Born to Die Pt1

4 December 2022 PM – Hebrews 2:9 – Christmas – Scott Childs
Introduction: In our morning sermons this month, we are considering The Christ of Christmas. In our evening sermons this month, our focus will be on the fact that Christ was Born to Die. The apostle John wrote, (1 John 4:14) “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” Jesus did not become the God/Man in order to give us a good example to follow or even to heal the sick. He came in order to save mankind from hell. He came to die as our substitute.
Transition: This evening, I want to do something out of the norm. I want us to examine Hebrews 2:9, phrase by phrase, that we might better see what it reveals about Christ.
1.        But we see Jesus
a.          We see
1)         The word means to discern or to perceive by the use of the eyes.
2)         Though we have never seen Christ with our eyes, we can perceive Him in our minds.
b.         Jesus
1)         This name means, “Jehovah is salvation”.
2)         In scripture, He is known as Christ, Lord, the Word, the Son of God, the Son of Man, Immanuel and many other titles.
  1. Who was made a little lower than the angels
a.          Made a little lower
1)         This is not addressing His origin. Rather, it has to do with position. He humbled himself to become a servant.
2)         The term means “to make less” or “to make inferior”.
b.         Than the angels
1)         We see this same phrase in verse 7 applied to man at creation. For man to be positioned a little lower than the angels is an honour, but for God the Son to be placed in a position a little lower than the angels was a humiliation.
2)         The Father purposely placed His Son a little lower than the angels. This speaks of the humanity that He adopted. (Philippians 2:7) “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
3.        For the suffering of death
a.          The word “for” translates dia
1)         Dia indicates for the sake of.
2)         Jesus briefly became a human, a little lower than the angels, for a specific purpose.
b.         The suffering of death
1)         He, being God, could not die.
2)         Angels do not die.
3)         Jesus must become a man in order to suffer and die. Though Jesus, being God, was all-knowing, suffering eternal damnation as a divine human for the human race was something He had not yet actually experienced.
4)         He would suffer THE death. There is a definite article before “death”. God had ordained a specific death, the death of the cross. Enemies tried to kill him prematurely, but God preserved him to suffer THE death – the eternal death on our behalf.
4.        Crowned with glory and honour
a.          This phrase is key to understanding the entire verse.
1)         The word “crowned” is a perfect passive participle. It describes an action done to Him that is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated. It was not a future crowing.
2)         Thus, it requires a significant twist to apply it to honour and glory received after Christ’s death and resurrection.
3)         It does not fit to apply it to the eternal honour and glory He had always enjoyed in heaven.
b.         We find the key to the mystery in verse 7.
1)         Read this verse and ponder it.
2)         It speaks of man’s creation in Genesis 1-2.
a)         In God’s wisdom, He created angels as spirits and as His heavenly servants. (Psalms 104:4) “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
b)         When God created man, He positioned them a little lower than the angels.
c)         God crowned man with glory and honour in that He set him over the works of His hands. God gave man dominion over all creation (cf., Ps 8:5-6). That was an awesome honour.
d)         When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost much of that glory, honour and dominion over nature.
3)         Being the perfect God/Man, the second Adam, Jesus was positioned lower than the angels and crowned with man’s original glory and honour having dominion over all nature.
4)         Peter Pett reminds us of some of the ways Jesus, while a human, had dominion over all nature. “He demonstrated His lordship over creation and superiority to angels. He was ‘with the wild beasts’ and angels ministered to Him (Mar 1:13), the evil spirits obeyed Him and were cast out (Mar 1:25-26 and regularly), the water turned into wine at His will (Joh 2:1-11), the fish moved at His command (Luk 5:4-6; Mat 17:27; Joh 21:6), the wind and waves did His bidding (Mar 4:39), the sea provided Him with a pathway through the storm (Mar 6:48), the storm ceased at His presence (Mar 6:51), the unbroken ass walked quietly into Jerusalem through noisy crowds, responsive to His hands (Mar 11:2; Mar 11:7-9), … the fig tree withered at His command (Mar 11:14; Mar 11:20). … All this emphasised the restoration of the crowning with glory and honour.” Peter Pett’s Commentary, theWord
5)         Pett continues, “And it was this overlordship of creation that revealed that He was perfect man as God had intended man to be, and it was this that made Him fitted to ‘taste death for everyone’, because it revealed that He was truly ‘the second man’, ‘the last Adam’, (1Co 15:45-47) man restored to what he should be.” Ibid
5.        That he by the grace of God
a.          Literally, “so that”
1)         The aforementioned facts had to be in place for the conclusion to take place.
2)         All that Christ became was planned in eternity past and fulfilled in detail to satisfy the wrath of God against sin. (1 John 4:10) “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
b.         By the grace of God
1)         Christ’s incarnation and subsequent atonement was all by grace. Man had utterly failed God. God owed the human race nothing.
2)         By grace, God’s divine enabling on our behalf, Christ became a man so that He could die for us.
6.        Should taste death
a.          This presents a possibility
1)         The subjunctive mood is a mood of possibility. The action may take place if the circumstances are right.
2)         The word “taste” means either to perceive the flavour of or to partake of. Obviously, the latter is the case here.
b.         All that this passage tells us about Christ had to be in place before He could taste death.
1)         In His eternal form, He could not taste death.
2)         It was necessary for Him to become a Man.
3)         As the second Adam, the perfect Man, having been crowned with glory and honour over all creation, He then was ready to fulfil His reason for coming to earth. (John 3:17) “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
  1. For every man
a.          Praise God for these words
1)         Jesus tasted death on behalf of EVERY man. (1 Timothy 2:4) “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
2)         No one is exempt. Christ’s death was for all.
b.         Truly, Jesus was “Born to Die” as our substitute.
Conclusion: I urge you to read over this verse slowly and repeatedly. Ponder what we have expounded. Let it sink into your heart. Then take time to praise and thank God that Jesus was born to die for you.
Song: O How I Love Jesus 483 (1-2)