The Epistle is our focus today, and we read an excerpt from Concordia Commentary: Hebrews.
Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.
At this point the priestly imagery of Christ as the anointed Priest is supplemented by the royal imagery of Him as the anointed King, God’s royal Son and heir. He is therefore both High Priest and King. As High Priest He atones for sin (2:17); as King He offers an amnesty from the debt of sin (10:18; cf. Is 61:1–2; Lk 4:17–19). As High Priest He appears before God on behalf of the congregation for their salvation (9:24); as King He has defeated their enemy by His death and resurrection in order to free them from fearful slavery to their foe (2:14–15). As High Priest He intercedes with God for sinners (7:24–25); they can therefore approach Him as King to receive God’s mercy and grace (4:16).
Yet while God’s decree of His enthronement in Ps 110:1a has been fulfilled, God’s promise in Ps 110:1b of victory over His enemies has not yet been fully enacted (Heb 2:8b). Jesus, the anointed Priest and King, awaits the time when “his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet” (10:13), the day of judgment for them (10:27) and deliverance for those who wait for his reappearance (9:28). That triumph is the ultimate goal of his rule. It is consistent with the hope from Psalm 8 that God would subordinate everything to Jesus in the world to come, a hope that has not yet been fulfilled (2:5–8). Apart from the earlier claim in 2:14–15 that by his death Jesus has destroyed the devil and has freed those who were victims of his tyranny, the sermon does not explain who those enemies are or how they are being brought under Jesus’ rule. This implies that Christ desires to deal with his human enemies by removing their sin and pardoning them rather than by controlling and punishing them. But if they harden their hearts they, like the rebellious Israelites, shall not enter into his rest, but perish (3:7–4:7; 6:4–8).
The imagery here comes from royal iconography in ancient Egypt. There Pharaoh’s enemies were depicted on the footstool of his throne to indicate that his basic role as the deputy of the sun god was to bring cosmic order out of chaos by subjugating the enemies of Egypt and extending his rule over them. That was modified in Psalm 110. It is a prophecy in which God himself declares that his rule on earth would not be accomplished by imperial means but by a future descendant of David, the anointed Son, who would be both King and Priest.
Devotional reading is from Concordia Commentary: Hebrews, pages 484–85 © 2017 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Video is of “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” © 2017 Concordia Publishing House.