Jesus is more reliable, so the stakes are most high.
In the Old Testament, God’s message was generally delivered by His angels to the prophets (Acts 7:51-53; Deut. 33:2; Gal. 3:19). However, in the New Testament, God’s message comes to us through Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:2). He is both the fulfillment and the substance of the message. Therefore, there is nothing greater for us to hear—nothing more important to heed—than the message of Christ. He is the truth in whom we can anchor our lives.
A large ship, if it is not properly fastened to the shore, will slowly drift away. The winds and waters will carry it away from its harbor. But, a ship that is firmly fastened to its haven will remain safe and secure. is is particularly true of the more sturdy docks, for they will resist even the toughest winds and waves. Like a firmly fastened boat, the Christian who is anchored in Christ alone will be safely secured from forces that could draw him away.
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will” (Heb. 2:1-4).
Follow the logic here in Hebrews. Jewish history affirmed the reliability of the angels. Their messages to Israel were proven again and again. Jesus, who is superior to the angels, also has a message. It is the gospel of a New Covenant and He is the covenant keeper. It is a superior message. It comes by a superior messenger, has a superior covenant, and is mediated by a superior agent. There is no one more superior than God.
It is like the King stepped down from the throne and declared to the villagers personally. You thought His viceroys were reliable? Try hearing it from Him directly! There is a greater privilege and greater responsibility. His Word is more reliable because it was spoken by the most reliable sovereign, God. Moreover, the covenant He speaks is more reliable because He is the Covenant Keeper.
Hebrews 10:29 asks us in light of this, “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God?” If the angels brought “every transgression or disobedience” it’s “just retribution,” how much more will the One who is superior to the angels bring? There is “no escape if we neglect such a great salvation.” The gospel of Jesus is a more reliable because God declared it, not angels, and it was “attested by those who heard.”
Moreover, God “bore witness” to the gospel with signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts. He was emphatically saying to the world, “This is the most superior, most reliable, very Word of God.” To reject it is the most worst thing anyone could do.
To look upon the Word of God and “go on sinning deliberately after” brings about a wrath from the Lord that no one desires. The one who despises the word of the Lord will be utterly cut off (Num. 15:31).
This is why anchoring ourselves to Christ is so important. It secures us from drifting into sin and despising the Word of the Lord. Jesus is most reliable. Therefore, the stakes our most high.
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.