Of the twenty-seven books or letters of the New Testament, one letter stands out in its depiction of Christ Jesus as “greater,” “better,” far above, and supreme in all things. Hebrews is unique to all other books of the New Testament. Not only is its author unidentified, but it also speaks with the greatest scholarship regarding the Old and New Testaments to prove that Christ Jesus the Lord is worthy of all “power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Rev. 5:12, NIV). The intended anonymity of authorship is clearly understood as one reads and understands that Jesus Christ, and not the one holding the pen, is the one in focus. The first few verses of chapter 1 set the stage for this remarkable commentary about the Divine: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs” (Heb. 1:1–4, NIV).
Christ Jesus was before man, reigning with the eternal God as Alpha and Omega. Christ sustains all things by His powerful word because He is the exact representation of God’s being. He is superior to angels, which are beings created by God, because He is God’s only Son and God is His Father. It is Christ Jesus alone who sits at God’s right hand, and it is to Christ Jesus alone that all enemies will become a footstool for His feet. Christ has received this distinction because He loved righteousness and hated wickedness without fault or failure—ever! The oil of joy now anoints the precious One and His years will never end, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Hebrews is a book of contrasts, and chapter 2 completes the description of Christ’s supreme standing above angels by describing how Christ “was made a little lower than the angels” (Heb. 2:9, KJV-BRG). We, as mankind, have been created lower than angels as well, and Christ Jesus was born of woman, yet fathered by God, to become a merciful and faithful high priest through His service to God. Jesus became one of us; Jesus was tempted in all things just as we are tempted; Jesus suffered so that He might make atonement for the sins of us, the people. Jesus has shared in our humanity so that by His death He is able to destroy Satan, who holds the power of death. God has made the author of our salvation perfect through suffering because, through suffering, men are made holy. Jesus, the man, is crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death and because by God’s grace He tasted death for everyone. Love was supreme in God’s divine plan for man. Love was the reason Christ left heaven for His earthbound life as a man. Love was the reason His life was laid down for you and me and for the entire world. Love was supreme in the highest heavens and love was supreme in earth’s lowest depths. Love was demonstrated by the King of kings, and love was demonstrated by the Carpenter of Nazareth.
God has sufficient grace to cover man’s sin, but God also has sufficient wrath to punish man’s rejection of this marvelous grace. “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” (Heb. 2:1–3, NIV). Jesus was made like us, His brothers, in every way, and Jesus is not ashamed to call all of His followers “brothers.” He declares God’s name to His brothers, and in the presence of the church or congregation Christ Jesus sings praises to God (Heb. 2:12, NIV). “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed” (Rev. 15:3–4, NIV).