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Our Future Revealed By Jesus

Hebrews 2:5-9
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: 'What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honour and put everything under their feet.' In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (NIVUK)

We do not now see the 'world to come’. God sees it perfectly because He is outside of time and knows the end from the beginning. In Psalm 8:1-9 quoted in this chapter, human beings are described as the apex of God's creation. Although God appointed them to that responsibility in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:26), they forfeited their right. Their limitations became obvious: their mortality made them inferior to angels. However, God's plan will still be fulfilled. They will become the rulers of the new creation.

But reading Psalm 8 in isolation can only lead to one conclusion – God's plan must have failed. The universe is God's handiwork, but the control of the earth is too big a task for human beings and all our attempts are flawed. It would be better to leave it to angels, some might think ... surely they have God's power and can order everything perfectly. The writer of this letter agrees with the perceived logic, but not with the conclusion. It is obvious that human beings have forfeited much of their privileged appointment as the rulers of the earth: but that is not the end of the story.

God's plan will still be fulfilled. God's people will inherit the earth; they will reign with the Lord (2 Timothy 2:12). They will become crowned with Christ's glory and honour. But what is the evidence to confirm those Biblical statements? We certainly do not observe it, not in even the best of humanity. But there is one Man who was made lower than the angels for the specific purpose that He might die. Jesus took our death that we might share His glory. He blazed the trail. He went ahead of us to conquer death without the help of angels, so that He might be seen to be vastly superior to angels in all His glory and honour (Hebrews 1:4). And all those who trust in Him will likewise be raised from death, share His glory and occupy a position in heaven that even angels would not dare to take.

And so, even though we have difficulty in imagining our future role as the rulers of the earth, we do see Jesus. He has already unwrapped the future. We know that He has defeated mortality and has been glorified. When He returns we too will be glorified. What a wonderful assurance – we will not be left in some spiritual limbo-land, but given a greater glory than the angels so that we will reign with Jesus. Angels are not the heroes; Jesus is. We are not the heroes; Jesus is. It is for that reason that we have been created, saved and sanctified by Jesus … so that we might be glorified (Romans 8:30; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2:14). Do not let the devil, the world or the weakness of your flesh tell you otherwise. Live in the confidence that those whom God has chosen He will glorify: He has proved His intention by becoming the first man to bear sin, go through death and be glorified (2 Thessalonians 1:10). What wonderful reasons to worship the Son of God, and seek to live for Him in joy and confidence.

Prayer 
Heavenly Father. Thank You that Jesus has shown us Your intention to glorify Your people in the future. Forgive me when I have not cherished this truth nor lived in the joy of it. Please help me to understand that the glorification of Jesus is the prelude to the glorification of the church. Help me to get ready. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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