All Things Under Christ
From Gospel Translations
“Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control” (Heb. 2:8b).
- Hebrews 2:8b–9
After making clear that Christ is the Ruler of all, the author of Hebrews is now ready to tell us how this rule is presently manifested in the world. We are told that nothing has been left outside of Christ’s control (2:8b). All of creation, without exception, is now subject to the rule of Christ.
The same verse also tells us that “at present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.” This is troubling because it seems to be introducing a contradiction. Is the author saying that Christ is at the same time both Lord of all and not Lord of all? No, he is not. The problem is resolved when we look at the word “yet.” From an earthly, temporal perspective we cannot see all that is going on in the universe. When we look around it does look like the world is not in full subjection to Christ. Mankind does not serve or praise Him. There is much evil in the world. But that is only an earthly perspective. Were we able to see things with eyes not bound by these limitations, we would see that Christ is fully in control of all things. The full manifestation of this reign is yet to come for those of us who, at the present, can only see from a limited, earthly perspective. On this point, John Calvin writes, “As Christ carries on war continually with various enemies, it is doubtless evident that he has no quiet possession of his kingdom. He is not, however, under the necessity of waging war; but it happens through his will that his enemies are not to be subdued till the last day … .”
What then do we see at the present time? At present we see Jesus who was temporarily lower than the angels now crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering and death (v. 9). We must now ask: How can Christ’s suffering result in His honor and glory? There are at least two answers to this question. First, Christ’s suffering is an example for us. We crown and manifest Christ’s honor as co-rulers in His Kingdom only as we share in His sufferings. We enter into Christ’s glorious reign through much travail (Acts 14:22). Secondly, Christ receives glory and honor after suffering because we now know Him in a new way. We have a new understanding of God’s saving love and grace because He came and suffered for our redemption. We can now see His great glory as our Redeemer and revel in His grace that led Him to taste death for us all.
In His great wisdom, God has accomplished salvation for us but has decided to not yet apply all of its benefits. One of these benefits is the full and complete manifestation of His reign which is still yet to come. Seek how you can make manifest the reign of God in your daily life and pray for the kingdom to come.
Passages for Further Study
1 Cor 15:24–28