“But we do see Jesus--made lower than the angels for a short time
so that by God's grace He might taste death for everyone—
crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering in death.“
As a historian, my friend “in the valley” kept nearly everything you could imagine. If you have ever watched one of those hoarding television shows, you can imagine the chaos. Moving his belongings out of his home of 25 years was a dark and trying experience.
I finally emptied what remains into his double-wide storage shed, cringing at the job that remains before me. I am beyond exhausted. My personal and professional lives are unraveling after months of putting things off. The pressure is intense.
While I have one foot in the previous lesson, and one foot in the present, I trust God and the path that He has chosen for my ultimate good and His glory. I have peace and joy knowing I am right where He wants me to be: in the power of sanctification.
The following excerpt titled “Jesus Tasting Death for Every Man” is from Andrew Murray’s classic The Holiest of All:
HERE we have the one great reason why it was meet that Jesus should be made a little lower than the angels. It was that He might taste death for every man. In the counsel of divine grace, and in the great plan of redemption, this was one of the first objects of the incarnation—the birth was for the sake of the death. Without that wonderful birth,—THE WORD, that was God, made flesh,—the death would not have profited us. Without that wonderful birth the death would have availed us little.
What God hath joined together let no man put asunder. Let us beware of exalting the one at the expense of the other. The birth and the death are two inseparable parts of the one process by which He was perfected as the Firstborn from the dead, and became our Deliverer and King. The humanity and humiliation of Jesus was needful for His death for or on behalf of every man.
And what was the meaning of this death? And wherein lies its efficacy? In Scripture there is a twofold aspect in which the death of Christ, as our Head, is set before us. The one is that He died for sin, bearing its curse, and suffering death as God's righteous judgment on account of it. His death opened up the way to God for us. It did for us what we cannot and need not do; it wrought out a finished salvation, which we have but to accept and repose upon.
According to the other aspect, He died to sin. His death was a proof of His resistance to sin and its temptation, of His readiness rather to give up life than yield to sin; a proof that there is no way of being entirely free from the flesh and its connection with sin, but by yielding the old life to death, in order to receive afresh and direct from God a life entirely new. In this view His death was an act of infinite moral and spiritual value,—the consummation of the work God wrought when He perfected Him through suffering.
The former aspect, the death for sin on our behalf, has its value from the second, which reveals what constitutes its true nature and power. And, even so, the faith in the death for sin, must lead us into the death to sin. The one view is that of substitution: Christ doing what l cannot do. The other that of fellowship: Christ working in me what I see in Himself. The former is a finished work, and gives me boldness at once and forever to trust God. The latter is the power of sanctification, as the death and the life of Christ work in me.