17th September 2022
Read (Hebrews 2.5-13)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
As we have already seen, angels are God's servants sent out for the sake of Christ's church. They are mighty and glorious beings who were present at and involved in the delivering of God's law. Indeed the Lord has even given the angels some authority over this present world. In Deuteronomy 32v8 we read "When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God." In this verse the angels are described as "the sons of God" and it would appear that they have some role to play in God's providential governing of the nations.
Angels are truly majestic creatures and yet Christ is superior to them. With that stated we must remember that in the humiliation of Christ He was for a little while made lower than the angels. The Apostle quotes from Psalm 8v4-5 “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour, putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Jesus took on flesh and became like us in every way, yet without sin. For a little while He left His heavenly home and walked among us. He had to learn how to speak and walk. He attended funerals and weddings. He had brothers and sisters with whom He grew up. He learned a trade and willingly submitted to His earthly parents and earthly authorities. He was made lower than the angels for a time but by His death, resurrection and ascension He has been crowned with glory and honour and everything is in subjection under His feet.
What does this "subjection" look like? The Apostle explains that Christ is the King and nothing is outside His control (v8). We believe this to be true and although we don't yet see everything in subjection to Him (v8b) we do see Christ (v9). He was humiliated and exalted and because of His suffering and death, He has put an end to death for His followers (v9). In the age to come, the world, the universe and everyone in it will be under the glorious rule and reign of Christ Jesus. In that day there will no more sin or death. All wickedness and evil will be put away and Christ will walk with His people in a kingdom where righteousness dwells. If the angels are involved in this present age, the world to come will not be subject to them, only to Christ (v5).
Christ is the only One who deserves this lofty position. His exaltation is fitting and the subjection of all things is deserved because Jesus is the One who made all things and who owns all things (v10). He is the One who has brought many sons and daughters to glory by the merit of His suffering and death (v10b).
Jesus is the only begotten Son of God sent by the Father to redeem and sanctify a multitude. That multitude have been chosen by the Father from before the foundation of the world. Therefore the sanctifier (Christ) and those sanctified (the Church) have the one source (God the Father) and so Jesus is not ashamed to call Christians His brothers and sisters (v11). The finished work of Jesus is sufficient to save a people for His own possession and by faith we are adopted into the family of God and enter into an unbreakable union with Christ.
Christ has fulfilled Psalm 22v22 “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” by coming among His people and making known the Father. Christ took Isaiah 8v17 “I will put my trust in him.” and fulfilled it by trusting in God even in the midst of being forsaken at Calvary and again it was Christ who fulfilled Isaiah 8v18 “Behold, I and the children God has given me.” by gathering His people to Himself by the Word and Spirit.
As we take all of this together we are again convinced of Christ's superiority over the angels. We are thankful for God's heavenly servants but only Jesus is our elder brother and by faith in Him we have been given the right to be called children of God. Thanks be to God!
Q55 What is forbidden in the third commandment? The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of anything whereby God maketh himself known.