“Angels all around. to keep you from harm, to guide and direct you, till your safe in God’s arms.” That’s how one song goes. Angels today have been romanticized, crafted into beings that cater to our earth-bound needs and desires. The Hebrews being addressed by this letter would have a different perspective for sure, much more aligned with the direct intervention of God’s message and guidance back through the centuries of the Old Testament history of their people.
We don’t want to sensationalize the existence and impact of angels in our world or past history, but we also don’t want to miss their importance. Recall the angels announcing Jesus’ birth to the shepherds then being surrounded with a heavenly host of angels singing God’s praises. This is a more recent example of the significant place they held in God’s program and being His messengers.
We are surrounded today by God’s provision. It may on rare occasion involve direct action of an angel, but more often God minister’s to us through the church and each other. We relax in His care, and stand in awe of His marvelous ways.
A Complete Revelation
- We know God has revealed His truth progressively in the Past in various ways – dreams & visions, prophets. The Hebrews writer presents Jesus Christ as the final and greatest revelation that God has given mankind. God’s revelation in His Son is superior to all other revelations that He has given in at least two ways.
First, it supersedes all other revelation from God: through angels, the Mosaic Law, through the prophets, and through the rituals of the Old Covenant. When Jesus Christ came to reveal God, He brought revelation that fulfilled and superseded what had preceded Him – all that was before was “about” God, Christ’s revelation was God Himself.
Second, God’s revelation in His Son is sufficient to meet every basic human need. God spoke directly through His Son, so there was no need for other sources of revelation. As the writer elaborates later in the book, Christ established a New Covenant so there was no longer need for any other mediator with God (a priest) . And God exalted His Son to His right hand, so man’s need to search for a righteous ruler no longer exists.
Jesus is a Complete Revelation
- We know God has revealed His truth in the Past in various ways, but now (with the First Advent) He has revealed complete and final truth in His Son.
- He provided complete purification for sin – the OT Day of Atonement and the High Priest sprinkling the blod on the Mercy seat in the Holy of Holies is an important background to the finished word of Christ on the Cross.
- read for more insight: 2 Pet. 1:9; Tit. 2:11-14; 2 Cor. 5:21
- With Redemption and Revelation completed, He sat down
- He is now seated at God’s right hand, in the True Tabernacle in heaven, ministering as our Advocate
- Rom. 8:34; 1 Jn. 2:1-2
- At the Second Coming, after the Tribulation, He will establish the promised Millennial Kingdom and sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem
- Read for more insight: Eph. 4:10; Phil. 2:9; Lu. 22:66
A More Excellent Name
- Jesus Christ alone brings to mankind the full revelation of God, and He alone enables us to enter in the very presence of God
- The theme of Hebrews – Christ is Better
- A major statement that carries the book’s theme & argument forward
- Compare Heb. 2:17; 5:9-10; 10:36; 12:11
- Christ alone brings to mankind the full revelation of God, and He alone enables us to enter into the very presence of God
- A “more excellent name” – Since earliest interaction with Abraham, God has had deep passion for His name – Exo 3:15
The Jews and Angels
- Look back at angels in the Old Testament
- Angels are a real part of God’s creation – they existed before Creation and were active beginning in the Garden
- They are a key part in God executing His plan for mankind
- Read Gen 19, Lot in Sodom
- Psa 91:11 is background to 1:14 – the Son/Messiah rules, the angels do what? They are a blessing to believers
- Angels are the closest man gets to hearing from someone who has “been there” (heaven)
- Gen 32:1ff – Jacob wrestles with God’s angel on his way to meet Esau
- Compare Hosea 12:4
- Look for 7 OT quotes in these verses and consider how each of those passages relates to the Messiah and angels
- Angels are a “Messenger” – this term carried over to Greek – “angel” is used 94x in the NT (NAS)
- They are seen as the closest to God’s presence –the closest we can get to hearing from someone who has “been there”, i.e. in heaven, in God’s presence
- 1:6-7, Angels are __________
- 1:8-12, Angels aren’t _____________
- 1:13-14, Angels aren’t _____________
1. From Heb 1:5, when was the Son born?
2. According to Exo 34:14, how is Heb 1:6 right in saying the Son is God?
3. Why is it right to refer to Jesus Christ as “first born” in Heb 1:6?
4. Heb 1:8-9 quotes Psa 45:6-7. In what ways is Psalm “messianic”?
5. In Heb 1:9, why the Son set above His companions?
6. What does Heb 1:10-12 declare about the Son?
7. How does Psa 110:1 apply to the Son in Heb 1:13?
8. What is the main contrast between angels and the Son as seen in Heb 1:5-14?
9. What is the major transition in the book of Hebrews that occurs in Heb 10?
10. Write down key words and a summary or what each warning passage is about.