March 3, 2020. Day 63: What is man?

Psalm 8:1-6. O LORD, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,

Why would God care about us? In this big universe aren’t we wholly insignificant specks? This is the question the psalmist asks in Psalm 8 – what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Have you ever asked a question like this? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Is my life important? Does God even care about me? Does he even know I’m alive?

What is Matilda that anyone should be mindful of her?

Psalm 8 offers us the answer to these biggest of questions. But notice Psalm 8 does not begin with man. It begins with God. God is Yahweh (LORD). The transcendent I AM. And God is adonai (Lord). The creator of the cosmos. The ruler of the heavenly hosts. Majestic and glorious.

Which makes the question about man all the more appropriate. Why would a God so big care about a person so small? A person like you?

Because in his infinite love, God created you and shared himself with you. You are the crowning glory of his creation. You aren’t just a slightly more evolved animal. You have been made in his image and likeness, just below Elohim and yet above the rest of creation. You have been crowned with God’s own glory and honor, his dominion and authority. You are God’s representative in his kingdom of grace and mercy. His vizier. His majordomo. If God is Pharaoh, you are Joseph.

You fill God’s thoughts; he is mindful of you. And you fill God’s heart; he cares for you. He knows all about you. He is concerned with what concerns you. He loves to hear you laugh and catches your tears in his bottle. He has numbered your hairs and your days. He loves you with his unconditional, loyal, covenant love.

But wait. Aren’t we forgetting something? What about our sin? What about all our failures? What about when we misrepresent God and reject his love?

Yes, it’s true, Psalm 8 is telling us what we SHOULD be. What we were created to be. It’s a hopeful psalm without the mention of the curse of sin. So then isn’t it just a dream? A reality that we will never fulfill? No. Because Psalm 8 is not first about you and me. It’s about Jesus.

Jesus is the Psalm 8 man. Christ took on flesh and was made a little lower than the angels. God crowned him with glory and honor on the cross. The cross of his humiliation and the crown of his shame was the glory of God’s grace and love on display. The glory of God’s justice and righteousness revealed in the death of Christ.

Jesus, the Psalm 8 man, was then crowned by God with glory and honor in heaven. Vindicated in his resurrection, seated at God’s right hand, and enthroned above every power save the Father himself. All rule, dominion, and authority given to the man Christ Jesus. Jesus now the ultimate image bearer. The goal of our humanity. The destiny of all creation. The commander of all life, and the conqueror of all death.

Hebrews 2:8-9. Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

What is man? Who am I? Why would God care about me?

Because “to live is Christ.” Because Christ has restored us to our place as the image bearers of God. He has crowned us with his glory and honor, and placed all things under our feet. No more enemies to fear, for Jesus has conquered them all. No more doubting our place in this life, for Jesus has given us his.

You

Do you struggle to believe that God cares about you?

You in Christ

In Christ you are crowned with glory and honor. How does this give your life meaning today?

Christ in you

How can you reflect the loving and just rule of Christ today?

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