Wednesday, March 13, 2013

“Lower Than the Angels”

It is a wondrous thing that the Lord Jesus Christ took humanity upon Himself in order to redeem us from our sins. “Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh” (I Timothy 3:16).

It may be even more wondrous, however, that our salvation required the Lord Jesus to adopt a nature even beneath another class of created beings. “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).

Great indeed is the mystery. Accordingly, I’m not sure it’s a worthy or productive endeavor to attempt too much understanding of how an infinite God could become “lower” than a finite race made by His own creative fiat. Such truth simply is what it is, and it exists without jeopardizing the Divinity or place of Christ as God the Son, and as the Maker and Sustainer of our being. The Lord Jesus is no less God because He is man. Nor is He any less man because He is God. Great indeed is the mystery!

I do believe it to be a worthy and productive endeavor that One glorious beyond imagining would willingly humble Himself beyond even more imagining. I am quite certain when we get to Heaven that the truth of God’s greatness will bring us to our knees in awe. However, His lowliness may even more astound us with the wonder our Lord’s wonder. “I am meek and lowly in heart” declared the Savior, who also confessed, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19). Add to this the humility of the Holy Spirit, who “shall not speak of Himself,” and a sublime display of triune character presents itself beyond all fathoming (John 16:13).

In the book of Revelation the Apostle John was told to “behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” He looked, and “beheld… a Lamb as it had been slain” (Revelation 5:5-6). Christ is to be feared as the Lion, no doubt, by those who reject Him, and even by those who love Him as we realize the full magnitude of who and what He is. This elicits the proper respect of God that must fill our devoted hearts. However, our Savior must also be known as the Lamb, whose character will forever amaze us with lowliness. This fosters in us the love of God, and love for God that must occupy the foremost place in our hearts. A little lower than the angels? Yes, and the realization causes in us a view of Him higher than the heavens, and far more glorious than even eternity will fully unveil.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).

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