One of the most fascinating passages in scripture for me is Hebrews 2:5-9:
Now 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. Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
The phrase that gets me every time is: “At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him.” The first “him” is “man.” God placed all creation under Adam, and though sin brought man under the “domain of darkness” (Colossians 1:13), the creation dominion mandate was never rescinded by God. Psalm 8 confirms that man still has the obligation under God to rule over creation.
The second “him” in the phrase is “Jesus.” “But we see Jesus.” Jesus came to reclaim the dominion that Adam failed to achieve. The salvation that Jesus brings us is the salvation of all creation. When God is finished here, this creation will be transformed by fire into a new heaven and new earth. But it will still be the same creation that Adam failed to rule faithfully.
This is an important idea. When we think about the end of history and being “saved,” we generally think in terms of “going to heaven,” of “leaving this world” and a thousand other ways of saying that God will abandon this creation and start over. But that is not what the Bible teaches. It teaches that God will make this creation a new creation. This creation born again in the resurrection. Heaven is coming to earth. (Revelation 21, 22) That’s what Jesus came to do.
So, the same dominion that Adam lost, Christ regained. But here is the part that catches my breath every time: “At present, we do not see it. But we see Jesus.” This is what keeps me preaching, praying and praising every day in spite of what I see. When I look around me, I see little evidence that the kingdom of God is coming in the world as the first fruits of the age to come. When I walk the streets of America and Europe, I see every reason to despair. When I read the headlines every day, I am tempted to throw up my hands and wonder if the devil wins. When I listen to the news reports on the radio, I shake my head in amazement and murmur, How long, O Lord, how long?
But when I return to my prayer closet, I see something–I see Someone–altogether different. In my prayer closet I see Him high and lifted up. “But we see Jesus.” And where is Jesus? He is seated on the throne of God “from henceforth expecting until His enemies be made His footstool.” (Hebrews 10:13) And this was the entire point of the Book of Hebrews–and the Book of Revelation, for that matter. Do not despair during times of great trial, for Jesus is on the throne. Jesus rules! And because He rules, the kingdom of God cannot fail!
What do you see today? Are you looking at the world around you where we presently do not see all things put under our feet? Or do you see Jesus? If you see Jesus, you will rise from your bed of despair and march boldly into the world to reclaim the dominion that God created you to have. What do you see?