Hebrews 2:5-9 – Jesus, better than angels are — 3D!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
July 1, 2012 AM
In the movies when they cannot come up with an original idea they often make remakes of the original. “Heaven Can Wait” is a good example of a movie that has been remade over 6 times and it was not the first based on the original idea! Now they rerelease movies by adding new scenes or by making them 3D. It does not necessarily make the movie any better. I kind of used this notion in order to introduce us to what the author of Hebrews does in his sermon concerning Jesus being way better than angels are — 3D! However, in this case the “sequel” the author of Hebrews writes is just as great as the original.
They say that repetition is good for the soul, and in the case of Hebrews it is excellent. It is excellent because the writer was not afraid to keep hammering home the teaching that Jesus is better than angels are. Let’s discover why…
READ: Hebrews 2:5-9
The great Christian writer Oswald Chambers wrote, “Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God’s will— even if it means you will suffer— is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God’s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not.” Chambers continues by writing that “Jesus never measured his life by how or where he was of the greatest use.” We know that Jesus measured his life by what he was sent to do. In fact, Hebrews teaches us…
I. Jesus is better than angels are because of what he has done! (Vv.5, 9)
1. Through the victories you gave, his glory is great; you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty. (Psalms 21:5 NIV)
1) The Jewish world of Jesus’ day was one of obedience to a myriad of often confusing regulatory laws derived by human beings, but accredited to have been given to them by the angels themselves. The gospel changed all of this. It was and now is a whole new world. This is why the writer states, “It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.” This new dispensation was often referred to as “the world to come,” it was the Messianic age, the world we now enjoy! Angels would no longer be needed as go-betweens, mediators, or messengers. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor!” As Paul delights, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name!” (Philippians 2:9 NIV) However, more than this, it is “because he suffered death” that we enjoy the salvation we do without any burden of the law! It was “by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone!” Jesus died on the cross so we might enjoy the grace of God! He died that we might live! John would write, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10 NIV) And again, Paul would tell us that Jesus “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:7-8 NIV) Jesus is way better than angels are because of what he has done!
EXAMPLE: There used to be a story that made the rounds way back before the internet concerning how some individuals have had heavenly visitors suddenly appear to warn them and then vanish. Beginning in the 1970s with Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s studies on so-called near-death experiences, which popularized the notion that people can, and should, develop relationships with “spirit or angelic guides,” New Age circles had been quick to exploit the growing fascination with angels. When I first became a Christian there was an unhealthy fascination with angelology, the study or veneration of angels. Lately they may seem to have drifted away, but they’ve merely wandered into the literature of self-help and healing. It is now possible to buy “How to Hear Your Angels,” “Working with Angels,” “In the Arms of Angels” and “Angels 101,” as well as angel dictionaries, encyclopedias and art books. However, the Bible makes it plain that while they are ministering spirits that serve God or mankind, they are no longer needed as mediators. The answer to why is simple, Jesus. We have learned from Hebrews that Jesus is better than angels are because of what he has done!
What Jesus did was so astounding that Paul would write, “God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.” (Romans 5:8 CEV) Now I do not know about you, but I never had anyone die for me before. But more than this not only die for me but also to be resurrected to display our new life in him, have you? Hebrews teaches us that…
II. Jesus is better than angels are because he proves God’s concern for mankind! (Vv. 6-8)
1. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” (Luke 7:16 NIV)
1) Using the testimony of King David concerning how God views us, the writer of Hebrews kind of uses it as a double meaning for us here in this passage. He quotes Psalm 8:4-8 which describes how God graciously entrusted his creation to mankind. David was amazed that finite man would be placed in charge as stewards by an infinite God. In quoting this passage the author of Hebrews uses this as a means to introduce the question that has always been on mankind’s mind concerning God, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” However, he is also using it as a teaching about Jesus as the Messiah. Interestingly, Jesus made reference to this when after his resurrection he explained to his disciples, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24:44 NIV) Not only did God care so much that he made mankind “a little lower than the angels” and “crowned him with glory and honor” he also did this for his Son Jesus! In fact, God “put everything under his feet.” God made his Son not only the sacrifice for all his creation but the ruler as well! “In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him.” Only “at present we do not see everything subject to him” because that will not occur until he returns again. Jesus remarked, “David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’” (Mark 12:36 NIV) and “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64 NIV) We know in fact that it is “Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us!” (Romans 8:34 NIV) We do not see everything subject to Jesus yet, but we will when he returns! Jesus is way better than angels are because he proves God’s concern for mankind!
EXAMPLE: Joe Stowell writes, “Last year an American radio preacher stirred up the interest of the mainstream media with his prediction that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011.” Of course, he later changed the date. “Anyone who knows Scripture well knew that this advance warning wasn’t accurate, because Jesus himself said his return would be ‘at an hour you do not expect’ (Luke 12:40). But I do have to admit that this prediction captured my attention. All of my life I’ve had to ‘be ready.’ As a child, I had to be ready for dinner by washing my hands. As an adult, being ready for important responsibilities continues to be an ongoing reality. But I’ve come to realize that nothing is more important than being ready for our reunion with Jesus.” Stowell is correct. One day Jesus will return and complete his kingdom work, however, right now he sits interceding for us! Jesus is way better than angels are because he proves God’s concern for mankind!
We have learned from Hebrews that Jesus is better than angels are because of what he has done! Jesus is way better than angels are because he proves God’s concern for mankind!
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2012 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.