Skip to main content

The Book of Hebrews

Chapter 2

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 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 putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 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. 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. He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again he says,

“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

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— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 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. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews continues his comparison between the old and new covenant by asking another rhetorical question. This question makes the point that while disregard/ breaking of the Law meant severe punishment, disregard for the gospel had no remedy.

In defending the authenticity of the gospel message, he points out that God through Jesus conveyed the gospel via miracles, signs and wonders, healing, and after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, via the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The author again tackles the Hebrew problem of elevating angels to unaccredited supremacy. He sets out to make clear that in the gospel, God has not subjected creation to angels, but to the new man –through Christ who represents all men. God’s prize creation has always been mankind—Abraham’s descendants, not angels. Otherwise God would have made Jesus assume an angelic nature on earth rather than a human nature. Furthermore, members of the priesthood in the old covenant were not angels—they came from men set aside for God. And so Jesus came, born of mankind, to become our final Priest.

In the old covenant, God made man a little lower than the Godhead, gave him sovereignty over the earth, with angels ministering to him along the way. In the new covenant, Christ is the new incarnate man who is now made a little lower than God for a short time so that He could satisfy man’s death sentence forever, thus renewing mankind’s position in creation, and our sovereignty over all things. Now, Jesus, having finished this work is crowned with glory and honor and sits at God’s right hand. Jesus is the forerunner of what we were meant to be and will become in Him.

He shares in the flesh and blood reality with humans, is mankind’s substitute, thereby fulfilling the death penalty, freeing us from death forever, and causing God to turn his wrath away from us because the penalty has been satisfied. In the new covenant, Christ is again co-creator as he was in creation, this time creating the renewed human now able to fulfill our true identity as heirs of God. Because of this familiarity with human nature, he is now able in the form of the Holy Spirit, to come to our aid whenever we face any kind of temptation.

Questions to ponder:

  • Do you sometimes doubt the gospel because it seems too simple and free of cost to you?
  • Do you see yourself as God’s prize creation? How would you describe yourself as such?
Close Menu