Thursday, June 1st, 2023
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Wells of Living Water Commentary Wells of Living Water
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Hebrews 1". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ lwc/ hebrews-1.html.
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Hebrews 1". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
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Seeing Christ in Hebrews
The Book of Hebrews ever stands before us as a great Bible masterpiece on the glories of Christ. The 1st chapter, which we are using, for the introduction, demonstrates that Christ is, in at least seven stated points superior to angels.
We need not marvel at this, inasmuch as the opening verses of Hebrews establish the Deity of our Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ. In these verses, Christ is set forth as follows:
1. He is God's Son.
2. He is the Heir of all things.
3. He made the worlds, or, planned the ages.
4. He is the brightness of the Father's glory, and, the express image of His person.
5. He upholds all things by the greatness of His power.
6. He purged us of our sins.
7. He is set down at the Father's right hand.
With the sevenfold glories of Christ before us, let us give our attention to this one thing: The sequential superiority of Christ to angels.
1. To none of the angels said God at any time, "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee." Jesus Christ is, in the purposes of God, the eternal Son. He is, however, so far as His earth life is concerned, the only begotten Son.
2. The angels are commanded to worship the Son. The occasion of Hebrews 1:6 , is that of Christ's coming the second time into the inhabited earth. The 5th verse spoke of the first coming of Christ, when He was begotten of the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin. From Hebrews 1:5 to Hebrews 1:6 we have passed over twenty centuries, and we are on the threshold of Christ's Return. He comes again not as the only-begotten, but the first-begotten from the dead. When He comes again He comes, as the risen and ascended Christ, in His glorified body.
3. The angels are ministering spirits. They are ministers of judgments toward evil men, but ministers of watchcare, and succor, toward saints. In this, however, they are in subjection to Christ, as servants.
4. The Son, in Hebrews 1:8 , in contrast to the angels, in Hebrews 1:7 , is thus addressed: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom." This statement acclaims Jesus Christ as God, and in so acclaiming Him, establishes, forever, His superiority to angels, who are servants of the Kingdom.
5. In Hebrews 1:9 Jesus Christ is announced as having been anointed by God with the oil of gladness above His fellows. His fellows are they who serve Him, and who sound His praises. He has an oil of gladness above them, because His accomplishment, in the redemption of men, is far above theirs.
6. Hebrews 1:10 carries us back into the beginning of all things and it establishes the fact of Christ's superiority to angels inasmuch as He laid the foundation of the earth, and inasmuch as the heavens are the works of His hands. He not only is before His creation, but, when they wax old as a garment, and perish; He remains.
It is an illuminating statement that the earth and the heavens, shall be folded up as a vesture, and be changed; while the Lord Jesus Himself remains forever the same, and changes not.
7. In Hebrews 1:13 Christ is acclaimed above angels, because never unto angels, but unto the Son, did the Father say: "Sit [Thou] on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool."
8. Christ finally is acclaimed superior to angels because they, as spirits, minister to the heirs of salvation, while the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord and Saviour and Master and the All in all to those who are saved.
I. SEEING CHRIST AS THE FILE LEADER OF SAINTS (Hebrews 12:2 )
In the 1st verse of Hebrews 12:1-29 , the saints are urged to run with patience the race which is set before them. They are, to be sure, compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses. They, however, are not to run their race looking unto the witnesses, although they remember that witnesses are looking upon them. They are to run, looking unto Jesus.
The verse as a whole teaches us that the path, which we are now treading, is one over which our Lord has gone.
1. Christ is a File Leader in the sense that He has prepared for us the way. Yea, He is Himself the Way from earth to Heaven. He passed ahead of saints, and laid down the. road, upon which they should travel. We meet nothing excepting what He has met. He was tempted in all points like as we are, apart from sin. He met Satan and triumphed over him, vanquishing him. He met every difficulty of life as a conqueror. He now leads us in the train of His triumph. He paved the way; we follow after. His victory becomes ours. He is the File Leader. He is the Pioneer. We pursue upon the trail which He forged.
