II HEBREWS 2
JESUS, THE ONLY INTERCESSOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
The second chapter of Hebrews presents us with one of the more difficult chapters in the entire New Testament. However, the first paragraph should bring every Christian to attention, and cause them to carefully examine their life to see if they are truly a follower of Christ in action, or just in name only. The writer says, “Let us give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest haply we let them slip”. The words in the original language give the image of a ship that has been carelessly moored, drifting out of the harbor into the
raging sea. It is a warning not to take your Christianity for granted but to actually use it as a guide for your life. I am sure every one of us needs this reminder, for the world is so very near, and we find ourselves so caught up in its demands that we tend to forget that life is short and we are only temporary visitors here. Our real home is eternal, and beyond the vapid demands of this hedonistic world.
The proof, offered by the writer here, lies in the history of those who have dealt with God in the past. Our writer says, “Every transgression [of even the Ten Commandment law] received a just recompense of reward”. So, he argues, when you have a salvation offered by the Son of God Himself, how much more does it demand your careful attention and disciplined way of life. But the writer goes on to say that God Himself put His stamp of approval on this “Great Salvation” with signs and wonders and divers miracles. Peter, in Acts 2, said that Jesus was accredited by God through signs and wonders and miracles. The entire book of Hebrews is a testimony of the access we have to God through Jesus Christ. It is not to be taken lightly.
Let me pause here to make one thing very clear. There are those who look at the title “son of man”, and because this title is often used of Jesus in the New Testament, they assume that it refers to Him here.
However, I believe it refers to the man He created. The quotation here from Psalms 8 certainly refers to earth men and not to Jesus Christ. When it says God gave him dominion over beasts, etc., it is recalling God’s original mandate for the man He had created.
In the next section of chapter 2, we read that God made man “a
little lower than the angels”. The word for angels here, in the original Hebrew, (I am told by scholars) was Elohim and meant God. So here,
it means that God made man a little lower than Himself. In another
place we find that God made man “In His own image”. Also, in Genesis, God told man to have dominion over all birds, beasts and even fish. So, when it says here that God “put everything under his feet”, it is talking about God giving man dominion over the whole
earth. Had he followed God’s law, he would have been sovereign over a perfect earth. However, when he followed his own will, i.e., sinned, the earth became a place of misery, pain and death.
Finally God sent His Son to bring man back from the miserable state into which he had fallen, to the majesty that God intended for him to have from the beginning. It is emphasized that the One sent had to be a man, just like other men, and to suffer just as they did, in order for His victory over sin and death to be extended to all men.
This is a fact of the mercy and grace of God too wonderful for the human mind to fully grasp. So, the Gospel is not an imperial order, given by One who waits to punish all who disobey. It is a loving offer,
far beyond our understanding, but which we can joyfully receive and sincerely accept with deep faith and grateful hearts. It comes from
a loving Father, not a condemning Judge. Let us preach it that way, and let us work hard not to let this great salvation slip away from us.
It is not work on our salvation, but work on our lives to accept, for He gives us salvation.
The book of Hebrews is a book of imperatives, i.e., things we should and must do. The world rejects the Bible because people want to do as they please, without any rules or discipline. That is what Adam wanted, and he lost his home in a perfect heaven with his Creator. In Hebrews we will find many words that demand self-discipline. The
first of these we have just noted in chapter 2: “Let us give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard”. We will find more of these disciplines as we go on in this great book.