Our Potential Restored

It’s almost alarming how often I have found myself in way over my head when it comes to trying to fix things around the house. I’m just not good at it – but somehow I seem to overestimate my abilities to fix things and usually make a serious mess before I give up. (No…that’s not a picture of me, but thanks for wondering)

If you think about it though, all of humanity is sort of like that. We’ve been made in God’s image, meant to be caretakers of a created paradise, but we rejected God’s rule in order to assert our own and made a terrible mess of everything. From then on we have been trying to fix this thing – to restore God’s image on our own, to manufacture our own paradise.

And as I think about it, all of human history is really an incredibly long DIY FAIL!

We had so much potential, we sense that innately. How can it be recovered? That’s what the writer of Hebrews will be dealing with in the section we’ll be studying this Sunday – Hebrews 2:5-18.

The overarching theme of the letter to the Hebrews is that Jesus is greater. Greater than the communications from God before, greater than the Law of Moses, greater than any understanding of God we previously had. In the rest of chapter 2 we learn more about why we consider Jesus so great as we observe the ways in which he is restoring us to God’s original intent.

In v 5-9 the writer quotes Psalm 8:4-6, where the potential of humanity is described (as a little lower than the angels), meant to wisely rule the earth, yet we don’t even rule ourselves well much less anything else. What is the solution proposed by the writer in v9? Based on that, what is Jesus intending to restore for us? What is the end-game?

Verses 10-13 describe our relationship to God through Jesus. What terminology is he predominately using to define who we are to Christ? What does Jesus restore us to relationally? How important is it for you to know that you belong somewhere, to someone? How does this affect our sense of dignity and humanness?

We are described as being delivered in v 14-16. Delivered from what? What does that deliverance restore to us as frail human beings living in a broken world?

The last two verses of the chapter describe Jesus as something else: a high priest. But not just a high priest bringing a sacrifice to set things right between God and us – but a high priest who offers Himself as a sacrifice for us. His suffering qualifies him in two ways (according to v17) to help stabilize us. What are those two attributes and what does that inspire in you when you consider it?

Looking forward to digging into this on Sunday – hope to see you there!

 

 

2 comments

  1. I’ve often been struck by Hebrews 2:10, “…to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings”. A big fan of C.S. Forester’s ‘Horatio Hornblower’ series (the books and screen adaptation) I see in my mind the sufferings of a young midshipman molded into an Admiral, through his willingness to sacrifice for others, even at his own expense. This journey of his life, reflected on the high seas during wartime, remarkably mirrors real life metaphorically. The difference when comparing this captain with ‘The Captain’, is that Forester created this character to display the most noble and good that can be embodied in one person; whereas God, the creator of all, made His Son not only to be made perfect through suffering, but with the goal of bringing His children to glory. I do not fault Forester in this, no, I’m grateful for he and many authors that paint a picture of such a protagonist who would be willing to pay the ultimate price on behalf of those he serves. Perhaps that’s why hero stories do the same for us, striking a chord in hearts universally that seek to know such a man.

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