2. Christ is a File Leader in the sense that He preceded us by going down into hades, grasping the keys of death and hell and then went up to the Father. He is, even now, saying unto us: "Because I live, ye shall live also." All the way from His cradle to the Cross, from the Cross to Paradise, and from Paradise, back in resurrection to earth again; then, from earth up through the starry spheres, to the right hand of the Father All the way Christ was a File Leader of saints. He delighted in speaking of His being the Shepherd, who goes before the sheep, and leads the way. Let us faithfully follow.
II. SEEING CHRIST IN A THREEFOLD MINISTRY (Hebrews 9:26 ; Hebrews 9:24 ; Hebrews 9:28 )
There are three remarkable statements in the three verses which are before us.
1. "He appeared to put away sin" (Hebrews 9:26 ).
2. "Now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24 ).
3. "Unto them that look for Him shall He appear" (Hebrews 9:28 ).
It is written that a threefold cord is not easily broken. The threefold cord, in the Scriptures above, present Christ in a threefold way.
1. He hath appeared to put away sin. Our minds immediately go back to Calvary. It was there that He put away our sins, suffering the Just, for the unjust. We love to take our place at the Cross, as we see the Saviour die.
2. He doth appear now in the presence of God for us. This is a wonderful ministry of our Lord, and it is absolutely vital to us. First of all it tells us that the One who was dead, now liveth. This imparts unto us hope in the assurance that we too shall live.
3. Unto them that look for Him shall He appear. We worship a Christ who died, and who also rose again. We worship a Christ who is risen, and who also has ascended. We worship a Christ who is with the Father, at His right hand, and who also is coming again in the clouds of Heaven.
If you will write the three things, above, down in your memory and fasten them there, you will find that first of all you have One who saves you from the penalty of sin. You next have One who is saving you from the power and dominion of sin. You also have One who shall come apart from sin to take you to Himself. You have justification at the Cross; sanctification in Christ, at the Father's right hand; and glorification, when He shall appear.
III. SEEING CHRIST AS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST (Hebrews 4:14-16 )
1. As a Great High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ was perfected through suffering. He came down to earth as a Saviour. He then ascended to the Father as a High Priest. There is, herein, a dual ministry. He is not a High Priest upon the Cross. He is not a propitiation for our sins at the Father's right hand. However, His propitiatory work, and His high priestly work is carried on by virtue of His earth life, and, of His Calvary suffering.
The Book of Hebrews puts it this way: "We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." It is for this cause that we may come boldly to the throne of grace, and obtain mercy in the time of need.
We do not know how you feel about it, but we rejoice in the fact that the One up there has been down here. It is a joy to us to know that our High Priest has walked along the pathway where we now walk. It is such an One who ever liveth for us.
2. As a Great High Priest, we have One, therefore, who KNOWS and knowing CARES, and caring stands ready to HELP in our time of need. He KNOWS because He was down here, therefore He knows experimentally. He knew what it was to be poor, and weary, and hungry. He knew what it was to be maligned, misrepresented, misunderstood.
He also CARES. He cares because He is a sympathetic High Priest. This is comforting indeed. Great is His faithfulness. He watches over us with His eye.
He also HELPS. Thank God, that there is never an hour of testing, of trial, of struggle, of undertaking in His behalf, but that He is at our side.
He walked in the flesh, He tasted our woes;
Was tested and tried in all points as we,
Excepting in sin from that He was free.
He knows and He cares, our burdens He shares;
Our Priest, sympathetic, and tender is He,
He walks at our side, our Helper to be.
IV. SEEING CHRIST AS THE ONE WHO EVER LIVETH (Hebrews 7:25 )
1. Our Christ is not a dead, buried, forgotten Christ To be sure our Lord did die, and He was buried, but He is not dead. If He were dead, we would be, of all men, the most miserable. The hope of the resurrection is the hope of the Christian.
