Regal words ignite our imaginations as our minds race through the portrayed social landscape. It is beautiful. God enthrones his powerful, righteous and benevolent Son saying, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”/1 Before the ink of these words can dry, the author of Hebrews has continued, “‘you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.’ In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him.”/2 Everything in submission to Christ. What a thought.
Peering into this society we discover evil and those who insist upon following its ways have either been subdued or banished as Christ’s rule covers the land. Good will, peace, patience, love, gentleness and faithfulness dominate the cityscape. This is what God’s people want. This is how life should appear when Christ is in charge.
Just then our concentration in reading Hebrews is broken as the evening news crackles to life shattering the moment. Stories of greed, evil intent and murder fill the horizon of our TV screen. We are violently yanked out of a world where Christ is visibly in charge to be plunged back into our living rooms where “at present we do not see everything subject to him.”/3
For those who have begun to question whether the effort to gather for worship with the saints is worth it, such deltas as this difference between what is happening outside of their windows in contrast to the claims of scripture can become a nagging hobgoblin weakening faith. The author does not skirt such possible doubt but acknowledges it openly, “Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.”/4
While faith calls us to be sure of what we hope for and certain of what is not presently seen (Hebrews 11:1), the author has not abandon either us or his readers to the irrationality of making a blind leap of faith. This is no call to “just believe because.” Faith is nourished by what has already happened, by what has already been seen. The ways in which God has already shown himself faithful provide planks upon which to walk securely toward receiving future promises. And so, with pen dripping ink he wrote, “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.”/5
Honestly acknowledging that the reign of Christ is veiled in this world, the believer is encouraged to be certain and to hope for what presently can not be seen because we know what Christ has already accomplished. Jesus has come. He has died and been raised to life providing us with salvation. The Lord’s unveiled heavenly rule will be expereienced. Long ago scripture had foretold what stands in our past as well as in our future.
1/ Hebrews 1:13 quoting Psalm 110:1
2/ Hebrews 2:7-8a which includes a quote from Psalm 8:5-6. While the Psalmist had humanity in mind, the context of Hebrews reveals that the author has narrowed the application to Christ.
3/ Hebrews 2:8b
4/ Hebrews 2:8b
5/ Hebrews 2:9