December 3, 2019. An Angelic Advent day 3: A Little Lower Than the Angels

Psalm 8:1-9. O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the angels
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

The creation of man was a pretty special event because man is a pretty special creation. When it comes to the life forms that God created we humans stand uniquely in the middle. Just above the animals –  all sheep, oxen, beasts, birds, and fish under his feet. And just below the angels – you have made him a little lower than the angels.

It’s probably easy for you to think of yourself as higher than the animals. Every time you eat a cheeseburger or go to a zoo you’re reminded that we’re just a bit above where they are. And because we are created a little lower than the angels it may be that you see yourself as less important or less special than the angels. But is this really our eternal position?

Image result for michelangelo the creation of adam

Creation of Adam (1512) by Michelangelo (1475-1564).

The truth is we have access to something that neither the animals nor the angels have access to – union with Christ. An intimate face to face relationship with God. 

That’s what advent is all about. The Christ who created the angels, the Messiah whose birth was welcomed by the heavenly hosts, became lower than the angels. In his advent Jesus humbly became one of us. He became a man that, like the Psalmist, asks what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

But the author of the book of Hebrews shows us our true destiny in Christ. Speaking of Psalm 8 the writer says this:

Hebrews 2:9-11. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers.

Like the rest of us, Jesus was “created” in his humanity a little lower than the angels, but just for a little while. In the same way those who are in Christ were created lower than the angels, but just for a little while. We won’t stay lower than the angels forever. Why? Because of the advent. Because Christ tasted death for everyone. Now we have the same source as Christ. Now, like Christ, we are crowned with glory and honor. Now we are the many sons he has brought to glory.

Because of the advent of Christ, lower than the angels is NOT our eternal destiny. Seated next to Christ in glory is our future. That’s the advent that we look forward to. Our crowning with glory and honor. Our being brought to glory, above the animals, and above the angels, seated next to Christ.

How would your life be different if you really believed that you are above the angels and next to Christ himself in glory? How can you reflect this position in Christ this Christmas season? How can you reflect Christ like the angels but even better than the angels?

 

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