2. Our Christ is a Living, Glorified Christ. The Christian may think of Christ sometimes as the One who was. This is entirely legitimate, but we think of Him all the time as the One who is. In truth, the fact that He lives, glorifies everything that He was.
If we serve a Christ who was and not the Christ who is, our Lord and our religion would of necessity take a place by the side of all other religions which are based upon mere men, who have passed and gone.
3. Our Christ is One who not only lives, but lives forever. He has passed beyond death, into life forevermore. In the Christ, whom we serve there is nothing therefore which can mock us. He will justify every hope we place in Him, and satisfy every longing of our soul. Since He ever lives, He ever watches, He ever guides, He ever prays, He ever loves.
There is not a day, an hour, or a moment, that He is not near; for He not only ever liveth, but He ever liveth for us. He is, to be sure, on the mountain top of glory, at the Father's right hand. However, He is not so far away, but that His eye can see us, and His hand can lead us. He still calleth us by name, and He will lead us through to victory.
4. We may safely draw near, therefore, in the full assurance of faith. We are looking through an open door into the glory. He sees us from Heaven, and we, with an eye of faith, may see Him in Heaven. His throne room is our room. We are invited to draw near in a full assurance of faith. He wants us to talk to Him and to confer with Him about everything that concerns us.
V. SEEING CHRIST REJOICING IN THE JOY SET BEFORE (Hebrews 12:2 )
We have already considered the first part of this verse. We now take up the statement, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
1. We have before us an anticipating Christ. He did not live, on merely past achievements, although His works of old were full of glory. He wrought in a new sphere, when he was found in fashion as a man. He wrought with a new objective. As He went to the Cross He saw, in contemplation, the fruition of the travail of His soul, and was satisfied.
When He comes again, and with Him brings our Immortality, that is our glorified bodies; when He comes again and we are caught up to meet Him in the air, He will be exceeding glad.
His coming for His saints does not, however fulfill all of His anticipated joy. He will also come to the earth, and deliver His chosen and beloved people. He will come to them from whom, for a while, He has hid His face. Then He will rest over them in love; He will joy over them with singing.
His redemption of Israel, however, is not yet all of the joy which was set before Him. We must go into the New Jerusalem, and into the new heavens and the new earth, to see the unfolding of much of that joy. It is in the ages to come, that we will see the exceeding riches of His grace. As this unfolds, from aeon to aeon, before our gaze, we see more and more of the joy which He had set before Him.
2. We should make His anticipating joy, an ensample unto us. If our Lord lived, looking for things to come, why should not we?
Onward, and never back,
My eyes look on for aye;
Onward and never back,
I press a forward track,
The joy I shall not lack
At break o' day.
Onward, with mighty stride,
The joy I almost see;
Onward with mighty stride,
All else I cast aside,
To reach whate'er betide
God's joy for me.
VI. SEEING CHRIST AS THE EVER FAITHFUL ONE (Hebrews 13:5 )
1. He is faithful to His own. The Bible tells us that father and mother may forsake their child, but the Lord will never forsake us; for He hath said: "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." We may wander away from Him and forget Him days without number; we may ever scatter our ways under every green tree; we may play the harlot, but He will never leave us.
All day long He holds forth His hands, even to a disobedient and a gainsaying people,
(1) He will not leave us in the hour of our trouble. It is then that He will come over the waves of our affliction, saying, "It is I; be not afraid."
(2) He will not leave us in the hour of our persecution. He even says: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely."
(3) He will not leave us in the hour of our penury. He will the rather say unto us: "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
It is written "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."
2. He is faithful to His promises. There is not a word, from Him, that is not "yea and amen" in Christ Jesus. Every promise of the Lord we may place our feet upon. And, if it is given to us, we may claim it as our own. He who walks upon the more sure Word of God, will never find himself sinking 'neath the waves of despair. God always tempers His wind to the shorn lamb. He carries His sheep in His bosom.
