God has spoken to us by his Son

Reflection and commentary on Hebrews 2:5-18

The writer to the Hebrews speaks of God’s plan of redemption. In God’s original plan (which the author quotes from Psalm 8), humankind was created a little less (lower) than God himself, and given power to be master over all things. But through sin, humankind experienced defeat and frustration instead of mastery, and failure in place of glory. And into this state of defeat God sent his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that by his sufferings and his glory humankind might become what God intended him to be. In Christ we not only recover our lost identity, but God makes us what we could never be without him–sons and daughters of God who share in his glory.

Jesus is called the pioneer of our salvation (Hebrews 2:11). A pioneer is one who begins something so that others may enter into it, someone who blazes a trail for others to follow. Jesus blazed the trail for us to the path of glory with the Father. Like any true pioneer he had to be tested and be made perfect through suffering. Perfection here connotes completeness and the capacity to fully carry out the purpose for which the person or thing was designed to do.

Through suffering Jesus was fitted for the task given him by his Father as the pioneer of our salvation. Through his suffering Jesus fully identified with our human condition (see Psalm 22:22, Isaiah 8:17-18). He was not detached, but he fully entered into our human existence and shared in our lot. He also sympathized with us, by sharing in our sorrows and sufferings, and by being tempted he experienced the trials of being put to the test. He has met our sorrows and he has faced our temptations. We cannot find a pioneer more fit to show us the way to the Father.

Since he shared our lot and suffered on our behalf, he became a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people.

“Lord Jesus Christ, you are the pioneer and the perfector of our faith. Increase my faith and give me strength to endure hardship and trials so that I may be faithful to the end.”

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[Don Schwager is the author of the Daily Scripture Readings and Meditation and editor for Living Bulwark.]