Ep.202: Images of God.

Ep.202: Hebrews 2: But We See Jesus

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.

To explain where humans fit into God’s creation, the author of Hebrews quotes Psalm 8. He writes:
    What is humankind that you are mindful of them,
        their children, that you care for them?
    You made them a little lower than the angels,
      you crowned them with glory and honor
      and put everything under their feet (Heb. 2:6-8).

God made humans the rulers of the world, a job designed to bring us glory and honor. This is what it means to be made in the image of God: we represent his great universal kingship by ruling our bit of creation, the world he made for us. 

The second of the Ten Commandments says, “Do not make any graven images”, that is, don’t make sculptures of God from wood or stone. We don’t need sculptures because we already have lots of images of God. Seven billion of them. All living and breathing, people made in God’s image. 

If you need a sculpture of God, an idol to put in your holy place, God says, “Don’t do it. Your neighbors are my image. Go show them some love.” That’s how to honor an image of God.

The author of Hebrews is emphatic about the wide-ranging authority God gave us, his representatives on earth. He says:
  In putting everything under them,
      God left nothing that is not subject to them.
  Yet at present we do not see them ruling over everything (Heb. 2:8).

So what’s the problem with these rulers of earth? Why haven’t we imitated God’s example by implementing a just, orderly, and thoughtful regime? Why do we perpetrate wars and pollution and oppression and destruction? Why do we fight each other, clawing our way to be king of the castle, overthrowing God’s rule on earth, establishing our own religions and kingship? 

When God looked at the mess his images made, he launched a rescue operation. The Book of Hebrews says: 
   At present, we do not see everything subject to humans (Heb 2:8). 
   But we see Jesus
      who was made for a little while 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 (Heb 2:9).

The big problem was death. We, who are supposed to be living images of God, instead pursued activities that promoted sin and death. We are no better than dead sculptures of God made of wood or stone. 

God’s rescue plan meant sending a new image of himself to earth: Jesus, made in a true human mold, a little lower than the angels, attired with the glory and honor God intended for humans. Jesus’ solution to a messed up humanity and our corrupt rule of the earth was to participate fully in a human life and a human death, so we could share a new life with God.  

Let’s pray.

Our father, with the author of Hebrews, we look away from the mess we have made of your world and from the deadness we have imposed on your image. We look upward and say, “But we see Jesus.” He is the recovery project manager for our failed project of ruling creation. He implemented a new way of ruling. He shares his life with us, and teaches us to be your living image on earth.

Help us to be his loyal subjects, for you have put everything under his feet. We wait for the day when Jesus will fully renew us in your image, and fit us for our vocation. 

Amen. 

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.