Reading: Psalm 2:1-9; 8:1,6-9; Dan. 7:13-15; Heb. 2:1-3:1; 12:2.
Keep the Word open at Hebrews 2. Note the quotation from Psalm 8:6-9. World dominion in union with the Son of Man through the Cross; this covers a wide range in the Word of God. The two main sections in which we shall move in connection with this thought, are the gospel according to Luke and the letter to the Hebrews.
That phrase 'the son of man' is a title which the Lord Jesus took on Himself, which He assumed with definite purpose. We have it prophetically in the Old Testament, in a peculiar and significant connection between Ezekiel and the Lord Jesus. And the conditions and situation show a closer link between him and the Lord Jesus. That title 'Son of Man' put the Lord Jesus in a representative position. Now, Ezekiel is said by the Lord to be constituted a sign, "I have set thee for a sign"; and he is called 'son of man' very many times by the Lord. The very term 'son of man' embodies the principle of representation. He is called by that name as representative of God's thought and God's mind. And the Lord Jesus assumed that title Himself.
In Luke's gospel we see He is the representative Man according to God's thought. And it is significant and important to see there is a definite period in which He deliberately took that title. Luke 9:18-22: "Who do the multitudes say that I am? ....but who do ye say that I am? Thou art the Christ the Son of God... but He charged them and commanded them to tell this to no man, saying, The Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected... and be killed, and the third day be raised up." "The Son of Man" - that was His assumed title for the first time. He does not deny the title "Son of God", but charges them not to tell that to any man, it is something deeper. He took that title at a point where the Jews definitely rejected Him. He had been offered to the Jewish nation as their King, and on being rejected by that nation as its King, He takes the title of Son of Man - a racial term which embodies the whole race, and not just the Jewish nation. And at the point where one nation, the Jewish, reject Him, He embraces all nations; that is Psalm 2. It is a vain thing to meditate to cast Him out; they did attempt it. And in Acts 4 that very thing is taken up and they relate the second Psalm to Pilate and the Jews - something which these people fulfilled. But when Psalm 2 was carried out on the rejection side, it leads on to Psalm 8, where He is seen as the Son of Man. From one nation's rejection of Him, all nations are captured for the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus.
The point which has to be kept in view in all this is that the Lord Jesus has been constituted God's representative Man in glory in whom God has vested sovereignty and universal dominion, and the whole new race is gathered up into Christ to share that dominion with Him: "What is man that thou takest account of him? Thou madest him to have dominion" (Ps. 8:5-7; Heb. 2:6-8). In order for God to secure His end in Christ certain things are necessary. And it is important to see that the object and design of the death of the Lord Jesus is seen after He has been crowned with glory and honour. He is crowned with glory and honour before He is crucified and that gives colour and meaning to His death. And it explains the meaning of His transfiguration. When in the holy Mount He is crowned with glory and honour unto the suffering of death, glory was His personal transformation. What is the glory? The perfecting of His humanity. Christ as Man is spiritually and morally perfect before God and therefore capable of being glorified; for nothing imperfect will ever be glorified, to be glorified there must be spiritual and moral perfection.
Peter unwisely, not knowing what he said, put Him on a level with
Moses and Elijah. He is honoured above them, "Hear My Son"
is God's answer to this. Moses and Elijah are representatives of
dispensations, the law and the prophets; so the whole of the
dispensations are gathered up and excelled and surpassed in the
Lord Jesus and that prior to His crucifixion. It means this One
who is crucified is crucified as a perfect Man, and has already
been glorified on the ground of His perfect humanity.
Now, there is a great deliverance for us here, this is a message for the overcomer at the end-time. When He was crucified He had already been glorified on the ground of perfection as Son of MAN. What is the value of all this? "Since then the children are partakers of blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the hold of death, that is the devil" (Heb. 2:14,15). "He partook of blood and flesh". This is the literal Greek translation and means 'humanity, human nature'. "That through death... destroy him that had the hold [Gr. kratos] of death and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage". In what way had Satan the hold of death? This takes you on to Revelation 12:11: "They overcame him because of the blood of the lamb." That overcoming is at the point where the accuser of the brethren is cast down. Now this in Hebrews 2 links with that of Revelation 12. That is the way the enemy has the hold of death; he accuses man before God, and on God's own ground. He faces God with His own eternal word. He says, "You have said, 'the soul that sinneth it shall surely die.'" And he accuses them before God day and night as having sinned. See the cruelty of the enemy. He first provokes them to sin, and then charges them before God as having sinned, and in effect says to God, "You, to be true to Your own word and nature, must pronounce judgment and death upon them according to Your own law".
