CHAPTER 12: ANGELS AND JESUS
12-1 Angels And Jesus
Both the Angels and the
Lord Jesus are called God’s “Holy One” (Dan. 4:13,17; Acts 2:27).
This isn’t to say that Jesus is an Angel; rather are we showing
the solidarity between Himself and the Angels.
The closeness of the Angels to Jesus is shown by the fact
that they literally bore Him up whenever He tripped against a stone.
No wonder therefore that He had such temptation to misuse this great
protection; His conquering of the temptation to make use of such
Angelic interest in Him at His arrest and crucifixion appears an
even greater victory once this is appreciated. The fact that the
Cherubim and the mercy seat were made of the same material shows
the unity between Christ and the Angels in God's purpose (Ex. 25:19);
thus the stone, representing Christ, has the seven Angel eyes of
God embedded in it in Zech. 3:9. Our Lord's words "These things
saith he (Jesus) that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven
stars (both Angelic symbols), I know thy works" (Rev. 3:1) suggest
that He is so closely united with the Angels that it is through
their presence everywhere and reporting back to him that He is able
to know all our ways. Rev. 3:5 follows on in the context of the
Angels and Jesus uniting to declare our verdict at the judgment:
"I will confess his name before my Father, and before His Angels".
It is possible to show that the Angels are described as the "fellows"
of Christ by a careful comparison of Zech. 3:4 and 8, where the
dedication of the High Priest ceremony is performed on Christ (in
vision) by His "fellows" or Angels. Although it is not mentioned
in Zech. 3, that ceremony included anointing. Thus Heb. 1:9 describes
Jesus as being anointed "above thy fellows" in the context of proving
His superiority to the Angels- i. e. His fellows. He speaks of how
He personally will send fire on the land of Israel (Lk. 12:49),
and yet in Revelation it is the Angels who pour out fire upon the
land- He is directly manifested through their work. Note too how
the Lord, straight after His resurrection, repeats verbatim the
Angels words to Mary: “Woman, why are you weeping?” (Jn. 20:13,15).
Likewise, when He appears to the women in Mt. 28:9,10, He repeats
the Angel’s words of Mt. 28:5,7. This indicates the unity which
He felt with them especially after His resurrection. When the Angel
‘brought Peter forth out of the prison’, Acts 12:17 records this
as “the Lord” (Jesus) doing so (RV).
Yet the Angels are not to be seen as equal to Christ. Even in his mortality
he had power over them to some degree. His authoritative "Peace, be still"
was probably primarily addressed to the Angels controlling the natural
elements. The reference to Angels 'ministering' to Him after the temptations
suggests their inferiority. Thus He could summon twelve legions of Angels
at the time of His greatest passion
There are evident links between John 1 and Genesis 1; God (the Angels)
made the world in Gen. 1; and in Jn. 1 the word does the same with regard
to the new creation, thus suggesting that Christ has exactly mirrored
the role of the Angels in regard to the natural creation. Adam and Eve
heard "The voice of the Lord God (i. e. an Angel) walking in the garden",
implying that this voice had a corporeal manifestation; i. e. there was
an Angel almost called "The voice of the Lord". This would seem to be
Christ's personal Angel, seeing He was called "The word made flesh" in
John 1. His closeness to them is shown by the parable of the lost
coin; when the woman "hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours
together . . . likewise. . . there is joy in the presence of the Angels
of God over one sinner that repenteth" (Lk. 15:9,10); here Jesus likens
Himself to the woman rejoicing over her lost coin in His joy at our repentance,
thus making the Angels have the same relationship to Him as friends and
It seems that Jesus has His own personal Angels- He returns "with all
His holy Angels"; the Angel of the altar (Christ) would also appear to
be specifically connected with Him (Rev. 16:7), perhaps marshalling these
Angels for Christ. So close are Christ and the Angels and such His respect
and love for them, that it seems that Jesus will even feel ashamed or
embarrassed before them when He comes to consider one of the unworthy
at the day of judgement- Luke 12:8 implies that the same feeling of embarrassment
and shame which the unworthy have now when backing out of preaching will
be felt by Jesus when He looks on them at the judgement. And it is quite
possible that one of the things which motivated our Lord to continue hanging
on the cross was the thought of praising God in the midst of the Angels
at His ascension: "My praise shall be of Thee in the great congregation
(of Angels?): I will pay my vows before them that fear Him".
John 1:50,51 give another picture of the Angels' role in the ministry
of Jesus: "Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said
unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt
see greater things than these. And He saith unto them, Verily, Verily
I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see Heaven open, and the Angels
of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man". The allusion
to Jacob's vision of Gen. 28:18 is clear. That vision was to show
Jacob the extent of Angelic care of Him- and this was repeated
for Jesus. However, the context of v. 50 is that Nathanael marvelled
at Jesus' knowledge. Jesus seems to be saying that they would see
even greater spiritual revelation ("Heaven open") because of the
ministry of the Angels to Him, ministering
spiritual knowledge to Jesus to communicate to His disciples. This
would imply that apart from directly ministering spiritual revelation
to Jesus, the Angels also imparted specific 'physical' knowledge
to Jesus- e. g. about Nathanael under the fig tree.
Angelic unity with the risen Lord Jesus is brought out by a comparison
of the words spoken to the women after the resurrection. Mk. 16:7
has the Angels telling the women: “He is going before you
to Galilee; they you will see him, as he told you”. But Mt.
28:7 has the Angel saying: “He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him. Lo, I [the Angel] have told you”.
Perhaps what the Angel said was: “… as he told you…Lo,
I have told you”, thus bringing out the new unity between
the risen Christ and the Angel.
Angels And The Cross
The lamb killed in Eden to provide skins was a type of Christ (Rev. 13:8);
and the strong hints that the actions of God in Genesis were nearly all
performed by Angels that we have seen previously, suggests that in the
type the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was also co-ordinated by the
Angels. "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that
is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts" (Zech. 13:7). "Lord of Hosts" is
definitely an Angelic title; thus this verse indicates that not only is
Christ the Angels' "fellow", but that they arranged for the 'sword' of
death to awake against him. The Messianic Ps. 38:2 describes Christ reflecting
on the agony of the cross: "Thy hand (an Angelic phrase) presseth me sore".
Angelic involvement in the crucifixion may help explain the confusing
change of pronouns which must be apparent to any serious student
of Isaiah 53. The first six verses appear to be an account
of the Jewish and Christian believer's feelings about the Lord's
sacrifice, and use the pronouns "We. . our". Verses 7-13 are in
the first person: "For the transgression of My people was he stricken.
. . therefore will I divide him a portion" (Is. 53:8,12). "My people"
suggests that the speaker here is Michael, the Angel of Israel.