Tuesday 11 January 2011

Bible Book:

"Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters" (v. 11)

Hebrews 2:5-12 Tuesday 11 January 2011


Psalm 8 is an amazing psalm, which talksin awesome terms of humanity's role within the created order. Thewriter to the Hebrews chooses a couple of verses here to highlightthis role. The Psalmist asserts God is mindful of us, cares for us,crowns us with glory and honour and puts everything under ourfeet.

Hebrews is focused on the role of Jesus and the author makes aneasy association between the psalmist 'a son of man' and the Gospel'the Son of Man'. It is a move which Jesus himself may havestarted. He may have taken a normal term for a human being andchanged it to reflect passages such as Daniel7:13 (translated as "like a human being" in the NRSV)which had a much more apocalyptic and personal flavour. So, a psalmwhich refers to all humanity, reminds the author of the specificrole of Jesus as humanity's representative - as the author andperfecter of our faith.

The author talks of the work of Jesus not in terms of justificationor atonement (ie restoring our relationship with God), but in termsof acceptance and ratification. Because Jesus suffered and tasteddeath for all, God accepts and confirms him as the pioneer ofsalvation: Christ's obedience even to death is important here (asit is elsewhere such as in Philippians 2).

The surprise is that we are brought into the family relationship -we are accepted as Jesus' brothers and sisters. The one who makesus holy declares us to be part of his family and offers to singabout us before the heavenly assembly. It's an amazing move from"what are human beings that you are mindful of them" (verse 6) to"in the midst of your congregation I will praise you" (verse12).

To Ponder

Read Psalm8. What hymns or songs do you know that are based on thispsalm?

Jesus brings us into the family, just as Paul hadtalked about us being adopted. What does it mean to you to be amember of Jesus' family - to have Jesus as our brother?

Yet, this brother is the pioneer of our salvation- he shows us the way. What have we learnt about the way he goesabout the task of saving us? Can we follow in his footsteps?

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