He walks with me and talks with me,
Along my pilgrim way,
He ne'er forsakes, but undertakes
Until the break of day.
Nothing can cheer the believer's heart more than to know that his Lord is near. The wee child delights in feeling the touch of his mother's hand, and we delight in the touch of the Master's hand.
VII. SEEING CHRIST AS THE COMING ONE (Hebrews 10:37 )
Our text reads: "For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry."
1. Has the little while seemed a long while? Perhaps, to us, it may seem long, but it is not long with Him. The faithful waited for the first coming of Christ for four thousand years. We have waited but two thousand. With the Lord one thousand years is but a day, and even with us, as we look backward, it seems but a handbreadth since we were a child. Our lives are short. They are as the grass which today is, and tomorrow withereth away.
2. When the little while is fulfilled the Lord will not tarry. We often hear, and we have even used the expression, We will do this or that if the Lord tarry. We should the rather say, If the Lord has not yet come.
All of God's prophecies come true on schedule time. We read of Christ's advent as a Babe, "And when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law."
We read of the coming of the Holy Ghost, "And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, * * there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind."
Thus, we may also assure our hearts that the coming One, will come and will not tarry. He will come on time. That train is never late.
3. All the world of His enemies cannot hold Him back. The Bible says, "He that shall come will come!" That is as much as to say, that there shall not fail one thing that is spoken of Him.
The kings of the earth, and the earth peoples may confederate against the Son of God, but He who sits in the heavens will laugh at them. In spite of their enmity, in spite of the nation's efforts to enthrone the antichrist, and thus forever to dethrone the Lord; in spite of it all, the Lord will come.
Hebrews glorifies Christ the Creator and magnifies Him as our All in all. Out of the last years of the life of Haydn, the matchless musician, comes an incident of gripping interest and stirring power, and whenever I think of the thoughtless ingratitude of mankind to the Giver of every good thing and every perfect gift this story of the renowned composer of the oratorio known as "Creation" comes into my mind.
In the Music Hall at Vienna in the year 1808 a rendition of this production was being made by a number of celebrated artists assisted by an equally celebrated orchestra and a great chorus of well-trained singers. Haydn himself was there, having been brought into the hall in a wheel chair. The performance began, and as it proceeded from line to line it carried the audience into a transport of almost irrepressible enthusiasm. As the passage, "And there was light!" was reached, and the chorus and orchestra burst forth in full power, the vast assembly, keyed to a higher pitch by the presence of the venerable author, could no longer restrain itself.
In the midst of the tumult the enraptured throng by one spontaneous impulse leaped to its feet. The aged composer was seen struggling in an effort to rise from his wheel chair; upon his feet, with the rapturous applause of the people ringing in his ears, he motioned for a moment of silence, and, lifting his hand high toward Heaven, he cried with all the strength he could muster, "No, No, not from me, but from thence comes all." When he had so cried out, giving to God the glory and the praise, he fell back in his chair weakened and exhausted, and was taken from the hall before the moistened eyes and solemnized hearts of the admiring crowd.
"From thence, from God cometh all!" And yet there is this ingratitude that cares not and accepts His bounty with less of recognition than a brute that eats from his master's hand. He is the author of every good that falls across our way. W. E. Biederwolf.
The Superiority of Christ to Angels
Jesus Christ was God in ages past; He was God, manifest in flesh; He is God in the ages to come. In His Deity, He is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. He was not less than God, in the humiliation of His incarnation: He is not more than God in the added glories of His exaltation.
There are some who would teach that Jesus Christ, in eternities past, was no more than perfect angel; that in His earth life, He was no more than perfect man; and, that, in His ascension He became God as the reward for His sufferings. This is both unscriptural, and impossible.
The chapter we are studying today opens with the statement, that God's Son was the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person. It states that He upheld all things by the Word of His power.
