Therefore, while man seeks to rule the world without God, he cannot do it. We do not see all things in subjection under him.
“But we see Jesus!”
How great these words are, in the midst of all the struggles that are common to man in this world! We see our Lord Jesus Christ, and believe the promise in Him, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5) is the promise of a new created order, when the tabernacle of God is with men. How will it be with men? In the Man Christ Jesus! This is truly the promise of Emmanuel, God with us!
What does it mean that He was made a little lower than the angels? It is simply this: In verse 7 of chapter 2, we see that man was made a little lower than the angels, and crowned with glory and honor. In Psalm 8, from which the Apostle here quotes, we see the animal creation as under the dominion of man. But the whole creation is not under the dominion of man, but “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:21). Christ’s position as a little lower than the angels is His place as man — the Man — the Man among men, the glorified Son of Man. Man was made a little lower than the angels, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom all the angels of God worship, was made as man, a little lower than the angels (a man), crowned with glory and honor (as a man, verse 7), for the suffering of death.
While the redemptive purpose of God for this earth is in view, it must be remembered that this is the way in which He accomplished that purpose: through Christ and His suffering of death on our behalf!
God’s grace conceived a perfect redemption for mankind, and Christ our Savior carried it out to its fullest. We, as Adams sinful children, deserve death, and Christ tasted it for us. It is clear in this word of the Lord that Christ did surely taste death for every man. The atonement is NOT limited to a select few, but a way is provided so that EVERY child of Adam may become a child of God. This is grace in its fullest, that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This “tasting of death” did not take God by surprise, but we learn in the book of the Revelation that Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
The Hebrew Scriptures show that Christ would suffer and die and rise again. The “men in shining garments” explained this to His disciples after He was risen:
Luke 24:5 – 7 — “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
In Matthew 16, after Peter’s confession to the Lord Jesus being the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Lord told all of the disciples that He would be killed and raised again the third day, and Peter could not accept this. More, when He called His twelve disciples in Luke 9 and sent them to preach the kingdom of God and heal the sick, they went everywhere and preached the gospel and healed. Yet He told them to “Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask Him of that saying” (Luke 9:44 – 45).
Please note that they were already preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. I will let you all consider that as you study the Scriptures for yourselves.
They did not understand it, and would not, until the Lord opened the Scriptures to them:
Luke 24:25 – 27 — “Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
Yet, before being too hard on these folks that had the privilege to be in the presence of the Son of God in His humility, think of what the prophets themselves spoke, yet did not themselves even understand:
1 Peter 1:10 – 11 — “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”
Yet, although none understood God’s perfect plan to redeem mankind through the blood of His Son, these Scriptures would indeed be fulfilled:
Luke 24:44 – 46 “And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day…”
These things that God had in mind all the while, but they were not understood even His prophets, even though they spoken of in the Scriptures. The Lord would “by death destroy him that had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14). But note too, that this is prophesied. This was spoken, yet not understood. There is more that we have in the Scriptures that was not even spoken. It was “hid in God”:
1 Corinthians 2:7 – 10 — “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
Ephesians 3:8 – 12 — “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.”
The Lord revealed to His disciples after His resurrection that which the prophets had spoken, and they then had an intelligent understanding of the prophetic word. But it was to Paul that the Lord would reveal more that was not even searchable in the prophetic word.
The Man among men, our Lord Jesus Christ, will take His place on this earth to rule and reign as King, and He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. But until He takes up rule to reign over them, He is calling all of us, everywhere, to be reconciled to God, “For He hath made [Christ] to be sin for us, [Christ], Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2 Corinthians 5:21 – 6:2).
It is now time for mankind to receive God’s offer of grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The gospel of Christ has sounded throughout the entire world. It is now time for mankind to “repent:” (have a different mind about God than that which you currently have, if you are believing any of the worldly, pagan ideas about Him), “Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30 – 31).
What will you do with God’s grace in sending His own Son to taste death for every man? To taste death for you, to die for your sins? There is no other hope for all of mankind, or any of mankind, other than in Him.