Warning against rejecting Christ (2:1-4)
God’s law was announced to Moses by angels, but his salvation was made known to all humankind by his own Son. This is the more reason why people should not turn away from the gospel, but believe it (2:1-3a). Those who saw and heard Jesus Christ bore testimony to the divine origin of the gospel. Their testimony was confirmed by the miracles and other evidences of the Holy Spirit’s power that accompanied the early apostolic preaching (3b-4; cf. Acts 2:43; Gal 3:5).
Christ’s humanity and suffering (2:5-18)
Jews considered that human beings were inferior to angels. They therefore wondered how Jesus Christ could be superior to angels when in fact he was a man.
The writer points out that this human status of inferiority to angels is only temporary. God’s original purpose was that human beings should rule over all things, but because of sin they lost this authority and are themselves in need of salvation (5-8). Jesus Christ, in order to save them, took their position of being temporarily lower than angels, so that he might accept sin’s penalty on their behalf. He died in shame on a cross, but God exalted him to the highest place in heaven (9).
When Adam sinned, humankind lost its original God-given glory and suffered as a result. Jesus Christ therefore had to join in that suffering and bear it fully if he was to save a fallen race from the results of sin. Having suffered, Christ then entered his glory. Because he identified himself with the human race, those who now identify themselves with him have their sins removed and share his glory. Consequently, they can attain the position God originally intended for those he created in his image (10).
Three Old Testament quotations emphasize the union that exists between Christ and the men and women he has saved. He calls them his brothers and sisters, he trusts in God as they do, and he and these his children are God’s new people (11-13).
Christ became a human being to save human beings, and he did so by living with them and dying for them. His death was a victory, not a defeat, for by it he set people free from the power of Satan. Those whom he saves are now free from the fear and bondage that sin brings (14-15). The reason Christ descended to a status lower than angels was that the people he wanted to save were lower than angels (16). By sharing their experiences of human life, he could be their representative in taking away sin. He could also be their helper in gaining victory over life’s temptations (17-18).