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A Journey through the book of Genesiswith Willow Creek Community Church

Week 1 Day 3 // Crowned with Glory and Honor

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Week 1 Day 3 // Crowned with Glory and Honor

Willow Creek Community Church

 

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. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.

- HEBREWS 2:9-10

 

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Commentary

In Hebrews 2:6-8, we read a quote taken from Psalm 8, a psalm that reflects on the majesty of God and the mystery of such an incredible being having any concern at all for humans. The quote says:

“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.”

The original writer of this psalm wondered why God would show concern for humans. After all, in the ancient Near Eastern context in which this psalm was written, the typical view of humans was very low. Many people in the surrounding cultures believed that humans had been created by the gods to do the gods’ slave labor. Because of this strongly held belief, the poet marveled at the fact that this God, the God of the Bible, would actually make people not as slaves to work His creation, but rather as kings and queens to rule over His beloved creation.

One reason why Psalm 8 is quoted in Hebrews 2 is because the writer wanted to explain why it was necessary for Jesus, the Son of God, to become human. The issue was, as the writer says in verse 8, “In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.” In other words, even though humans were made to have authority over all creation, the present state of things suggested otherwise. Humans were subject to the forces of nature and death. Even today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide struggle just to survive. For many people, life isn’t ruling—it is suffering.

This is why Jesus became a human. As another expression of His concern for people, Jesus came so that He could suffer on our behalf and, in so doing, prepare a way for us to experience the “glory” described in Psalm 8 (Hebrews 2:10). Through His own suffering and death, Jesus overcame our problems of sin and death. Now, as the ideal and perfect human, Jesus enjoys the destiny that awaits us in Heaven where He is “crowned with glory and honor” (Hebrews 2:9).


Scripture

HEBREWS 2:5–18

JESUS MADE FULLY HUMAN

5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testi ed:

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
7 You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8 and put everything under their feet.”,

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 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.

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was tting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.”
13 And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”
And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.


Reflection

1. In the Old Testament, the high priest was the mediator between God and His people. His job was to regularly offer animal sacrifices and intercede with God for the forgiveness of people’s sins. Hebrews 2:17 refers to Jesus as our High Priest. How did Jesus fulfill the role of High Priest?

2. Hebrews 2:10 and 2:18 talk about how Jesus’ suffering made Him a perfect leader, capable of helping us when we are being tested. Why do you think Jesus’ experiences equip Him to help us in times of testing? With Jesus’ suffering as an example, how can our suffering make us more sensitive servants of God?

3. Hebrews 2:15 says that Jesus came not only to overcome the problem of death, but also to free us from the “fear of death.” What is it about death that instills fear in us? Why do you think Jesus can free us from this fear?