The writer of Hebrews observes that God hasn’t subjected the world to come to angels. Then he quotes Psalm 8, which marvels at God putting creation under the lordship of humans. Yet it was not to run of the mill humanity that God subjected creation. After the fall, people lost their lordship in a way; we became tyrants, selfishly exploiting a creation that ever rebels. But before God said of people, “They will rule,” He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness….” (Gen. 1:26). God put everything under the feet of *His image*, not merely people. That was His original intention.
If God intended for His image to rule creation, then only a son—one in His likeness—could fulfill that intention. Here again the writer brings us to Jesus. He quotes Psalm 8 about mankind generally but also about Jesus specifically. Jesus is the Son and image we were meant to be. He is the Son that brought many sons to the glory God intended by suffering and dying on the cross.
At the cross, where Jesus was made lower than the angels, the Son showed the image of His Father most clearly. First John four tells us, “God is love” (1 John 4:16). A chapter earlier John says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us” (1 John 3:16). The Son’s death on the cross imaged the Father who loves us.
It is for this reason that God subjects everything to Jesus—He is the Son, the image God intended to rule creation.
And how does this One rule? He tasted death for everyone (2:9); He suffered to sanctify us (2:10-11); He calls us brothers instead of subjects (2:12); He destroyed the devil and the power of death (2:14); He is merciful and faithful because He walked a mile—and the extra mile—in our shoes (2:17-18).