2 1It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. 2If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, 3do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation? First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. 4All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit. The Salvation Pioneer 5God didn’t put angels in charge of this business of salvation that we’re dealing with here. 6It says in Scripture, What is man and woman that you bother with them; why take a second look their way? 7You made them not quite as high as angels, bright with Eden’s dawn light; 8Then you put them in charge of your entire handcrafted world. When God put them in charge of everything, nothing was excluded. But we don’t see it yet, don’t see everything under human jurisdiction. 9What we do see is Jesus, made “not quite as high as angels,” and then, through the experience of death, crowned so much higher than any angel, with a glory “bright with Eden’s dawn light.” In that death, by God’s grace, he fully experienced death in every person’s place. 10It makes good sense that the God who got everything started and keeps everything going now completes the work by making the Salvation Pioneer perfect through suffering as he leads all these people to glory. 11Since the One who saves and those who are saved have a common origin, Jesus doesn’t hesitate to treat them as family, 12saying, I’ll tell my good friends, my brothers and sisters, all I know about you; I’ll join them in worship and praise to you. 13Again, he puts himself in the same family circle when he says, Even I live by placing my trust in God. And yet again, I’m here with the children God gave me. 14Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death 15and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death. 16It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. 17That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, 18he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About