We See Jesus
“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels…”

By Jon W. Quinn

Some have wondered what it would be like if God had to endure the things we do as human beings. Some have accused Him of unrighteousness because He promises to punish those who disobey Him, but He has never faced what we face. How would He live as a human being surrounded by temptation? For example, God has told us not to hate one another. He even includes our enemies in that… even the worse of them. How would God do if He were a man and was told not to hate others? Could He do it?

What people fail to understand is that God has already done so, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 2:9). He, in fact, prayed for those who treated Him with unspeakable cruelty asking for their forgiveness. When we look at Jesus, we learn much about God.

Behold, Jesus On His Cross
“...who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death…” (Hebrews 2:9). It was about 6:00 PM, which was the beginning of the Hebrew day, that Jesus and ten of the apostles were coming through the pass between the Mount of Olives and the Mount of Offense on their way to Jerusalem and their last Passover meal. About 22 hours later, 4 PM of the following afternoon, the body of Jesus, the Lord of Glory, was taken down from the cross.

It is painful to even think about what He endured. The Savior of the world hung on a cross onto which His body had been nailed. The pain and suffering were constant, and existed on many levels; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. One hymn speaks of those hours in which the heavens became unnaturally darkened saying:

“Well might the sun in darkness hide
and shut His glories in;
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
for man, the creature's, sin”

The whole scene speaks of the horrible nature of sin for which the pure One was shedding His blood. The sorrow and agony, the mother and friend nearby, the laughs and mocking of the enemies, the soldiers gambling for the garments. There was not just death in the air that day, but what the Hebrews writer refers to as “the suffering of death”. It was not an easy death. It did not come quickly.

But it does something quite well. It demonstrates God's deep and rich love for us, the sinners (Romans 5:6-10). Do you suppose that focusing on Jesus like this will aid us in overcoming temptation? Will it help us to realize how so very much Jesus loves me, and each one of my brothers and sisters, and compel me to love them more deeply? Do those who neglect their discipleship often meditate upon the love and sacrifice of Jesus for them?

Behold, Jesus in His Church
The Hebrew writer also refers to Jesus as being “crowned with glory and honor” (Hebrews 2:9). There are many things to notice about Christ and His church. When it comes to giving God glory, we do this in the church and in Christ; “...to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21).

Jesus reigns in the hearts of His disciples as king. He prophesied when it would be that He would begin this reign over His kingdom. He said that during the generation that lived on the earth during His ministry He would commence His reign (Mark 1:14,15; 9:1; Matthew 16:18-19). He also emphasized that it would not be an earthly kingdom. His is a spiritual reign in the hearts of His people (John 18:36).

The citizens of His spiritual kingdom are also referred to as His church. The church is the collection of His people. He shed His precious blood for the church (Acts 20:28). He loves His church (Ephesians 5:25). He is head of His church and all things about it (Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:23). Yes, once Jesus was crowned with thorns. Now He has been crowned with glory. Let us honor the Son of the Living God as we make His will our own, respect His authority and word, and make His attitudes our own.

Behold, Jesus in Me
“...that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9). When Jesus died on the cross, He didn't just die for a select few. There was not a certain race or ethnic group or language group for which He died. He did not die for people who lived only during a certain time or on a specific continent. He did not just die for relatively good people nor just for the worse sort of people. Nor did He die only for those poor enough or rich enough. He died for all. Everyone. Everywhere.

How this effects me depends on my response to His grace. He offers salvation to all, but becomes the source of salvation only to those who obey Him by faith:

“And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,” (Hebrews 5:9).

Our baptism into Christ marks the beginning of what the Bible refers to as a new life (Romans 6:3-8). That new life is empowered by the gospel, a journey of hope toward an eternal victory by faith. It is so important that Jesus be invited to dwell in my heart, as Paul wrote, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts…” (Ephesians 3:17).

“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9). It is so very important that we behold Jesus…

On His cross: Where He loved us so much that He bore our sins at such great cost.

In His church: Where He is glorified, reverenced and loved to the glory of God.

In His disciple: that is, Christ living in me.

From The Bradley Banner 11/7/2010
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway

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