Monday, May 16, 2011

Crowned with Glory and Honor

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 02:05-09, NKJV).

While at the present time, angels may be considered superior to humans (but inferior to Christ), ultimately it is not angels who will rule with Christ, but humans.

Whether we like it or not, we are the pinnacle of God's Creation. We are made in His image, His Son became one of us, and our intended destiny is to be crowned with glory and honor and given dominion.

If you are mystified by this grandeur of purpose you are not alone. King David marveled at it as well. If it does not at least give you some pause, you are just not paying attention.

Look around at the pitiful state of humanity today - bickering, bloody, greedy, selfish, self-aggrandizing, arrogant, rebellious, blasphemous, and idiotic in the extreme. That's us. That's who we are.

Yet we are guaranteed not to remain this way because Christ became a Man to redeem those who believe in Him. While we have not yet received the full inheritance of His sinless righteousness and glory, we have the down payment of the Holy Spirit within us. One day we will be worthy of the destiny God has prepared for us from the beginning. We will finally fulfill the job our forefather Adam was given and forfeited - dominion over the created realm.

I know there are some who might read this who are scandalized. What hubris! What species-centricity!

I get that. I do. 

We are living in an age where there is serious debate about pet discrimination and granting rights to inanimate objects. We find ourselves being relegated to existential equality with all life and every form of life. The argument, in the end, boils down to a deep-seated hatred of the human species. In short, the world would be just swell without us big brained apes. Or at least, without most of us big-brained apes.

But that is not how God, our omnipotent Creator, views us. We are, instead, His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works which He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. That we are of infinite value and worth to Him is proven by the debt He sent His beloved Son to pay on our behalf. Christ died in our place so that we could fill our divine purpose in Creation.

You may not like that, but it's the truth, and there will be a day in the future when it will become undeniable, even to the most rabid animal rights advocate or earth-worshipper. In the darkness in which our race now abides it may make sense to worship the creature rather than the Creator, but the DayStar is rising, and His light will reveal that for the utter foolishness it is.

This means something now, though, too.

C.S. Lewis, that unique Christian Apologist of the last century, made this statement:

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare."
How then are we to live and behave toward one another, given our intended elevation on the one hand, or unthinkable degradation on the other?

We are NOT mere animals. We are immortals in the making, not yet fully cooked, but certainly containing all the necessary ingredients to be the most sublime or profane beings imaginable.

For those of us who have already sworn allegiance to the Coming King, our primary role is that of an Ambassador, graciously representing the interests, authority and majesty of our beloved Sovereign so that those who have yet to choose sides may be persuaded to align themselves with Him.

For those who are our implacable enemies, beware. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God, for our God is a Consuming Fire.

If you think in yourself that you are worth something, you are sadly mistaken. If you think you are a mere accidental resident of time and space, your mistake is that much greater.

Your are an Image Bearer, made for an inconceivably glorious purpose by an unimaginably glorious God.

Fulfill your destiny by faith, or receive your sentence of damnation.

The choice is yours. There is no middle ground.