What’s wrong with the world today? Until we answer that question, we can’t really answer what Christmas is about. And that’s what the author of Hebrews addresses here.
He says in verse 5 that in the world to come, when all things are made new, the earth will not be made subject to angels, but to the human race. And like the psalmist, he marvels, saying,
“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.” (6-8)
Here it seems the psalmist and the writer of Hebrews is speaking not of Jesus, but of people. And they marvel at the grace of God that though we are but dust, lower at this time than the angels, that the day will come when we will be crowned with glory and honor, and rule over all things, even the angels.
Paul told us in I Corinthians 6:3 that the day will come when we will even judge the angels.
That’s what God meant for us from the very beginning. When he created Adam and Eve, he said,
Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. (Genesis 1:28)
And the writer of Hebrews says,
In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. (8b)
And yet. Is that how things really are? The writer continues,
Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. (8c)
Why not? Because of sin.
Sin is what’s wrong with the world. Sin corrupted everything. It broke our relationship with God. It broke this world. And it broke us. Because of that, we see natural disasters, disease, and death.
And that’s why Jesus had to come.
The writer continues,
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (9)
Jesus left heaven, and became one of us. He lived among us, taking our form that was lower than the angels. A form that was mortal. A form that could get sick and die. But through his death on the cross, he paid for our sin so that we would not have to pay for it ourselves.
And now, Jesus is crowned with glory and honor. He has become the “author of our salvation.” That word “author” is now translated in the new NIV, “pioneer.” Jesus went ahead of us, living a perfect life, and then suffering and dying for us. And now we follow the path of salvation he blazed for us.
We don’t have to find the path to salvation. The path has already been made. He’s done all the hard work. All we have to do is trust in and follow after him.
Why did Jesus come to this earth as a baby 2000 years ago?
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (14-15)
But not only we have been set free from the power of sin and death, now the way has been paved for us to be crowned with glory and honor and to rule this world as coheirs with Christ as God intended from the very beginning.
That’s what Christmas is all about. So this Christmas, let us praise God not just for what he did 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, but praise him for what he is doing now, and what he will do in the world to come.