The question which confronts us is Why were the superiority and inferiority of Christ to angels so strongly set forth in Hebrews? The Lord Jesus was, always, and for ever, very God of very God. Why then this comparison to angels? The answer to this query is simple. It is the earth life of the Lord Jesus which is under discussion; it is His humiliation, and exaltation, which is before us.
The Lord was made lower than the angels, for the suffering of death; that He might be made higher than the angels, in His inheritance in the saints, and in the new name, which His Calvary work obtained for Him.
For a few moments we wish to remind you how the angels ever sought to serve Christ, to glorify Christ, and to magnify His Name. When Christ created the Heavens and the earth, we are sure that the angels of God shouted for joy.
Isaiah saw the vision of the seraphim as they cried one to another, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory."
Ezekiel, in the visions of God, spake of the angels as The Living Creatures. He said they were as the appearance of lightning, as they ran and returned. As the Spirit was to go, so they went. When they went, Ezekiel heard the voice of their wings. This was like the noise of great waters; as the voice of the Almighty. These living ones were the cherubim, and the glory of the Lord followed them.
The angels of God, in Old Testament times, were quick in their obedience. Among them were Gabriel and Michael, who were given special commissions unto Daniel.
The angels are innumerable. We read, "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them."
In other Scriptures, they are spoken of as an innumerable company; again they are "as ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." Their power is beyond human imagination.
During Christ's earth life the angels ministered unto Him; when He comes again they will return with Him.
Round the throne of God in Heaven,
There ten thousand angels stand.
Hear ye now their acclamation,
Heaven's mighty angel band.
Glory, honor, might and power,
Strength and wisdom evermore,
Unto God, the Father given
And the Lamb whom they adore.
Seraphim for ever saying,
Holy, holy, holy, Thou
Thou the Lord and God Almighty
Let all honor wreathe Thy brow:
Angels with their harps are saying
Worthy is the Lamb once slain;
And all Heaven joins the chorus
Praising Him who lives again.
I. MADE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS (Hebrews 2:7 ; Hebrews 2:9 )
Jesus Christ was made lower than the angels and yet we will soon discover that He is "so much better than the angels." Could He be both lower than the angels and also better than they?
The two statements seem contradictory, but they are not.
Let us read our verse carefully. We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death. The explanatory sentence means everything. Christ was lower than the angels, because, for the time, He took upon Him a body prepared of God, a body of flesh and of blood. He took this body that He might have blood to shed. It was for this that "He took not upon Him the form of angels." Had He taken such a form He could not have died. The spear thrust into His side would not have caused the blood and the water to gush out.
Jesus Christ came from the glory of His Father. There, the angels of God sang His praises, and worshiped His being. He humbled Himself, however, and took upon Him the form of man, and became obedient unto death even the death of the Cross.
It was for this cause that Christ did not take upon Himself the nature of angels, but He took upon Him the seed of Abraham.
It was only for "a little while" that He was lower than the angels who worshiped Him; for, during the period of His self-humiliation, the angels recognized His Deity, superiority, and power.
At His birth they sang their glad magnificat. During His earth life, and particularly in the hour of His deepest anguish, they ministered unto Him.
Jesus Christ, who, for the time was made lower than the angels, was yet, all the time, greater than they. Even in His body He was very God of very God, and none knew of this, more than the angels.
"Angels, help us to adore Him,
Ye behold Him face to face!
Sun and moon, bow down before Him!
Dwellers all in time and space,
Praise Him! praise Him!
Praise with us the God of grace!"
II. MADE SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE ANGELS (Hebrews 1:4 )
The verse before us is even harder to comprehend than the one we have just considered. If Jesus Christ, when He was lower than the angels, was yet, as we have stated better than the angels, in the glory of His Godhead, how can He be made better than they?
