Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 6, 2020
But someone has testified somewhere, ‘What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them? You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet.’ Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:6-9
As someone who has always struggled to connect a passage of Scripture with its exact chapter and verse, the author of Hebrews gives me great comfort. While they can’t seem to remember exactly where they heard these words, they knew them to be true and understood fully in light of the incarnation of Jesus. With the ease of study Bibles, not to mention online search, we can easily identify these words as coming from Psalm 8, in which the Psalmist, inspired by the Lord, gives us a window into human nature and the purpose for which God created us.
Though our sin and sickness often masks and darkens our ability to see clearly, we were made in the image of God and meant to collaborate with God in the right ordering of his creation. As it says in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” Dominion is not the exploitation of creation but is our working with God to see it flourish as he intends.
The author of Hebrews reminds us, that while we still long and wait to see this beautiful vision played out in the whole of creation, we do see one person who has achieved the destiny for which humanity was made. “We do see Jesus” (v. 9). We see Jesus, and therefore see the certain future which we long for and pray daily, “let your Kingdom come.”
Our world still suffers under the incredible weight of sin and death. If anything, the past few months have only served to remind us vividly of what we sometimes are tempted to forget: things are not how they’re meant to be. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say there is not a single person in the world unaffected by this pandemic in one way or another. At a more foundational level, there is not a single person who is unaffected by the pain and suffering of sin, both their own and of those around them. This is the root cause of the death and decay we see in the world. And yet, the hope of the gospel is that God sees this and is not unaffected by it but is instead so profoundly moved by love and compassion that he himself enters into the mess and chaos in order to set us free. As the author of Hebrews reminds us, Jesus is the pioneer (v. 10), the one who blazes a trail of freedom, tasting death for everyone (v. 9), but not only tasting it as every human does but destroying and defeating it as a victorious conqueror.
“Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Fear enslaves us and oppresses us like a cruel master. Jesus took that cruelty and death upon himself, not out of obligation or some sense of cosmic justice, but simply and purely from a place of love and compassion. He became like us in our frailty and pain so that we can become like him in his glory and power. This is the path to becoming truly human, and the way in which God is working his restoration in the whole of creation.
And so today, whatever it is you are facing, wherever you feel most afraid, or vulnerable, or impacted by the brokenness of the world, remember that Jesus willingly, in love, enters into that place, and in his power longs to set you free!
Father, set us free from all fear that we may receive your love and be transformed more and more each day into the likeness of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Where do you most need to be set free from fear? Invite the Lord into that place and receive his freedom today.
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
Jesus became like us in our frailty and pain so that we can become like him in his glory and power. #WisdomHunters #look #truth #Jesus
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