Jesus came as the Final Word from Heaven to earth. God got down in the dirt with us, as one of us.
There was no other way to say what needed to be said, and so God took a Body prepared and lived the life in Person, under the sun and upon the waves. A top down operation it was not, as we read in the first chapter of the book of Hebrews. He did not ride into the world followed by a mass of angels, though He truly could have as the Captain of the host of Heaven.
Instead, God entered the horizontal plain. He came to see us eye-to-eye. In doing so, He spoke as the truest Prophet, served as the highest Priest, and claimed the surest of all crowns as King of kings.
Through the ages, prophets were raised to deliver the messages. They came and went. A few were heard and their words were heeded at certain seasons.
Voices for God
Samuel, for one, was called by God to bring Israel back to right worship after the disastrous era of the Judges. They had left the tribes fragmented and defeated in their distance from the One who had delivered them from bondage in Egypt.
Samuel’s ministry was one of restoration. The Word came to him as a youth serving in the Tabernacle. A time of renewal and victory was the result of his ministry, as his preaching and teaching touched the people and moved them nearer to God.
But Samuel grew old and this prophet’s sons were weak men who did not walk in his ways. Thus, the people, in a foolish fit of human reason, demanded to have a king set over them like all the other nations. The Lord gave them over to their request. A throne was established and a king was set upon it.
This arrangement of rule did not make life better for Israel. The kings proved to be all too human. The majority of them governed with selfish ambition. Their ways are recorded in histories that relate a nation plagued by ups and tremendous downs.
And yet God kept sending His Word through people who chose to fear Him and hear Him.
Most prophets wound up like Jeremiah. He preached consistent and true words, but those words were dismissed and mocked. He suffered much and sang out sad laments as the nation and its royal city Jerusalem slid into deep judgment and heathen occupation.
Jeremiah told of the faithful Lord, the One whose mercies never end and are ever new. He delivered the promise of the new and living Covenant to come. This “expected end” would satisfy and replenish every weary soul as the Word would be written upon hearts rather than tablets of stone. “And I will be their God, and they shall be my people,” said the Lord (see Jeremiah 31:31-34).
To understand all of this and how it came to be, we have to read the book of Hebrews. In these pages, we get a clear presentation of who Christ is in His fulfillment of Old Testament truth.
The Throne Claimed
At last, the Son was sent. He did more than talk. He lived out the sentences written from eternity past. And He lived them out as one of us. He fulfilled all the Law of the Lord in word, thought, and deed.
Christ entered into Creation, His Creation, with all of its definition and decrees and limitations. Yes, God took on a body of flesh. He lived in this body according to the leading of the Spirit. The radiance of His glory was seen only briefly and by just three – Peter, James, and John – on the Mount of Transfiguration (see Matthew 17:1-2). Jesus lived within the confines of the universe He formed and upholds by the Word of His power, to the letter.
Why? He came to be the Man of all men to die the death for all men. And by His death He “by Himself purged our sins” (Hebrews 1:3).
After He finished this work of His, He ascended to take His seat at “the right hand of the Majesty on high.” We read of how the disciples watched Jesus rise through the clouds in Luke 24 and Acts 1. Here, in Hebrews 1, we are told where He went.The royal order of the universe was now restored because of Jesus’ accomplishment as the last Adam. Click To Tweet
The Son of Man became superior to angels through all of this, according to this passage. The royal order of the universe was now restored because of Jesus’ accomplishment as the last Adam (see 1 Corinthians 15:45).
The first Adam’s failure disturbed the original order established. Man was meant to exercise dominion through operating in the image of God as Heaven’s designated leaders of life on earth.
To reclaim the kingly position first assigned to man, Jesus became Man. God the Son redeemed all things and regained man’s superiority above the angels. Psalm 8 reveals that man was designed to be crowned with glory and honor and given “dominion over the works” of God’s hands (see Psalm 8:5-6). This status had been forfeited by the fall at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Son became a fellow of ours. He experienced humanity to the full, even unto death.
Reestablishing the Order
More than raising us into right standing with God, Christ’s obedience and offering of Himself also put the angelic realm back into its proper place.
The rebellion of Lucifer, referred to Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, spawned division. This bright, wise, beautiful being sought an exalted status; he lusted for the worship due only to the One Most High. Others sided with him and became demonic affiliates with this fallen prince who possessed power over the world system and its kingdoms, a point noted by Satan to Jesus in the wilderness temptation (see Matthew 4, Luke 4).
Hell lost. The devil was defeated.
Jesus the Son conquered the grave; the curse of death could not corrupt His perfection. As the fully resurrected Man, as a true Son of David, He inherited the Throne of Majesty.
Jesus came from Heaven and situated Himself underneath the cosmic realm of the air. He ambushed Hell and triumphed over the power it possessed by taking all wrath and rage as penalty for sin upon His Person. The fear of death that once imprisoned us was crushed.
All authority belongs to Him. And since we’ve been made one with Him, His authority is ours also.
What of the angels and their power? What are they to us? They are our servants as stated rhetorically in Hebrews 1:14: “Are not [angels} all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”
Yes, the angels are our ministers, as they were always meant to be. They serve God and because we are His joy, these beings are all around us. Let us therefore be wise, watchful, and kind according to this instruction: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).
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