Hebrews 1:4-14

When Christ inherited a better name, he was truly better than any angel, v4. His name holds power which no angel employs. This was accomplished, proven and  established by ascending to the Throne of Grace and sitting at the right hand of His Father. Revelation 5:6-9 records the Lamb (Christ) as worthy to open the seal and exercise all power in heaven and on earth! 

The question, asked in verse 5, is there to remind us that the level of intimacy between Christ and God is far superior to any level of fellowship God has with any angel. Even the mere arrival of Christ, before he did any work, was enough to prompt angels to worship Him, as commanded by the Father. Angels are viewed as prominent heavenly beings who served as messengers from God, v7 & 14. Since the readers of this letter knew these qualities of angels, the Hebrew writer begins his discussion of Christ’s authority over these heavenly beings in this section. 

The word “firstborn” is very important for us to understand,v6. Both Luke & Paul used it in reference to Jesus, first by Mary, Lk. 2:7, in a physical sense, but also by Paul in a spiritual sense over all creation, Col. 1:15. This spiritual sense is how the Hebrew writer uses it in the context of an eternal creator over the whole of our physical creation. His sonship is unique and superior over all creation throughout the universe.

Angels are ministering spirits to God, but Christ’s position is different because of the Righteous Scepter of His Kingdom and the Anointment of Rejoicing, v9. This Scepter is in the mind of the Hebrew writer, with an origin in Judah, see Genesis 49:8-10. The anointing of joy is reminiscent of Isaiah’s passage revealing the oil of gladness, Isaiah 61:1-3, from within the Messiah/Christ.

The Hebrew writer does not diminish the importance and role of angels, from this declaration of them serving anyone who is to inherit salvation, 1:13, to the last chapter 13:2, commanding us to never neglect hospitality to strangers, the importance and role of angels is maintained throughout these last days we live in.  The Old Testament is quoted in this chapter at least 5 times. The significance is in the fact that God’s old law is being used to confirm this new message brought to us by His Spirit of Christ and not any angel. The result is comfort, joy & hope, see Romans 16:25-27 (Romans 15:4 & 16:25-27) with emphasis on v27, “Through Jesus Christ”. The comparison in verse 13 between Christ and the angels is about victory over sin, death and Satan himself. God the Father will work through Jesus and no one else, in order to totally defeat all our enemies throughout time as we know it. Angels do represent Christ in the revelation, but it is Christ who actually wins the victory over sin in our life. Is He living and working in our hearts? Or are we depending on a guardian angel to keep us safe?

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