Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
While Hebrews 1 focused on the divinity of Jesus, Hebrews 2:5-18 focuses on His humanity. Three points are made that show the significance of His humanity: He died for us (Hebrews 2:9), He pioneered our salvation (v. 10), and He is our present help in our struggles and temptations (v. 18). Hebrews 2:5-9 discusses how Jesus tasted death for everyone (v. 9). The author quotes Psalm 8:4-6 (vv. 6-8) to show the elevated position God originally gave the human race. Man was made ″a little lower than the angels″ and crowned with ″glory and honour″. God ″put everything under their feet″ (see Genesis 1:28). But this is no longer the case. Something has gone wrong. The cause is man's fall into sin and rebellion against God (Genesis 3). ″All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God″ (Romans 3:23).
This necessitated the coming of Jesus into the world as a human being. He was made ″lower than the angels for a little while″ (Hebrews 2:9), meaning that though He was God and fully divine, He chose to be born as a human being (Philippians 2:6-7). He identified with sinful humans, though He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). He was thus able to take the place of us all on the cross, and accept the punishment intended for us. The ″wages of sin is death″ (Romans 6:23), a death that includes both physical death as well as eternal death. Jesus ″suffered death″ on the cross (Hebrews 2:9) on our behalf. It was not just the physical death that we will all have to experience eventually, but a far more devastating experience of death-the final separation from the gracious and loving God who created us, what the Bible calls the ″second death″ (Revelation 20:14).
Jesus became a man in order to take our place and ″taste death for everyone″ (Hebrews 2:9). Because He died for us, we can live in Him (2 Corinthians 5:15). Though we will die at the end of our earthly lives, we will be raised to new life in Christ (John 11:25; Ephesians 2:6). Jesus became a man to save us, and He is now above the angels, ″crowned with glory and honour″ (Hebrews 2:9), showing in His one person both the model human being as well as the Creator God (see Philippians 2:9-11). He is the God-Man who saves us.
What would have happened if Jesus was not born as a human being? What would have happened to you? What does it mean to live ″without hope and without God in the world″ (Ephesians 2:12)?
Reflect on what it meant for Jesus to taste death for you. Turn your thoughts to the praise and worship of Christ.