Truth Matters: Making Much of ChristPublished 7:57am Wednesday, June 9, 2010
By Ken Askew
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” ESV Hebrews 1:1-2
Angels. Western culture I fear has a Hollywood perception of angels. Simply say the word “angel” and folks immediately get a mental picture of some soft, winged being that is perhaps wrapped in a white linen robe with gold fringes and maybe sporting a halo. The Hollywood angel is a very meek and approachable looking thing. But is the Hollywood picture accurate?
What did the Shepherds encounter that made them tremble with fear? Luke says that “an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.” (Luke 2:9) What was it about seeing an angel that caused Balaam’s donkey to lie down underneath him? Why did Balaam drop to his knees when he saw the angel? (Numbers 22:21-31) They saw a soldier of God.
The Hollywood image is wrong. Angels are not some kind of touch-feely, cuddly creature sent for our pleasure. Angels, in a very real yet somehow inferior way, project the glory, might and holiness of God. They are servants of the Most High God and command reverence, awe, and fear simply because they represent Him—they are soldiers of God!
Yet the writer of Hebrews says that in every way the angels are beneath Christ. Moreover, they are commanded to worship Christ. Think about it these things from scripture: God never called an angel his Son; only Jesus is worthy of the title. God has never promised angels that they would inherit creation but he says it was through Jesus that the earth was created and all of creation is under his authority. God has never hinted that an angel might sit on a throne but he says that Christ’s throne will endure forever. God never promised the angels that their enemies would be made “a footstool for [their] feet” yet he promises the same to Jesus. He never says that angels are the image of God, yet we are told that Christ “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…” (Hebrews 1:3) The prophets called Christ “Immanuel” which means God with us; a title only Christ can claim.
Now, if angels strike fear into calloused shepherds and prophets while in every way inferior to Christ, how much more should we be awestruck with Christ? If the mighty angels, soldiers of God, are commanded to worship Christ, what should our attitude be towards Christ?
The writer of Hebrews goes to great lengths to make much of Christ. Take hold of his words and do the same. Make much of Christ.
Ken worships at Tharptown Baptist Church in Russellville. Truth Matters articles are available online at www.truthmatters.us. Comments are welcome and may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.