Why Jesus Came — Hebrews 2:5-9
“I love to tell the story of unseen things above, / Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love; / I love to tell the story because I know tis true,/ It satisfies my longing like nothing else can do.” The writer of Hebrews did just what this song says in Hebrews 2:5-9. He told us the story again of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We so easily forget the truth of the story of how God sent His Son into the world to die for our sins.
These Hebrew believers needed to remember the historical account of what Jesus did. It would be entirely too easy to do what their ancestors had done and to turn away from their Messiah Jesus and salvation through Him. The writer and the Holy Spirit wanted them and us to remember again the depth of the Father’s love that He sent His Son, God the Son, to do this for us.
The writer of Hebrews stated a second reason why we must not let go of our hold on Christ in verse 5. “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.” We need to pay attention because the Lord Jesus is over the world to come.
We must not read too much into this statement. Our writer did not imply the present world or the Old Testament world was subject to angels. He said the angels are not in charge of the world to come. Eternity belongs to the Son of God alone. Eternity will not be dominated by angels. We must not let the angels distract us, but commit ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ.
To support this assertion, the writer cites Psalm 8. In verses 6-8 of our text in Hebrews 2, we read: “But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.” We must understand this quote two ways.
When David originally wrote this Psalm his primary purpose was to express wonder at God’s concern for man. David meditated on the majesty of God’s creation of the sun, moon, and stars. In comparison to such glorious things, man seems so insignificant. David sings his amazement that God loves humans. David wrote,“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4).
The writer to the Hebrews, on the other hand, is concerned with the Messianic fulfillment in David’s song. In Hebrews 8, he wrote about the Lord Jesus when he says, “For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him.” The Psalm promised everything would be subjected to Christ.
After he proclaimed that everything will be put under Christ’s feet, the writer anticipated an objection in his readers’ minds. In Christ’s incarnation we did not see everything subjected to Him. Why is this so? Hebrews 2:9 provided an answer to the objection. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” We do not see everything subjected to Jesus in His incarnation because God the Father “for a little while” made Him a little lower than the angels!
The process of our redemption did not begin and end at the cross. It began with the condescension. The only way God could save us was for God the Father to send His Son into the world, to become a man, to dwell among us, and to die for us. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:1-8). Jesus did this for us. Indeed, “what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you visited him?”
All of this has an important purpose. Our Lord Jess did all this “in order that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” Jesus did it so that He might taste death for us and we might be saved. God the Son did this because He loved us and wanted to obey His Father. God did this because there was no other way in which we could be delivered from our sin.
This passage echoes something Paul wrote in the context of giving to God in 2 Corinthians 8:8-9. “I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Paul wrote this in the context of giving, but he never limited giving to money. Why should we give ourselves, our hearts, our strength, and our money to the Lord? Remember what He did for us. He condescended in a way we will never understand. He was rich and became poor for us. Why did He do that? Because it was the only way we could spend eternity with Him. Then as the song says, “How can I do less than give Him my best and live for Him completely after all He’s done for me?”
Finally, if Jesus was willing to endure this to save us, what are we willing to do to bring this message to others?