In the very first four verses of the 2nd chapter the author makes the case for the salvation we dare not neglect. We must be attentive to things we have heard. The word spoken through the angels has proven itself to be true and those who neglected it have paid a price. How is it possible for us to neglect that which came from the mouth of our Lord and further guaranteed by those who heard it from his lips? As we read through these first four verses there are two things presented here. There is the revealing of the law as presented by the Angels, or better said the Ten Commandments. To fall away from those laws brought immediate and just punishment. Then came the revelation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God and that being the case, it far more greater than that from the Angels. Considering that the revelation through the Son is greater than that of the Angels, we can with confidence be assured that the punishment and judgement will be harsher. We need to be mindful to what has been shared with us. Sometimes the pressures of this life allows that which matters the most to be overwhelm by the daily stress and pressures of life. This Christian revelation given to us is unique in its origin. It came direct from Jesus Christ. There is no need for guessing or stumbling around in the darkness looking for an answer…It is the voice of God himself coming to us in Jesus Christ. The writer of Hebrews makes it plain that it has come from those that heard it direct from the lips of Jesus Christ. This is not second hand information and can only be passed on by those who know Christ. We cannot teach that which we do not know. This revelation of the Christ has proven to be effective. From it has come signs, wonders and deeds of power. Christianity has the ability to make bad people good. The wonder of or proof of Christianity is that it does change lives. One of its most convincing facts would be the uplifting and visible changing of morals, indeed a miracle that all can see and is still happening this very day.
As we read on in verses 5-9 the writer starts with a quotation from Psalm 8:4-6. Interesting here is the fact that this reference to Psalm 8 which in its totality is to human beings, there is no reference to the Messiah. The next thing we find here is that a translation of a phrase in Psalm 8 literally means the son of man. I find there is indeed evidence in scripture that God addressed Ezekiel more that 80 times as the son of man. We have become so accustomed to the phrase son of man and hearing it we tend to always accept that to mean Jesus. In Hebrew son of man means just simply a man. First we know that God gave Adam dominion over ‘the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’. (Genesis 1:28) Returning to Psalm 8 verse 5 we find when translated in the original Hebrew it reads …they, being human beings, are made a little lower than Elohim and Elohim is the regular word for God. How great is that! But then the good news is interrupted by the fact that while we were meant to have dominion over all things, the situation is quite different…we do not. We find ourselves losing to our frustrations and the circumstances we face daily. We are regularly defeated by our temptations and cower in our weaknesses. We are bound, we who are to be free, are slaves to our sins. This is not what was meant to be.
We end these verses looking at what was to be. We are not what our Lord intended us to be. Enter now Jesus Christ… He suffered and died on the cross, rose and entered into glory. All that suffering, death and glory was for all of us. Think about it. He died to free us of frustration, bondage and weakness to sin. He died that we might have that dominion that should be ours, as given. He died that through Him we might become what we were originally created to be. We see our actual condition…frustration instead of control which leads us to failure instead of glory and that through Christ we can be what we were meant to be…most importantly, without Christ we will never be as intended.
Where to begin the end of this chapter? A one word summary of these last verses 10-18 would be simply Suffering. Consider this verse:
10 It was fitting that God,[i] for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
The writer uses one of the great titles of Jesus, the pioneer of glory…the word used arche ̄gos simply means head or chief. There is one basic meaning applied to this word would be someone who begins something so others may enter into it. This is a person creates a path for others to follow. This is Jesus who made a path to God for us to follow. How did this come about? The scriptures tell us Jesus was perfect, God made him perfect. The verb used here is teleioum, translates to the adjective teleious which translates usually to perfect. New Testament usage was often used to describe sacrifice which was without blemish, fit to be offered to God. But if we go beyond that the simplest way to get to the meaning to be applied here is… for us that does not mean we are perfect but instead describes a person who is fully capable of carrying out the purpose for which he or she is designed for. So in that vein it means not so much perfect as having been made fully adequate for the task as designated. What Hebrews says however is that Jesus being made perfect is completely able to take on the task of being the pioneer of our salvation.So let’s bring this chapter 2 to a close with these thoughts…
-He established His identity with us through his sufferings.
-His sufferings tells us he has sympathy for us, he feels our pain.
-Because he is God incarnate, Jesus can really help us. He has met our sorrows, faced our temptations, thus he knows exactly what we need.
Life is Good