His Son, Appointed Higher than the Angels

This weekend, I visited with my son about angels and the great battle between Lucifer and Michael, the archangel.  Wondering how he would respond to all of this, he asked me whether or not I was making up a story (as I sometimes do when we read together because he loves stories) or if I was telling him something real. After explaining that the story is real and that this was from the scriptures, he commented how God is the real life superhero. I love how kids are innocent learners. They see the world differently than many adults do, with wonder and possibility.

As we were talking, I was again amazed at who Jesus is and what He had to give up to come to earth as a man. He is God’s son with all of the benefits. However, He gave up His power, became a man on Earth and lived according to what He saw His Father do. He did this perfectly until being crucified by us, man. As I read through Hebrews this morning, this became even more clear. Jesus is the “heir of all things.” It also says that God made the worlds through His son Jesus. Imagine that. Jesus made the worlds with His Father. Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person. We were made in that image.

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:1-14 NKJV

That last sentence really sums up what I was trying to communicate with my son. Jesus is higher than the angels. He is God’s Son and has inherited a better name because of it. He has never said to an angel “You are my son.” The rest of Hebrews chapter 1 explains this very well, but I especially like the last two.

To the son He says:

…“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same,
And Your years will not fail.” Hebrews 1:10-12 NKJV

Regarding angels:

But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:13-14 NKJV

The Lord, His People’s Avenger

As I read through Psalm 35 today, I could not help but think of the Lord as a real life Avenger. Superheros continue to be very popular today. I believe that most of them are popular because they fight for a cause, or for the people they are saving, against all odds.

Reading through Psalm 35 paints a picture of the Lord in this way – fighting for His people against all odds. The tone of this prayer can teach us something about belonging to the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and spirit.

Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of shield and buckler,
And stand up for my help.
Also draw out the spear,
And stop those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.” Psalm 35:1-3 NKJV

Imagine the Lord with a shield to cover the body in one hand and a buckler in the other to deflect random arrows. Then, He grabs the spear to stop those pursuing after you. This paints a picture of a real life Avenger.

There are many things that we may need delivered from: thoughts/fears, mockers, plunderers, death, past sins, etc. In my life, it has helped give me confidence to think of the Lord as this Psalm depicts. If we give Him our life, He fights on our behalf where we are weak. I know that I need Him because He is perfect, strong and benevolent. When I am stuck, from fear or weakness, I think of Him and who He is. He is the one that gives me strength. It is humility before the Lord that can keep our heart aligned with His. In the next verses, we see how David responded.

But as for me, when they were sick,
My clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled myself with fasting;
And my prayer would return to my own heart.
I paced about as though he were my friend or brother;
I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother. Psalm 35:13-14 NKJV

David calls upon His avenger, the Lord.

Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue me from their destructions,
My precious life from the lions.
I will give You thanks in the great assembly;
I will praise You among many people.
Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies;
Nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause. Psalm 35:17-19

Jesus Reveals Himself to the Disciples

We see over and over how Jesus seems to enjoy the journey, or process, of what we go through and how we interact with Him. He makes promises and brings those promises into fulfillment. I find it fascinating that Jesus walked with two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Scripture says that they could not recognize Him because of something supernatural.

And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. Luke 24:14-16 NKJV

Rather than just simply reveal Himself to them, Jesus has a greater plan to walk with them and share what the scriptures have always said about Himself. Can you imagine? Here they were walking side by side with Jesus Himself learning about what scripture says about Him – and they didn’t even know it! What an amazing experience that would be for any of us! The disciples began their journey sulking over what had happened and ended up walking directly with Jesus.

Jesus then reveals Himself to the disciples while sharing communion with them. I love what they say to each other after He disappears.

And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32 NKJV

I also noted that Jesus pointed out that He was not just spirit, but that His body had risen too. He invited them to touch Him to see that He was real and even asked for and ate food.

But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?”  So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence. Luke 24:37-43 NKJV