Why was Jesus made lower than the angels during his earthly life?
As mankind, we were made in the image of God. We were made for relationship with God. We were made to resemble the holy, righteous and good character of God. And as such, God originally gave us dominion over “the works of his hands”, putting everything under our feet.
So what happened to God’s image in us, our relationship with him, and the dominion he gave us?
The first man, Adam, sinned, and so now we sin and we die. God’s image in us was marred, we died to our relationship with him, and we don’t resemble his character anymore - we’re fallen and sinful. And we lost the co-rulership with God over “the works of his hands”.
Though at present we don’t see everything subject to mankind because of our fallen state, “But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
So Jesus in his humbled state as a man was made lower than the angels just for a little while, but now he is exalted, seated and ruling at the right hand of God the Father, “because he suffered death” not for himself, but “for” us as a substitute in our place.
Jesus died in place of “many sons and daughters” and took on himself the punishment for our sin, as well as the consequence of our sin - death. He has brought us back to a relationship with God by forgiving our sins, and by giving us the free gift of his perfect obedience which is always our only acceptance before a Holy God. And thus, Jesus has begun the process of restoring the original dominion God gave us over “the works of his hands”, as God’s children by the redemption through the substitutionary death of Jesus.
Scripture references are taken from Hebrews 2:5-9.
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