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Wednesday, February 10 2021

Contributor: Ngozi Roberts

INTRODUCTION

In the earlier verses of the book of Hebrews, we saw how the author warned us Christians not to drift off course. For us to be attentive to the truths in the word of God because if we deviate or despise the word of God which is meant to give us life, we will ultimately end up being punished. So today the author continues to admonish us and encourage us in verses 5-10. In these verses he expounds more on how Jesus brought Himself to the level of man to die on the cross just for the purpose of setting us free out of captivity and taking us along to rise above and higher than even angels. From the first chapter, it seemed obvious that the people of Hebrews were still having contentions and misunderstanding concerning some issues. Perhaps they were asking questions regarding Christ position as compared to angels. Remember, then in the Hebrew culture there seemed to be the belief that creation, humanity and all earthly things were inferior to heavenly things. This included humans and it would appear that surely, Christ who had a human body cannot be said to be superior to the spiritual angels. Referring them to the scriptures which the Hebrews were already familiar with, the author reminded them of where the Psalmist was acknowledging the awesomeness of God and in the process could not fathom why God loved man so much that He placed him so high and above all things except God Himself - Just a little lower than God himself. So, the author had to make it clear to them by reminding them of Gods original plan and purpose in creating human.

Verse 5

“It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.”

The Passion translation puts it like this:

"For God will not place the coming world, of which we speak, under the government of angels."

The author further explains to us that there is no way that God will place the coming government/world into the hands of the angels. Why? First, which government was the author talking about? Let us back up a little and remember what he said earlier in Hebrew 1:14. You see, when you relate it to what he was talking about in Hebrew 1:14 regarding the angels, where he explained the superiority of man over angels.

“…. Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation...?

Thus, he seems to be linking the salvation they were about to receive to the new government. In other words, the government that is operational once you inherit salvation. In Mathew 25:34, Jesus called this government, the kingdom of God, that is, the fulfilment on Earth of God's will. In Romans 14:17, Apostle explained that it was Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. We know that these can be achieved once we receive or inherit salvation.

Verses 6-8

“But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet."

In verses 6-8, the author expanded more by bringing to their remembrance the scriptures from Psalm 8:4-6. Referring them to this scripture which the Hebrews were already familiar with.
Psalms 8:4-6 (TPT)
"Look at the splendour of your skies, your creative genius glowing in the heavens. When I gaze at your moon and your stars, mounted like jewels in their settings, I know you are the fascinating artist who fashioned it all! But when I look up and see such wonder and workmanship above, I have to ask you this question: 4 Compared to all this cosmic glory, why would you bother with puny, mortal man or be infatuated with Adam’s sons? 5 Yet what honor you have given to men, created only a little lower than Elohim, crowned like kings and queens with glory and magnificence.6 You have delegated to them mastery over all you have made, making everything subservient to their authority, placing earth itself under the feet of your image-bearers."

This is a Psalm of Praise and wonder of how God who made the heavens in its splendour should honour us, humans by putting all these creations under humans. The psalmist could not fathom why God loved man so much that He placed him so high and above all things except Himself, God. - Just a little lower than God himself - Now, in the original translation Psalm 8:5 and some translations, the word used there is “…created only a little lower than Elohim.” Now this Elohim is the same Elohim that was used to refer to Creator -God in Genesis 1:1.
Remember also in Psalm 91:11 “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”, when it was said that angels have been given charge over us. In other words, they are meant to be our servants at our beck and call. So, this tells me that this is indeed the original state that man was meant to be in – above angels.
Furthermore, even when Jesus was on the earth, He was both man and God, that is why in during the His temptation in Mathew 4:6-7
 

“And saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, it is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

…when Satan asked him to fall because the angels will pick him up, but Jesus knowingwho His stand did not fall for his temptation. Why, because He knew these angels were beneath him. Therefore, Jesus when living on the earth was already superior to all including the angels.
So why the use of the word Angels? For the author of Hebrews to use ‘the angels’ tells me how the mindset of the Hebrews was then. You see, the Jewish people in Jesus’ days had a deep-rooted identity in their past relationship with God: their laws—both written and oral, their worship system, and their festivals and traditions. But the Author in using the word Angels perhaps meant to convey and bring a better understanding to them. Remember as I said earlier, then in the Hebrew culture there was the belief that creation, humanity, and all earthly things were inferior to heavenly things. So, for them, for Jesus to be able to die as man, surely then, He must be lower than angels?
That is why, the author using this Psalm, explains the original intention of God towards man. Even though it seems humans were a little lower than angels but its only for a short while (death). His original plan is that all things, including angels will be subject to man.

Verse 9

"But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

He proves this through explaining further in Verse 9 by confirming that Jesus for a little while, i.e., during His death had taken the body of humanity which brought Him lower than the angels. Remember, angels do not die. Therefore, Jesus for the sake of humanity willingly made Himself lower than angels for just that little while so that He can be able to fulfil His assignment of taking us all along with Him when He rose from the dead. Note that in rising, He and us rose above all things including angels.
Hence, in the bid to restore man to the original stand of being superior to all things, God Himself, had to die on the cross and rise again, ultimately conquering death. He rose above all carrying us along to be seated with Him above all things.

Verse 10
"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

In verse 10 he explained that God Himself saw to it that this was a perfect sacrifice that Christ made. In doing this, Christ bought us sons and daughters to glory. The author explained that Christ became the ‘captain’, another translation called it ‘pioneer’, and in Greek, it means ‘author; or ‘founder’ of our salvation. In other words, Christ had to connect to our death through his own death to enable us become sons of glory. Awesome!! Therefore, all of us sons and daughters who have accepted Him are brought to glory. To corroborate this fact, Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:20-22 said:

"20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,"

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, it is important for us to understand as children of God that we did not just become sons and daughters in glory by chance. We must acknowledge and totally embrace the death and resurrection of Christ to be able to qualify for Salvation. As saved children of God, we are already received by God just as He received Christ hence, siting in heavenly places with Christ and as such all things including angels, principalities and powers are under us as we are re-assured in Ephesians 1:21-22.
Shalom!

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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