The writer of the book of Hebrews did a masterful job of contrasting the differences between the Old and New Laws. Throughout the letter, numerous examples are given indicating the superiority of the Law of Christ over the Law of Moses. This was no doubt extremely helpful at its time of writing because of the temptation for some Jews to revert back to part, or all, of Judaism. Early in the letter, the writer indicates that during this dispensation of time, God has spoken unto man by His Son (Heb. 1:1-2). This was a direct statement that allowed Jewish Christians to understand that they were not to be following Moses, but rather Christ. It is with that understanding, that the writer then shows the magnificence of Jesus.
In verse four, Jesus is described as “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:4). Not even Michael or Gabriel can claim preeminence over the name of Jesus. Continuing to explain the greatness of Christ, the writer asked, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son” (Heb. 1:5)? Furthermore, it is recorded “…let all the angels of God worship him” (Heb. 1:6). This is important because it speaks to the Deity of Christ. Worship should only be given to God. Therefore, since the angels are commanded to worship Christ, He is God. This truth is echoed in other Scriptures as well. Perhaps the most well known of these verses is found in John chapter one. The apostle wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). All that one needs to do to identify the Word is read John chapter one verse fourteen. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The only time that God “was made flesh” was in the life of Jesus. The writer of Hebrews explicitly identified Jesus as Deity by writing, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom” (Heb. 1:8). Certainly, God the Son is greater than Moses or any angel! Neither Moses, or the angels, can be credited with creating this universe, but Jesus can. The Hebrews writer continued describing the Deity of Christ by stating, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail” (Heb. 1:10-12). Who was “in the beginning” creating the heaven and the earth? The answer is God (Gen. 1:1). Therefore, Jesus, the Lord, is God! This same truth is found in John chapter one at verse three. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
After showing that Jesus is above the angels, the writer of Hebrews then showed an interesting dichotomy. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). Amazingly, the same that is better than the angels, is also lower than the angels. None of the angels have ever tasted physical death. Angels are spiritual beings, not physical. None of them have sacrificed the way that Jesus did so that mankind could have the hope of everlasting life. Jesus died for every man! The Creator, who is above all, humbled Himself to be made lower than some of His creation, in order that man could have hope (Phil. 2:5-11).
When we look to Jesus, what do we see? Do we see Him as God, the Creator? He is! Do we see Him as a man in physical flesh? He was! Do we see Him better, and lower, than the angels? There has never been another like Jesus, and there never will be. It is He who is “the captain of their salvation” because He was willing to suffer for man (Heb. 2:10). By becoming our High Priest, Jesus did something for us that we all need. “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:17-18). ~ Corey Barnette
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