When the writer of Hebrews writes of ‘such a great salvation’ (2:1-4), he has a future ‘world to come’ (2:5) in mind. In this glorious future world, all things will be under the perfect jurisdiction of redeemed mankind. Humanity will, once and for all, be glorified, fully conformed to the image of Christ, and set free from the fear, futility, bondage, violence and disease that presently plagues us because of the presence of sin. With the removal of sin, mankind will be restored to the noble position and purpose for which God created us. Men and women were made in God’s image to subdue the earth while in fellowship with their Creator, God. “In subjecting all things to him, God left nothing that is not subject to him” (2:8a). But if you look around at the present condition of the world, it seems quite the opposite. As the writer observes: “But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him” (2:8b). We, like our forefather Adam, are slaves to nature, bound to constantly work by the sweat of our brow to rid the world of vermin and viruses – and never fully succeeding. The only program that seems to flourish is that of our aging and death. Most of the world lives without any hope for an eternal future, as mankind lives under the influence of the evil one; but God has not given up on mankind; His purpose for us will be achieved.
God’s great salvation program is to be fulfilled in stages, the first of which is Jesus. While we do not see the exaltation of humanity, what we do see is Jesus – a human being, temporarily made a little lower than the angels (2:9). This is God’s first stage on the way to the triumphant redemption of humanity. As a human being, the man Jesus would necessarily suffer and even taste death, but the writer of Hebrews tells us that His suffering was not in vain. The cross was no mistake or tragic accident – oh no, not at all! In fact he tells us that it was on the very account of this suffering and death, that Christ would be crowned with glory and honor (2:9); and further, this would be the very way of ultimately securing humanity’s salvation on the basis of our mystical union with Him (2:10-11). David Gooding writes, “what a glorious insight into the character of God it gives us! Possessing infinite power he had the right, as Creator, to treat us in any way he pleased. But having decided to bring us to glory through a pathway of suffering, his infinite compassion insisted that it must be done not just any how, but in a way that would be fitting, even if it meant he suffering of his Son.”
In previous weeks, I asked you to continually read chapters 1-2 of Hebrews in order to keep the full perspective of the context (the forest); this week, I want you to focus on a single beautiful tree within this beautiful forest. Take time to meditate specifically on Hebrews 2:10-11. Consider the value of each word in the text as it reveals how great our salvation and the God how orchestrated it, truly is!