But you have One who has reached the perfection of manhood, who has a perfected human nature, and who is already glorified as Son of Man, and that ONE has gathered up into Himself the whole race. For God can see no man outside of Christ, for every man has been redeemed by that mighty death, and a man is only lost because he has rejected the redemption which God has provided in Christ, the Son of Man, this representative Person. He is a perfect One in whom there is no sin, and it is this One who through death destroyed him that had the hold of death. For where can you accuse this One of sin and bring this One to judgment and death? He tasted death for everyone, tasted death, not for Himself, but on the behalf of others. It is in what He is that He breaks the power of death, the devil can no longer have the hold of death over this One, He has utterly triumphed over death and holds the authority of death: "I became dead and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and hades" (Rev. 1:18). God must have a company who has come to recognise this and who stand upon the absolute perfection of Christ as the glorified Son of Man on their behalf, and in Him they are forever beyond the accusations of the devil.
It is a moral casting down, and the way of deliverance is to recognise what the Son of Man is morally for us before the Father, and as the answer of God to the accusations of the adversary.
The Son of Man was anointed of God. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 10:38). Now we see that Luke's gospel introduces the Son of Man (Luke 4). He is anointed as the Son of MAN with the Holy Spirit, the anointing gives Him an official character; anointing is always unto office. Immediately He is anointed as Son of Man and put by the anointing into His official position, He meets the Adversary. What is the meaning of the anointing? By the anointing He is not now an ordinary man but God has committed Himself to that Man, and the two are joined together in an official capacity. When that happens the adversary recognises something and that is, that with God joined to that Man, he (the adversary) is going to be ousted, and lose his dominion and kingdom. From that time therefore, the enemy must seek to destroy that Man or His official capacity, put Him out of functioning, and to frustrate the meaning of that anointing. And the enemy goes right through from the beginning to the end with that definite intention, and it almost seems at the very end he loses his morale, if he had any to lose! And he seeks to rush through the crucifixion of Christ, as the scenes so rapidly follow one another during those few hours, as if he would hurl one thing after another - anything to murder that One - but in the sovereignty of God, the enemy's last stroke fulfilled the very purpose of God.
We are called in Christ to share His anointing as members of His Body under whom, as Head, and upon whom the anointing rests for all His members; we in Him and with Him move into all the meaning of that anointing. And the object of our sharing the anointing is unto the destroying of Satan's kingdom and dominion, and the taking of dominion and authority which he has hitherto held. So it means, if we are going to stand in the power of that anointing, we are going, in a peculiar way, to meet the forces of hell; you will not have to go out to meet the enemy, all you have to do is to stand by faith in that anointing under your sovereign Head. And as you by faith stand into the fulness of the meaning of that anointing, it is a safe place and a place of triumph and spiritual ascendency over all the power of the enemy and his forces; for you stand in and fight in that victory already fully secured in the Head.
The church, His Body, is going to take the place of principalities and powers and the anointing secures that union with Christ as the Son of Man. To be in that position means the enemy is our sworn foe to fight us to the death. What ground of a full triumph do we have? Not in our fighting force, no matter how zealous or persistent we may be. No! It is in our faith position. Faith takes position in definitely appropriating and standing into what Christ did as Son of Man in His cross. We are driven into this position by the pressure of the enemy. The adversary is seeking to bring us under death in spirit and soul, and to bring death upon the body before God's time; seeking to bring death upon us in all realms, sometimes in one way and sometimes in another. I am not now speaking of that fragment of death related to mortal dying of the body, but death. And death is awful; it involves eternity, it means utter separation from God.
The devil's method of trying to bring under the dominion of death is to bring us under accusation, condemnation; to get us so under what we are by nature, so occupied with ourselves in our own evil nature in sin and failure, and so that we ignore what the Lord Jesus has done on His cross as representative Man, so that we are, in our attitude, repudiating what the Lord Jesus has done! Once we lose sight of Him and His accomplished work on our behalf, we come under the accusation and condemnation of the adversary and into the dominion of death. Therefore our ground of victory is to be "looking off unto Jesus seeing Him... crowned with glory and honour". He is there, exalted at the right hand of God as the perfect Man, who went to the cross in all His perfection and is now in the presence of the Father for me in my imperfection. That Son of Man represents me in glory, as "accepted in the Beloved One" I stand justified in Him in the very presence of a Holy God. That is our ground of victory, standing in all the merit and virtue of that shed blood. This is the secret of victory over the enemy at the time of the end.
Do we see the necessity of making everything of what the Lord
Jesus is and did as Son of Man? This is the faith that overcomes.
May the Lord show us what this means for spiritual victory;
overcoming all the accusing work of the devil by the blood of the
Lamb, the Blood that represents His incorruptible life, His
absolute perfect moral Being as presented before God on my behalf.
"If we confess our sins the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us
from all sin". Bring that ground upon which the enemy would
encamp in confession to God, and stand in the virtue of that
blood, in all its cleansing, annulling, overcoming power, and it
brings you into ascendency over all the power of the enemy.
The Lord Jesus is crowned with glory and honour as Son of Man. This was never said of Adam, he was never the son of man. He may have come to the place in God's thought for him through probation, if he had gone with the Lord.