Superior To Angels (1)
Who is Jesus? That is as important a question for everybody today, as for Jewish-background believers in the 1stC AD. They needed to be confident about His identity if they were to withstand persecution from people who wanted to drag them back into Christless religion. Although many saw Jesus Christ as a very good and wise man, the religious leaders knew He claimed to be God (John 10:33). The Son of God has always been God, co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. His glory is God's glory, undiluted except when He laid aside that glory so that He could be a man to suffer and die for our sins (Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 2:9). Even then, to look at Jesus was to look at God; to walk and work with Him was to be a partner of God in His mission to the world (John 15:14-15).
The Son's glory is expressed in creation (Psalm 19:1) and salvation (2 Timothy 2:10); in sustaining the visible and invisible infrastructure in which we live (Colossians 1:16), and sustaining the faith of those who are saved (1 Peter 1:5). That sustaining work is through His Word of command. Jesus has authority over angels and demons, people who love Him and people who hate Him. It is by His ongoing personal supervision of the universe that, what we know as, the 'laws of nature' are constant and mathematically reliable, enabling us to use scientific methods to develop the products and processes on which our economies depend.
The prime work of Jesus was to die, to provide purification for our sins. All sin must be punished and Jesus accepted the responsibility for all the sin, of all people, for all time into Himself (1 Peter 2:24). Only God was pure enough to accept such a weight of sin as He died and only God could have authority to rise again (John 10:17-18). Without His intervention, we would all be condemned to eternal punishment: but as we trust in Him we find love and forgiveness. No angel could do that for us. That is one of many reasons why Jesus is superior to angels, who should never be worshipped, because they are not divine.
Jesus provides a single point of reference for the universe and for us. Without Him, we cannot understand who God is, or have peace with Him. But when we trust in Jesus as our sin-bearer, and start obeying His Word, we can start to see what a wonderfully amazing person He is to be our friend and Saviour, Lord and brother, Mediator and King. And He wants to share His glory with us for all eternity (John 17:22). It is so futile to trust in angels and mystical religion when Jesus calls us to be His friends (www.crosscheck.org.uk).
© Dr Paul Adams