Jesus is God’s Perfect Message.
The writer of Hebrews exploded Jewish thinking when he introduced God’s new Middleman, who was none other than God’s Living Word and radiant self-expression, Jesus. For this reason, He is superior than the angels, appropriately the anchor of salvation, and the most reliable Word you can ever receive.
The Jews understood the angels as participants in the giving of the Law, in the government of the world, and the events of history. As a more superior agent, Jesus supersedes the work of the angels. “For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come,” but to Christ. Angels would not rule the messianic kingdom. Quoting Psalm 8:4-6, the writer reminds us that God “made him for a little while lower than the angels,” that is, as a man, and “crowned him with glory and honor,” because of His work, “putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Jesus is the king of the messianic kingdom.
As the sovereign kind of the world, God “left nothing outside his control,” although we don’t see it just yet. We see the king who came, “crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death.” Jesus tasted death for us. He is the founder of our salvation since He perfected life through suffering on our behalf.
Here, things break wide open. “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source.” It was not just Jesus, but others. It was not just the Sanctifier, but the sanctified. All who are in Jesus are one with Jesus. Jude refers to them as the “called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:1). Jesus calls these elected people His brothers. We are one with Him through His complete redemption. “Behold, I and the children, God has given me.” Then, there’s more:
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb. 2:14-18).
With these words, the writer of Hebrews introduces the rest of his book. Jesus is established as the most Superior One, who by His work in redemption, gathered some to be “His brothers in every respect” and led them to victory over sin and death as their Great High Priest.
Don’t lose sight of the picture. God came to this world “in flesh and blood” and “partook of the same things” of man so that “through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.” It was a great spiritual invasion. The King invaded this foreign land ruled by Satan, rescued and redeemed His people by a perfect death, and led them out to His glory. If you are in Christ, then you belong to His family and will be taken home when the time is fitting.
Jesus is God’s Kingly Liberator. Neglecting Him is neglecting His liberation. The two are inseparable. This is why we must not drift away from God’s Living Word (Heb. 2:1). Tie yourself to Jesus. Be His sibling. Join Him in His redeeming work and embrace His salvation.
This article was adapted from the study guide, Jesus: The Superior One, written by Jacob Abshire, Laura Jackson, Curtis Riddle, and Katie Van Dyke, and based on sermons by Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church.