But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor…
It was long ago predicted that the Lord Jesus should reign in Zion. Of the greatness of His power, of the glory of His majesty, of the extension of His kingdom, of the perpetuity of His government, prophets spake and poets sang. They saw the days of the exalted Messiah afar off, and were glad.
I. THE REGAL CHARACTER OF OUR EXALTED LORD. Much of the happiness of a nation, especially if the authority of a monarch be absolute and his will is the law, depends upon his intellectual and moral character. Let this sentiment be applied with all reverence and humility to our exalted Redeemer, and we shall instantly exclaim, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord of the people, whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance." To sway the sceptre of universal dominion, the King of Zion possesses every perfection in an eminent degree.
1. "In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." At one comprehensive glance He beholds every creature and every event, past, present, and to come, and can either permit or prevent, excite or restrain, according to the counsel of His unerring will.
2. He is also the Lord of all power and might, whose kingdom cannot be moved, and whose dominions are the unlimited expanse of universal nature.
3. His goodness is equal to His greatness, and forms a material part of it. How unnumbered are its manifestations, how numerous and various its recipients. "The Lord is good to all. and His tender mercies are over all His works."
4. And what shall we say of His grace and love? What king has ever been so ill-required by his ungrateful subjects? And yet, instead of laying righteousness to the line, and truth to the plummet, instead of exerting His authority, and putting forth the thunder of His power in the execution of His justice, and the fulfilment of His threatenings, He laid down His life for us.
5. Nor can we forget His mercy. What crimes it has pardoned, what insults it has endured.
6. And is He not the faithful, compassionate, and unchangeable friend of His people? How near are they to His heart! How tenderly does He pity their afflictions, and sympathise with their sorrows!
7. And who has not been impressed with the Lord's condescension? Although He is "the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity," He is nigh unto all that call upon Him in truth. "He dwells with the humble."
II. THE KINGDOM OVER WHICH HE PRESIDES. In one sense the entire universe is His vast domain, comprehending the numerous worlds which shine in yonder firmament. But we speak now not of His essential government, but rather of His mediatorial authority, as our Redeemer and Saviour, who, having purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. This is a spiritual, not a temporal, jurisdiction, unless it be so far as the latter is subservient to the former. It is a religious dominion i, the soul and among the society of good men, which our Lord came from heaven to establish, and which appears when the enmity of the carnal mind is subdued, and when "grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life" in the conversion of sinners, and in the establishment of the saints upon their holy faith. In this spiritual and restricted sense the regal authority of our Lord includes the church on earth, composed of all His devoted followers of every period of time, of every part of the world, of every name and denomination, of every age and condition — and the church in heaven, constituted of "the spirits of just men made perfect." To govern this spiritual empire "our Lord hath established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom ruleth over all." Upon that throne He sits, receiving the homage of angels, archangels, and glorified spirits, accepting the prayers and praises of His saints on earth; supplying all our wants, guarding, guiding, and governing His people, both in their individual, domestic, and religious capacity; extending and upholding His cause in the world by the agency of His Spirit, His providence, and His servants; and overruling all the movements of nature, all the revolutions of nations, all the occurrences of individuals, families, and churches, for His own glory, for the welfare of the soul, for the success of His gospel, for the subjugation of sin and Satan, and for the accomplishment of His purposes which are all in verity and faithfulness.
III. HIS CORONATION.
1. The period selected for Jesus to be "crowned with glory and honour " was the termination of His Messiahship upon earth and His ascension to haven.
2. But how shall we describe the diadem which He wears? It is not a wreath of laurels, it is not a garland of flowers which encircled the brow of the heroes of antiquity; nor does it resemble the crowns worn by the monarchs of modern times. These, though costly and splendid, are but corruptible and fading, composed only of burnished metal and polished stones extracted from the recesses of the earth which we tread beneath our feet, whereas the Redeemer's crown is a beautiful circle of celestial light, a concentration of luminous beams above the brightness of the sun, a crown of glory which fadeth not away.
3. A part of the ceremony of coronation consists of anointing the monarch with holy oil. In concert with this ancient usage, we read prophetically of Jesus being " anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows"; in allusion to His mediatorial superiority, and to the unmeasured unction of the Holy Ghost, which descended upon Him, for "God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him."
4. How exalted is His throne: the seat of happiness and glory (see Isaiah 6:1-3; Revelation 4:2-4).
5. How untarnished is His sceptre, emphatically called "a right sceptre," rightly obtained and rightly employed, the rod of universal authority, the staff of mercy surmounted by the dove, and held forth to encourage our approach.
6. Much has been said of the attire of kings at their coronation, but Christ's are not formed of the frail and lowly produce of the ermine and the silkworm, nor adorned with glittering stars of burnished metal; nor made by human art, nor assailable by the moth or the rust, nor likely to survive the wearer: no, Christ's robes are vestments of unsullied purity and uncreated light.
7. The last particular to be noticed is the attendants — the spectators of His glory.They are described as a number that no man can enumerate. In improving this subject —
1. Let us join the hallelujahs of the heavenly best, and hail the exaltation and coronation of our Lord.
2. Let us recollect the peculiar privileges of His subjects. They are "fellow citizens of the saints and of the household of God." As such they have a share in their Lord's affection, they have constant access to His throne, to His house, to His table; He protects them, He communes with them, supplies their wants, and will make them happy.
3. Let us not forget the duty of His people. It is incumbent on us, if we sustain this honourable appellation, to be very observant of His commands, to be very zealous for His honour, and for the extension of His kingdom upon the earth, and to be very devoted to His fear.
4. What shall we say of the enemies of our Lord the King? What I has He enemies? Is it possible that the Son of God can have a foe? Can He be opposed who laid down His life for us? Yes, there are thousands of adversaries averse to the peaceful and holy reign of the Redeemer. Who are they? I see them, not merely the ranks of avowed infidels and scoffers, but in the character of drunkards, sabbath-breakers, swearers, liars, the lewd, lovers of pleasure more than of God, self-righteous Pharisees, and the like. Oh, throw aside the weapons of)our rebellion, come as penitents to His footstool.
(W. B. Leach.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
WEB: But we see him who has been made a little lower than the angels, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for everyone.