Read Hebrews 2:9
9 What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. (NLT)
There are people who spend years painstakingly removing the grime of years from artistic masterpieces. They do so in order that the true nature of those works can be revealed and enjoyed. Perhaps this is at the heart of what we might call Christian witness. The ‘masterpiece’ we seek to reveal is Jesus. The writer of our text today is at pains to tell his readers that no other spiritual realities can be compared to Jesus. He is at the heart of our faith.
For us to ‘see’ Jesus we may need to remove the accumulated mess of tradition and superstition and just plain wrong thinking that has obscured him. We may need to remove our own scarcely examined prejudices and passions that may distort how we see Jesus. True, the world at large has its own distortions of Jesus (mainly they like to ‘soften’ him). But we who bear the responsibility of witnessing to him have to ensure we have not created Jesus in our own image and likeness.
So we need to come again and again to the question: ”Who do we see Jesus to be?” “What does he mean to us?” In doing so, we are to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves and not be content with the answers we figure we ought to offer.
The German Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said that it was the task of the church to wash the face of Jesus, to remove the religious grime so that the true and irresistible face of Jesus could then be seen.