Once more it is necessary for us to get the context. Mark the words carefully, "Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." What was that name which He obtained, by virtue of His humiliation and His Cross? What was that name which was given Him, when He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High? We read, that God hath given Him a Name, that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
This Name is the name of His inheritance; which is His, by right of His death. Had He remained with the Father He could never have been called either "Jesus," or, "Lord." He was made lower than the angels for the time, in order that He might be made higher. Made lower in the body of His humiliation; that He might be made higher in the names of His coronation.
What was the inheritance He obtained? We are that inheritance. This is the message of Ephesians 1:11 : "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance."
He is our Lord, our Jesus, our Christ. We are His jewels. He obtained us by way of the Cross.
No angel, nor archangel could have become Redeemer. They did not have the value necessary to pay the price of redemption. Jesus Christ, Creator and Lord, could alone become Saviour; and, in so becoming, His superiority to angels was fully made known.
"Frail children of dust,
And feeble as frail
In Thee do we trust,
Nor find Thee to fail:
Thy mercies how tender,
How firm to the end!
Our Maker, Defender,
Redeemer, and Friend!
O measureless Might!
While angels delight
To hymn Thee above,
The humbler creation,
Though feeble their lays,
With true adoration
Shall sing to Thy praise."
III. BETTER THAN THE ANGELS IN HIS RESURRECTION (Hebrews 1:5 )
Our verse follows the verse which has just been discussed. Verse four referred to Christ's inheritance, by which He received His more excellent name. Verse five refers to His resurrection. Unto no angel could God have said at any time, "Thou art My son"; and, certainly to none of them could He have said at any time, "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee." Jesus Christ was the "eternal Son," but He was named "Son of God," because He was begotten of the Holy Ghost. The angel said to Mary, "Therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God."
Christ, during the period of His incarnation, however, was "despised and rejected of men"; numbered with the transgressors. When they finally took Him from the Cross, and laid Him in Joseph's tomb, to all human conceptions, He was also rejected of the Father. This, however, was far from the truth. When Christ came from the dead, the Father said, "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee."
Paul preaching at Antioch, said, concerning the promise which God had made unto the fathers, that He had "fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He had raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the Second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee."
Unto no angel was this ever said. No angel ever suffered for the sins of men. No angel ever was buried, and none ever rose again. All of the angels of God, give unto the Son glad acclaim, as they cry, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain."
"Glory to God on high!
Let Heaven and earth reply,
'Praise ye His Name!'
His love and grace adore.
Who all our sorrows bore;
Sing aloud for evermore,
'Worthy the Lamb!'
While they around the throne,
Cheerfully join in one,
Praising His Name,
Ye who have felt His Blood
Sealing your peace with God,
Sound His dear Name abroad!
'Worthy the Lamb!'"
IV. BETTER THAN ANGELS IN HIS SEAT IN HEAVEN (Hebrews 1:13 )
"But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?"
God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and placed Him at His own right hand. God never did this for an angel. Angels are ministering spirits, not enthroned equals. They are the worshipers, and not the worshiped. The Son is for ever God. Deity was not a thing to be grasped at, with Him. Before the world was, He was God. When He came to the earth, He came forth from the Father; came from the glory that He had with the Father before the world was. When He went back to the Father, He returned to His original position of glory.
What then was the significance of Christ's exaltation? Did not God exceedingly exalt Him? His exaltation stands in contrast to His humiliation. The Cross of Christ brought Him low, but did not make Him less God. The exaltation lifted Him high, "exceedingly exalted Him," but did not make Him more God. His exaltation was the added glory, obtained by His added suffering in man's redemption saints are that glory.
The reason an angel could not be acclaimed, be seated on the Father's right hand, is because he could not have taken on him the seed of Abraham, and could not have become the Son of God, and the Saviour of those who believe. An angel did not possess the value to die a substitutionary death, the just for the unjust; no more than he possessed a value sufficient to sit on the Father's throne.
An angel, therefore, could not sit on the Father's right hand until His enemies were made His footstool, Jesus Christ, the Lord, could do both. To Him all must bow, and all must confess Him Lord, to the glory of the Father.
