Hebrews 2 – Angels

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The writer of Hebrews talks about angels more than any other book in the Bible except for the book of Revelation.  This is a topic that is highly interesting and often gripping to people, especially in Western Culture (North America and Europe) where the notion of a spiritual realm that impacts the physical has been highly dismissed by many.

However, the reality of a spiritual realm that both impacts and often times shapes the world around us is a reality that the Bible both addresses and assumes is true.  There are, according to Scripture, beings that we know as angels who are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation,” as the writer points out here.  What their exact work is, though, we may not be so clear on.

Scripture also addresses the other side of the Spiritual realm, that of Satan and his demons and the evil that he brings to this world.  We know that this is a reality that we come up against all the time as well.  The enemy is always working to thwart the plans of God and to deter, detract, discourage, and derail God and His work in the world through the Church.  Paul points this out in his letter to the church in Ephesus:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

There is a really important point that the writer of Hebrews is trying to make here, however, which is that, as real as angels are, they are not the ones that bring salvation, Jesus is.  Jesus Christ is infinitely more important than the angels, and all creatures in heaven and on earth are under his reign.  So as fun as angels can be to talk about, and we should talk about them, it is much more important to keep our eyes focused on the one who brings salvation to the whole world.

Hebrews 1 – God's Mic Drop

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Throughout history, God has spoken to His people through a number of ways.  God brought forth great leaders for the people in Abraham, Moses, Joshua, the Judges, King David, and all of the prophets that He sent to the people of Israel.  All of these people and the events surrounding the testimony of Scripture are part of what we call “redemptive history,” God’s actions since the very beginning to bring about the salvation and restoration of His people.

All of this, the author shows us, culminates in the climax of God’s redemptive work through sending of His Son Jesus Christ to the earth.  Everything before pointed to the coming of the Messiah and everything after His coming was impacted by it.

The Son wasn’t simply just another prophet either or great Old Testament leader either.  Hebrews’ author makes it very clear that the Son is indeed God in every aspect of who and what God is.  He is the “exact representation of His being…” and, more than this, sits at God’s right hand ruling and reigning with God.

There are some important distinctions made here too between the authority and magnitude of the Son and other heavenly beings such as angels.  In the Old Testament, there is a tradition of angelic appearances, something that represents the work and power of God through a physical appearing of an Angel.  The author is careful here to set the Son apart from that tradition.  Jesus is much more than your average “run of the mill” angel.  He’s also greater than the great archangels that we encounter in Scripture too.

We could talk much more about the theology of angels, who they are and what they do, but the point that the author is trying to make here doesn’t actually have to do with whether angels exist.  Rather, the author is saying that, whatever exists in heaven or on earth, in the physical or the spiritual realm. the Son is vastly superior to all of it.  What’s more?  It is the Son, in all His superiority, who comes down to earth to become the atoning sacrifice for our sins that we may be reconciled to God through Him.