Lesson #5: Positive: Exaltation above the Angels - part 2 (series: Lessons on Hebrews)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

(2:9) 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.

Paul is here pointing out to the Hebrews that God’s Son is Jesus whom they crucified. Jesus was made a little lower than angels in order that He might die for men, that men might be exalted above angels.

Although the name Jesus was despised by the Hebrews, like Saul of Tarsus, when they came to know Him and believe on Him as Savior, that name became precious to them, the sweetest name on mortal tongue. God’s Christ became man’s Jesus, made a little lower than angels so that He might taste death for everyone.

God cannot die! Therefore in His Son, he took human form so that in a mortal body He might suffer, bleed, and die. That was the purpose of His incarnation. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A PERSON FOR WHOM CHRIST DID NOT DIE ― but the gift of grace becomes ours only when we make it ours by faith. The grace of God brought Jesus down to man. God set forth Jesus to be propitiation {4] through faith in His blood (Rom. 3:24-28). By the grace of God, He allowed Jesus to taste death for every man. There are not enough words in all the languages of man that can define such love! The love of God cannot be put into words. We see God’s words in action at Calvary. Jesus at Calvary was God’s love on display, God giving His best for man‘s worst.

He tasted death to its fullest degree, to the very depths of its bitterest humiliation. The finite mind will never fully understand all that it meant to the eternal, sinless Son of God to be made sin for us, that we in Him might be made the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). There are not enough words in all the languages of the entire world to describe what He suffered. The taste of death was, to Him, bitter beyond human imagination. He suffered what you and I should have suffered, for we have sinned ― but in the spotless Son of God, there was no sin.

In contrast to the sinfulness and failure of man, we see Jesus. When God sent His Son, God revealed His glory once again:
A. In His incarnation.
1. His Position.
He stepped off the throne of the universe to be reduced to the span of a virgin’s womb. This speaks of humility.
2. In His Purpose.
The ultimate curse of man’s rebellion is death. The cross conquered death.

Jesus Christ, before whom the angels of God fell in worship, condescended before angelic nature and took upon Himself human nature.
B. Substitution
1. In His Motive.
“By the grace of God”―I did not deserve it, I could not earn it, and I cannot repay it.
2. His Ministry
He came to die; “taste death for everyone.”
Death in itself is a terrible reality, but there was never a death like the death Jesus Christ died. The Lord Jesus Christ suffered not only outward torture, but also inward agony. He was on the cross for six hours and in that infinite period of time, Jesus endured infinite grief. He experienced all the Hell for all the sin of all the people of the entire world for all time. He took your place. By the grace of God, Christ became our substitute.

Why? Not because we are lovable. Not because we deserve it. But, because He loves us.

Glory removed―That’s the tragedy of man. GLORY REVEALED―THAT’S WHAT JESUS DID.

Special notes and Scripture
[1} Visited―concerned; has to do with looking toward someone with a view to benefitting him. It involves active caring. God has an involved, active concern for humanity.
[2} “. . . the world to come, whereof we speak, refers to the habitable earth. Jesus will sit on a literal throne and reign over the habitable earth.
[3} The “Son of man” specifically points here to the Lord Jesus Christ, not to man in general. God’s Christ became the “Son of Man” by partaking of flesh and appearing in a human body ― a body of humiliation.
[4} Propitiation is what Jesus Christ did to appease God, who was angry at man because he sinned. His substitutionary death on the cross of Calvary assuaged God’s anger and made salvation possible.
[5} There is another phrase in the psalm which adds to the difficulty of understanding the passage; that is, “the Son of man.” We are so used to hearing that phrase applied to Jesus that we tend to always take it to refer to Him. But in Hebrew the phrase a Son of man always means simply a man.

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