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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jesus Briefly Humbled

    Today's bible study led me to Hebrews 2:9-18.  This passage is titled in my bible "Jesus Briefly Humbled".  At first, it may sound a little confusing because it talks about a period where Jesus was made "a little lower than the angels".  This is a passage about Jesus' incarnation.  The fact that Jesus became a human being and did not give up his deity, but he gave up his position in heaven to come to earth. 
     To understand this, it is important to realize that Jesus existed before he was born in Bethlehem.  The Bible gives us many glimpses of Jesus in the Old Testament.  One that I think of is in Daniel 3:25.  Danie's friends were thrown into a pit of fire.  It was so hot that those who threw Daniel's friends in died because of the heat of the flames.  Yet, Nebuchadnezzar states when he looks into the fire "Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!"  I believe this is Jesus who the king saw.
      There are other, even earlier passages, where Jesus appears in the Old Testament.  In Joshua 5:13-14, Joshua sees a man with his sword drawn.  When Joshua asks him if he is for or against them he gets this response.  "No, rather I indeed come now as captain o fthe host of the Lord."  Joshua's response was to bown down and worship him.  Any time someone worships an angel the angel stops him, but the captain didn't stop Joshua because he was the preincarnate Jesus.
      But, this passage made it clear that Jesus gave up that position in heaven.  In Philippians 2:7-8 it says that Jesus "emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."  I believe that is what this passage in Hebrews 2:9-18 is really talking about. 
     It says that Jesus did this in order to make powerless him "who has the power of death, that is, the devil."  He did this by making "propitiation for our sins".  The word propitiatioin is the word hilaskomai in the greek which means to atone, to make reconciliation for.  It would be like having a large debt note hanging over you and someone takes the note and writes over it "paid in full" and pays the debt for you.  It was a debt that you were not in a position to begin to pay and was due and he stepped in a paid it for you.

1 comment:

Krislin Neo said...

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