Hebrews 2:8b-9 “In this putting everything in subjection to him, nothing was left that was not subjected. However, right now we do not see all things subjected to him. Rather, we see Jesus (who was for a little while made lower than angels) crowned with glory and honor on account of his suffering death, in order that, by the grace of God, He might taste death for everyone.”
After Paul quotes Psalm 8 and applies the Psalm to Christ, he talks about Christ’s reign over all things. Jesus Christ started to reign over all things when He was resurrected from the dead. All things are subjected to Him.
However, we do not see that right now, do we? We see many people who do not bow their knee to Jesus. We see many nations running pell-mell after idols of wealth and power. In fact, to say that Jesus reigns now seems like a very foolish thing to say! Paul realizes this and helps us by giving us a distinction: we can see with our physical eyes that not all things are subject to Jesus. However, we can see with our spiritual eyes that Jesus reigns in heaven. Paul is saying then, that our spiritual vision is more true to reality than our physical eyes, which often deceive us.
A second question that Paul addresses is whether Jesus is qualified to reign, given His humiliation on earth. Paul says that it was only for a little while, and that the exaltation of Christ completely wipes out the status of humiliation. He is now crowned as king.
Notice that Christ is crowned king because of His humiliation. Christ’s humiliation is His obedience even to the point of death, as Paul says in Philippians 2. God honored that obedience with resurrection. As one writer puts it, “The resurrection is God’s ‘Amen’ to Christ’s saying ‘It is finished.’”
Another point of interest: “tasting death” does not mean that Christ tasted death “just a little,” but rather that He tasted the full bitterness of the cup. The phrase does not belittle Christ’s experience of death, but rather heightens it.
One last point: “for everyone” does not mean everyone on the planet. Plainly, Christ’s death is a substitution. Since not everyone on the planet is saved, then the “everyone” is plainly limited. The following verses tell us who the “everyone” is: “many sons” in verse 10, and “His brothers” in verse 11. That is the “everyone” of verse 9. Jesus tasted death for all who believe, that we might not have to suffer a spiritual death, and might therefore have a bodily resurrection to which we can look forward, even as we experience spiritual resurrection when we come to faith in Christ.