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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

HEBREWS 2:9


"But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angel,
namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor,
so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone."




Angels don't taste death.
Sons of Adam were first introduced to death as a result of their sin 
after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden,
and God said, "For you are dust and to dust you shall return."
(Genesis 3:19)


"Jesus, God-man, who is now crowned with glory and honor--
As a reward for His having suffered death
(and for His victory over death).
He was made a little lower than the angels--Who cannot either suffer or die;
that by the grace of God He might taste death--
for every man--That ever was, or ever will be born into this world."
(John Wesley)




"...the crowning Christ with glory and honour must refer to His exaltation after His resurrection, in which, as the victorious Messiah, He had all power given to Him in heaven and earth."
(Adam Clarke)


"Should taste death for every man."
What a phrase!  If you think of the most foul drink possible,
the cup He was passed was the worst.  All our sin was in that cup,
not just the nails in His hands and feet, but the taste of death was in His mouth.


"It was a custom in ancient times to take off criminals by making them drink a cup of poison.  Socrates was adjudged to drink a cup of the juice of hemlock by order of the Athenian magistrates...Socrates was not only innocent of every crime laid to his charge, but was the greatest benefactor to his country,  He was duly conscious of the iniquity of his sentence, yet cheerfully submitted to his appointed fate; for when the officer brought in the poison, though his friends endeavoured to persuade him that he had yet a considerable time  in which he might continue to live, yet knowing that every purpose of life was now accomplished, he refused to avail himself of a few remaining moments, seized the cup, and drank off the poison with the utmost cheerfulness and alacrity..." (Adam Clarke)

He goes on to say, "...the whole human race as being accused, tried, found guilty, and was condemned, each having his own poisoned cup to drink; and Jesus, the wonderful Jesus, takes the cup out of the hand of each, and cheerfully and with alacrity drinks off the dregs!  Thus having drunk every man's poisoned cup, He tasted death which they must have endured, had not their cup been drunk by another.  Is not this the cup to which He refers, Matthew 26:39 'O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me?'  But without His drinking it, the salvation of the world would have been impossible; and therefore He cheerfully drank it in the place of every
human soul, and thus made atonement for the sin of the world; and this He did by the grace, mercy, or infinite goodness of God. Jesus Christ, incarnated, crucified, dying, rising, ascending to heaven, and becoming our Mediator at God's right hand, is the full proof of God's infinite love to the human race."

Imagine that!  Jesus, the Son, asked His Father "if it be possible, let this cup pass from me."  Well, of course, it was possible.  With God everything is possible.  But Jesus submitted to the will of the Father in order to accomplish our salvation.  He willingly drank that taste of death for each of us, not just paying with his drops of blood.  Not only was a horrid sour sponge lifted to His lips when He was thirsty while dying on the cross, but the cup He drank was worse than that which thus touched His lips.  


If you've had to swallow medicine that makes you automatically jerk and shake your head with chills, it can't begin to compare to His cup of suffering.  Once back in our minivan days, the girls were waiting there for their brother to finish his baseball game and became very thirsty.  A cup with a straw was found left in a cup holder, so one of them took a big swig and instantly spit it out, gagging.  It wasn't water, but a left-over curdled, days old  milkshake.  Jesus did not spit His cup out.  His was not a lukewarm response to sin.  He swallowed it for us, this taste of death so that "whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)  There is the mystery.  We don't truly die.  Because He tasted death for us, once our last breath is breathed, we go to heaven.  That eternity built into our souls is realized.  Amen! 




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