THE WORK OF CHRIST IN HEBREWS 1 AND 2
After making purification of sins, the work of redemption, He went to the heavens and sat down (v. 3c). To sit down indicates that everything is finished. If we still have something to do, we cannot sit down. Christ has finished everything of His redemptive work on the earth. After accomplishing this, He went to the third heaven to sit down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, and that is where He now is. This refers to His work.
This is the very Christ in whom we believe. He is wonderful, yet this is only the introduction to this book. Who can exhaust telling what Christ is, who Christ is, and what Christ has accomplished? He is the inexhaustible One.
CHRIST SUPERIOR TO THE ANGELS
After such an introduction, the writer of this book gives us a comparison between Christ and Judaism. The first item in Judaism is God. Here the writer tells the Hebrew believers that this Christ is nothing less than God Himself. If you will not misunderstand me, I would say that Christ is something more than the God of the Old Testament. Christ is not only God; He is the appointed One, the appointed Heir of all things. He is also the means through whom the whole universe was created. Furthermore, He is the effulgence of God’s glory, the impress of God’s substance, and the One who accomplished redemption. Because our Christ is the very essence of God, He is superior to and more excellent than the angels. This is revealed in chapter one.
Chapter two reveals that Christ as man is superior to the angels. The writer of Hebrews argues in this way: “For it was not to angels that He subjected the coming inhabited earth, concerning which we speak” (v. 5). However, God did say in Psalm 8 that the time would come when He would subject all creation to man. This man is the very Jesus (Heb. 2:6-9), the One who brought God into man to uplift man’s standard and position. By His incarnation He brought the divine nature into man, and by His resurrection, ascension, and glorification, He brought the human nature into God. Therefore, this man is much more excellent than the angels. What then are the angels? The angels are nothing more than servants who minister to all the members of this man, to all those who inherit salvation through this man, that is, who inherit this wonderful man as their salvation.
Such a salvation is the great salvation mentioned in 2:3, which asks, “How shall we escape if we have neglected so great a salvation?” This salvation is not merely the forgiveness of sins, joy, peace, blessing, and a good family, and neither is it to bring us to heaven after we die. It is much greater than this. This salvation is the very Christ in Hebrews 1 and 2. It is the living mingling of God with man. God’s divine nature is in man, and man’s uplifted human nature is in God. By Christ’s incarnation God was brought into man, and through His resurrection, ascension, and glorification man was brought into God. This is the great salvation, a salvation that is nothing less than a living mingling of God with man.
In Hebrews 1 and 2 we see the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is God in such a wonderful way and man in such an expansive way. This is our Christ. How can Judaism compare with such a Christ!
CHRIST SUPERIOR TO MOSES
After the first two chapters describe and define the person of Christ, chapter three begins to tell us what Christ is doing for us now. He is not only the one who accomplished redemption for us in the past; He is also the One who was sent to us by God to work for us. Hebrews 3:1 says, “Therefore, holy brothers, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus.” The Greek word for apostle means a “sent one.” The Apostle here is Christ Himself who was sent by God.
(General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 3: Hebrews through Jude, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)