"Let us sing of the love of the Lord,
As now unto Him we draw nigh;
Let us sing to the praise of the God of all grace,
For the love that gave Jesus to die!
Oh, how great was the love that was shown
To us! we can never tell why
Not to angels, but men; let us praise Him again
For the love that gave Jesus to die."
V. BETTER THAN ANGELS IN THE AGE TO COME (Hebrews 2:5 )
The next age, the age to come, is the age of Christ's reign. He is to come to earth riding upon the white horse. His Name will be King of kings, and Lord of lords. He shall rule in righteousness, and He shall rule with a rod of iron.
No angel could take to himself such an honor, nor achieve such an authority. Angels are holy and mighty, but they are ministering spirits to men, and not lords over men.
Men are a little lower than the angels now, because they have bodies subject to death; bodies that circumscribe their activities. However, men are, in grace, lifted higher than angels. They shall judge angels. Therefore, angels cannot rule over the men, they are commissioned to serve; the men who will ultimately become judges of angels.
Jesus Christ is not only "a greater than Solomon," but He is a greater than Solomon, and David, and Moses, and John the Baptist, and all men combined. He is Creator; men are the created. In Him we all live and move, and have our being. Therefore, by right of creation, and by right of purchase as well, Christ has the right to rule.
Let us not sing,
"I want to be an angel
And with the angels stand;
A crown upon my forehead,
A harp within my hand."
The position of glorified saints will be that of reigning with Christ. If we go outside the camp and bear with Him His reproach; then, we shall go inside the camp, with Him, and share His glory.
"The head that once was crown'd with thorns
Is crown'd with glory now:
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty Victor's brow.
The highest place that Heaven affords
Is His by sovereign right:
The King of kings, and Lord of lords,
He reigns in perfect light."
VI. BETTER THAN ANGELS IN HIS EARTH THRONE (Hebrews 1:6 )
This verse is marvelously prophetic. It is a quotation from the forty-fifth Psalm; that matchless Psalm, surpassing in beauty. Psalms 45:1-17 , is the one which begins, "My heart is inditing a good matter: for I speak of the things which I have made as touching the King." The Psalmist with tongue aflame describes the Second Coming of Christ. He says, "Upon thy right hand did stand the queen, in the gold of Ophir."
It is in the heart of this wonderful description of Christ the King, that the Psalmist wrote, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy Kingdom is a right sceptre."
In our lesson Scripture for today, the Holy Spirit, quoting Psalms 45:1-17 , tells us that it is when God bringeth in the first-begotten (that is the Risen Christ) into the inhabited world, He saith, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." It is then, also, that He says, "Let all the angels of God worship Him."
These angels, who are spirits, these ministering ones, are a flame of fire, are worshipers of the Son of God. Before Him they prostrate themselves to give Him glory.
We have now carried our readers through the whole story as outlined in the opening words of Hebrews. In everything, Jesus Christ, is superior to angels. Even when He was, for the time, made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, even then, the angels did Him obesiance. In the hour of His deepest humility in Gethsemane an angel came and strengthened Him. In resurrection they told the women, "He is not here, but is risen." In ascension, they accompanied Him. In His Second Coming they will return with Him; no marvel, then, that in His reign they will worship Him.
"Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O earth His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long;
Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died;
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus, the crucified!
Sound His praises Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep, and strong."
THEN IT'S ALL RIGHT
Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? A Christian worker once told of taking his small son to the seashore for the first time. The boy was greatly impressed with the vast amount of water, and it seemed to worry him. "Is it over my head?" he asked his father. "Yes, son, it is over your head." "Well, is it over your head?" "Yes, it is over my head." The child pondered a minute, then asked excitedly, "Well, Father is it over God's head?" "No, my son," answered the father, "it isn't over God's head." "Then it's all right, if it isn't over God's head," was the little fellow's reply, and he went off to his play satisfied.