The book of Hebrews presents to us the Savior of the world. He’s not just a good man, or a good idea, or a great hope for the future. He’s a kingly priest who, through his prophetic word, has proclaimed salvation to our hearts. What are we doing with plugs in our ears?
But just telling you, “Jesus can help,” is not the same as showing you that Jesus can help, and that’s what the author begins to do now in 2:2-5, which is a quotation from Psalm 8:
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Psalm 8 is interesting. If we were to turn there now, we’d be surprised to see that this Psalm isn’t messianic – at least not in the way we typically think. It’s more man-centered than God-centered (in as much as the Bible can be man-centered rather than God-centered). Psalm 8 is about mankind. It is a proclamation of the human race – its history, purpose, and future. The problem is it seems wrong. It doesn’t sound like what we see.
We don’t see mankind crowned with glory and honor. We don’t see everything in subjection under our feet. This world seems to shout back, “Nonsense!” We can’t tame the storms. We can’t tame our hearts. We can’t tame our desires. How can Psalm 8 be speaking of us? God made all things good, and through one bite of a forbidden fruit, it was all spoiled. Adam destroyed us all.
So why quote this Psalm here? Because the author wants us to see how the person and work of Jesus is bringing reality to the promises of God for mankind. Jesus is undoing what Adam destroyed.
The author uses Psalm 8 as a passageway into the humanness of Jesus. We may not see the totality of Psalm 8 in our life right now, but we can see something of it in Jesus.