According to the Scriptures, Jesus Christ is 100% God and 100% man. As God, Jesus is perfect in His holiness and completely without sin. As man He was able to live in this world and then die on the cross. This plural nature is revealed to us and shown to be necessary in Romans 8:3-4 where Paul writes:
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Paul brings out the same union of the Divine and the human natures in the person of Jesus Christ again in Philippians 2:5-8:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Now, turning to Hebrews, we find a clear presentation of both the Divine and the human natures of Jesus in chapters one and two, as well as how and why they are united in the person of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews chapter one gives us several aspects of Jesus's Divine nature. For instance, in verses 2-3 Jesus is depicted as both Creator and Sustainer: "…by whom also he made the worlds…and upholding all things by the word of his power…" These are attributes of God only, as shown in Isaiah 44:24:
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Job 12:9-10 illustrates this as well:
Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
Hebrews chapter one goes even further presenting Jesus as God by saying in verse 6, "And let all the angels of God worship him [Jesus]." Now clearly, our God, who is a jealous God, would not command angels to worship someone other than Himself. God made that abundantly clear:
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14)
It would also be a clear violation of the First and Second Commandments:
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:3-6)
Then, in Hebrews 1:8, God expressly calls Jesus God when He says, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever". He also calls Jesus Lord in verse 10, where we read, "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:". These two verses definitely and unambiguously express the Divine nature of Jesus because, in Isaiah 45:5-6, God states:
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Just as Jesus is 100% God, He is also, as noted above, 100% man. So, after depicting the Divine nature of Jesus in Hebrews chapter one, chapter two then goes on to present the human nature of man in contrast to the preceding to the Divine nature. It does so by a short discussion of the unique position of man in God's creation:
For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (Hebrews 2:5-8)
Hebrews 2:5-8 picks up on an earlier statement from the Psalms:
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. (Psalms 8:3-8)
These passages tell us that man and the son of man are created "a little lower than the angels" but given dominion over God's creation. And, according to the Scriptures, angels are superior to man in power and might. For instance, in Psalm 103:20, David says,
Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
This idea is echoed in 2 Peter 2:11:
Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
In fact, from the destruction of 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night (2 Kings 19:35) to the paralyzing fear that struck the soldiers guarding the tomb of Jesus when the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone from the mouth of the tomb, examples of the superior power and might of angels abound in the Bible. Yet, God did not give dominion over His creation to angels. He gave dominion over His creation to mankind:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:27-28)
Now, regarding these passages we have to ask ourselves, is the Bible talking about man in general and the Messiah here, or just man? That is a good question because of the phrase, "the son of man" that appears in each of them. After all, the phrase, "Son of man", appears 88 times in the New Testament, with a capital "S", and is used as a title for Jesus Christ. It also appears one additional time, in Hebrews 2:6, albeit with the lower case "s", leading to the conclusion that Hebrews 2:6 refers to man in general and the man, Christ Jesus.
But does it really? To be sure, we need to look at a few other Old Testament passages to see if "son of man" in Hebrews 2:6 refers to Jesus or not. The first is found in Numbers 23:19:
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Numbers 23:19 is the first time that the phrase "son of man" is used in the Bible. However, it is obvious that it is being used here in relation to man in general rather than of God or the Messiah because it speaks of God not lying or going back on His Word, as opposed of men who do. In fact, in reviewing the 108 times "son of man" or "Son of man" is employed in the Old Testament, it appears to be used in most cases in regards to a specific man or to man in general. The only clear exception is found in Daniel 7:13 where it appears to refer to the Messiah:
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Now, one could argue that it is unclear who "son of man" refers to in Job 25:6 and Psalm 144:3, as well as Psalm 8:4, quoted earlier. However, in Job 25:6 and Psalms 144:3, it seems fairly certain that "son of man" is merely a variant of "man" in the previous clause used to emphasize the point via repetition and restatement of the previous clause:
How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? (Job 25:6)
LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! (Psalms 144:3)
With this in mind, it is reasonable to conclude that "son of man" is used similarly in Psalm 8:4 for the same purpose:
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
If that is the case, then it is also reasonable to conclude that "son of man" in Hebrews 2:6 is used in the same way:
But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
So, if Hebrews 2:6-8 does not refer to Jesus Christ, why is it there? Well, it provides a graphic contrast between the nature of man with the nature of God, as given in Hebrews chapter one. Seeing the contrast then allows us to get a sense of the amazing miracle of the union of God and man involved in the incarnation and its necessity for our salvation. That is why the very next verse in immediately picks upon the nature of man and applies it absolutely to Jesus Christ:
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)
Hebrews 2:9 intimately unites both the human and the Divine natures in the person of Jesus Christ and then gives us the reason: "that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." In doing so it helps us to see that the "mystery of godliness", spoken of by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:16, is more than merely "God was manifest in the flesh". The mystery of godliness is that Jesus Christ is simultaneously both 100% God and 100% man for the Divine purpose of rescuing fallen man from sin.
The rest of Hebrews chapter two then goes on to illustrate how the God-Man, Christ Jesus, was able to fulfill His work of redemption:
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:10-18)<>Actually, we can tie both the human nature of Jesus and His work of redemption in Hebrews chapter two back to the Divine nature and attributes of Jesus in Hebrews chapter one by comparing the two chapters with Philippians 2:5-11:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11 also reminds us what happened after the work of Jesus Christ was completed. Jesus was to exalted and worshiped by both man and angels, or, as Hebrews 1:3-6 says:
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
And the wonder of it all is that God did this because so that we, fallen humans, can become partakers of His Divine nature through the marvelous union of God and man in the person of Jesus Christ:
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:1-4) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:1-2)
Of course, we will not be exactly like Jesus, 100% man and 100% God. We will only be partakers of the Divine nature in that our sin nature is done away with:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit… Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:1-4,12-17)
We may have been created a little lower than the angels, but with Jesus Christ we have a glorious future:
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)