THE Epistle to the Hebrews, this profound and blessed portion of the Holy Scriptures, unfolds a most wonderful vision of the Person, the Glory and the great Redemption work of our adorable Lord. The portion of the Epistle which is the richest in this respect is the Second Chapter. Here is a vista for the eyes of faith which is sublime. Our Lord in His Person, in His humiliation and exaltation, in His suffering and glory, stands out in a way which makes the believing heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of Glory. What He has accomplished for us, His present place in Glory and intercessory work, His future and dominion over the earth, all are mentioned by the Holy Spirit in this brief chapter. His humiliation by incarnation is mentioned in these words |Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels.| |Forasmuch, then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.| And He is the One |by whom are all things| (verse 10).
His suffering and death and its blessed results are given in this chapter. |By the grace of God He should taste death for every man.| |That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.| He made |reconciliation for sins of the people.|
We read of the gracious relations into which all believing sinners are brought in virtue of His work on the cross. |For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.| It is that blessed, deep, eternal relationship of being One with Him and One with God. Then we find here His presence as Man in Glory. |But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor.|
In that attitude He is now |the merciful and faithful high Priest.| |For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.|
The ultimate result of His work is also stated. He is |bringing many sons unto glory.| And that glory will be His own glory. Not only now but in that future day of glory He will declare |Behold I and the children, which God hath given me.|
Furthermore we have the fact of His earthly dominion, that He is to have possession of the earth. |The world to come,| that is the habitable earth, not heaven, is to be put in subjection under Him. |Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet.| All these blessed truths are stated in this chapter of Hebrews.
In regard to a subdued earth we read: |But now we see not yet all things put under Him.| That was true when the Holy Spirit penned these words. This is still true and it will be true until the Father bringeth in the First begotten into the world, when not alone all the angels of God will worship Him (Heb. i:6), but when God will make His enemies the footstool of His blessed feet (Psalm cx:1).
However this coming triumph for Him who was made a little lower than the angels is not the glorious vision of this chapter. It is time by faith we may behold the glorious consummation as revealed in the prophetic Word, but here another vision for our present rejoicing and present help is put before us. While we see not yet all things put under His feet |we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor.|
This is the great vision for the present. This is what the Holy Spirit wants us to behold more than anything else. Of Stephen it is written: |He being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God| (Acts vii:55). And whenever the Holy Spirit fills us He will direct the vision of the eyes of our heart to Him who was made a little lower than the angels and who is now in heaven crowned with glory and honor. And only the power of the Holy Spirit filling us can make this great fact and vision a reality.
But what does this glorious vision mean to us? What does it teach us? Oh, much more than the weak pen of the writer can tell out.
The blessed One who is there crowned with glory and honor is the One who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death; He bore our sins on the cross and died for us. What a blessed, blessed proof then it is, as we behold Him there, that our sins are completely and forever gone!
But more than that. In seeing Him there we behold ourselves. The deliverer of our souls at the right hand of God, the second man, crowned with glory and honor, is the pattern and forerunner of all who belong to Him and whom He is not ashamed to call brethren. Grace has raised us up together, and has made us sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus (Eph. ii:5, 6).
Our eternal destiny, beloved in the Lord, is to be like Him, with Him and to share His marvelous inheritance as His co-heirs. That glorious vision is the evidence of our coming glory, when we shall be transformed into His image that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. As we gaze in the Spirit on Him who is crowned with glory and honor we can see ourselves.
And as the age darkens, as the Laodicean state becomes more prevalent, temptations and snares increase, the enemy's powers and activities more marked, we need to open our eyes and hearts wider, to take in the vision of our blessed head in Glory. Only in this way can we be kept in these evil days. The only way of spiritual progress, spiritual enjoyment, spiritual worship is to |behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord,| and beholding that glorious vision we |are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord| (2 Cor. vii:18).
This glorious vision will keep us in the place of separation. It will make us heavenly-minded and produce in our lives the practical results of the cross of Christ |crucified unto the world and the world crucified unto me.| Why do real Christians, who know the truth and even know and speak of His Second Coming go along with the world and delight in its ways? It is because the heart is departed from Christ and has lost sight of the blessed and glorious vision. Years ago a saint of God, who is now present with the Lord, made the following statement:
|It sometimes happens that Christians have got so far away from Christ in heart, that they become engrossed in the affairs of this life, and some can even visit and enjoy the poor empty, tinselled shows of this world's vanity. What could be more lamentable? They forget that death's stamp is deeply graven on everything this side of resurrection. But such actions clearly prove that the heart must have been away from Christ for some time.|
Reader! if this means you return unto thy rest. Arise now and seek His face and behold your Saviour, who was made a little lower than the angels crowned with glory and honor.
May all our hearts, dear children of God, cry out with him, who knew Him so well, the prisoner of the Lord |That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death| (Phil. iii:10). Soon we shall know Him and all His glory.
I see a Man at God's right hand,
Upon the throne of God,
And there in seven-fold light I see
The seven-fold sprinkled blood;
I look upon that glorious Man,
On that blood-sprinkled throne;
I know that He sits there for me,
The glory is my own.
The heart of God flows forth in love,
A deep eternal stream;
Through that beloved Son it flows
To me as unto Him.
And, looking on His face, I know --
Weak, worthless, though I be --
How deep, how measureless, how sweet,
That love of God to me.