[Jan 09]--Jesus in the Psalms: Prototype

Psalm 8

We spent quite a bit of time last year in the first three chapters of Genesis, so I won’t belabor that story too much. However, one of the interesting aspects of our pre-Fall condition--that I barely mentioned before--was mankind’s dominion over the earth. Before our first parents sinned, they had complete control over all creation on the planet, and over their own bodies. They weren’t subject to disease, injury, or death, and all animal and plant life was under their feet. Of course, this was based on their subjection to the Lord: As long as they were submitting to his authority, creation would submit to theirs. But then they sinned against him and rebelled against his authority, and therefore lost this control, at least in part. We’re still the dominant species on earth, but our control of it is mostly based on force and fear. There are some domesticated animals (such as dogs), but most of creation only submits because it has to.

So that brings us to today’s passage. David stood in awe of God’s creation and God’s plan. He looked at the work of his Creator’s fingers: the sun, the moon, the stars, etc. and then looked in wonder at man’s place in the world. He was amazed that the Lord would place all things under his (man’s) feet and honor him with glory and majesty. All the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish that swim in the sea (except for Leviathan) are subject to us. We have lions and tigers in our zoos and circuses, beasts against which we’re no match physically. But most of it is not subject willingly, which we’re reminded of when a tiger snaps and mauls his trainer, or when we fall victim to cancer or old age. There’s that nasty Adamic curse again. . .

But the meaning for this Psalm runs much deeper than the surface. Were you aware that this passage is commented upon by the author of Hebrews? Read Heb. 2:5-9, and notice: the author is not talking about humanity in general (which the Psalmist was doing)—he’s talking about the Lord Jesus. Jesus was (and is) all human. He’s just as much man as he is God, and in him the curse of Adam has started its reversal. That’s because he’s the new Adam. The first Adam was the head of a new race of people, but he failed miserably. But then Jesus came forward and became the Second Adam, the prototype of the new humanity. Where the first failed, he succeeded. He submitted perfectly to the Father’s will, and won back the right to reverse the curse. Now all things are under his feet: From the smallest microbe to the greatest constellation of stars and planets, it’s all his. What humanity was supposed to be, he is.

So how does this affect us? In two major ways. First, all praise, honor, thanks, awe, and worship belong to him. He owns everything, and we owe him everything we have and everything we are. But there’s another aspect which I want you to note: Everything Christ is as a man (a very important phrase—we’re NOT Mormons) we will be (for more on this, see here). He’s the head of the new race of humanity, the prototype, and all believers are in him and are his co-heirs. All of creation is subject to him and when he returns, we’ll share in that. I don’t know all the details, but I’m really excited about it. Aren’t you?

Lord Jesus, all praise, all honor, all worship, all obedience belongs to you. I'm so excited to see what you have in store. Please make me ready for it.

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