Summary: He is better than the prophets, better than the Law and the sacrifices, better than the angels.
About 6 or 7 years ago a new merchandizing craze began, and although at the time I thought it to be another passing fad, it seems that it has not only not died out...but has really only slowed down a little bit in all that time.
I’m referring to angels. The merchandizing of everything ‘angels’.
I saw a short news blurb on a slow news day a few years ago, where they showed all these angel ‘things’ that could be procured for the Christmas season ~ Ceramic angels, angel dolls, angel calendars, angel tree ornaments, angel cakes (not angel food cakes, but ‘angel’ cakes) angel cookies ~
The part that alarmed me though, was not this, because there’s nothing wrong with that really. There may even be some ladies here who now or in the past have collected angel ceramics and the like; just like my wife collects ‘apple’ things to decorate her kitchen with, and my sister collects Noah’s Ark things for her house.
The part that alarmed me was when they interviewed people on the street.
The people had stories of angels visiting them with messages of good news (ALWAYS good news), or helping them find a parking place at the mall, or helping them through a tough time...
...they talked about angels like they should be talking about Jesus.
They talked as though their guardian angel was their protector and preserver, and they talked about praying to their angel. One lady said “Oh, I pray to my angel all the time”.
Now, as a Believer in God‘s Word, I have to believe in angels. I want to believe in angels. There can be no denying angels, because they play an important role in man’s history all through the scriptures. If I was visited by an angel I would consider it high honor ~ and I would receive the messenger’s every word as coming from the Lord ~ I wouldn’t want to be struck silent like Zacharia.
But angels are created beings, just like you or me. They visit, but there is only One who lives inside. They bring comfort when they are sent, but there is only One who heals. They are ministering spirits, sent out. But there is One who has a more excellent ministry; a more excellent name. And we’re going to study that vast difference today.
In the past, God spoke to the fathers of the faith, in many portions and many ways. Sometimes it was through miracles, sometimes through the mouth of the prophet, sometimes through the very life of the prophet. Sometimes the prophet didn’t even know he was a prophet, and it is looking back on his life that we can see that it was a picture, a symbolic enactment of what was to come.
Well in these last days God has spoken to us in His Son. He is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. No longer does God speak to men through the Law; the Law was never meant to save, it was given as a tutor ~ a schoolmaster, pointing men to Christ. And that’s why looking to the keeping of the Law to be right with God is ludicrous. No longer does God speak to man through prophets. That’s why running to and fro listening to many speakers often only confuses the searcher.
He has spoken to us “in Son”. In the precise translation of the Greek there in verse 2 the word ‘his’ is not there. Most of your bibles will have that word in italics. It’s put there to smooth it out; make for easier reading. But in the manuscripts it simply says, ‘in Son’. When I was researching this sermon and discovered this fact, it made me think of God, speaking to us in English or in Hebrew or in Greek...and now He has spoken to us ‘in Son’; a language everyone can understand.
The only language, the only message we need to receive from God.
In the Son is the fullness of deity. God incarnate. The radiance of His glory, and the exact representation of His nature.
In verses 2 and 3 there are seven statements made about Christ, concerning His person and His work.
I want to take those in groups of 2 and 3, to show why He has inherited a name more excellent than the angels.
First of all, “whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
I’ve taken these two phrases together, because at first glance they seem a paradox. He who created all things, and as John wrote, ‘apart from Him nothing was made that has been made’, is appointed an heir.
What need is an inheritance, for the One who created all things.?
Doesn’t that give a whole new meaning to the question, ‘what do you buy a man who has everything’?