“Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst Him with glory and honour, and didst set Him over the works of Thy hands.” (Heb. 2:7)

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9)

Usually, when we think of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, we think of the place He was born (Bethlehem), the persons associated with His birth (Mary, Joseph, shepherds, etc.), and the portions bestowed upon Him (gold, frankincense, and myrrh). However, of greater importance is the person who was born, the purpose for which He was born, and the position He took by coming from glory to earth.

Our thoughts in this lesson will be principally concerned with the position He voluntarily occupied by entering our world, and then the position He now occupies in the glory.

We are told in the Scripture above, that He “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” In other words, He was for a short time on equality with man (Phil. 2:6-8) and under the angels. This, possibly, led many false teachers to imply that He was only a lower order of the angels, and therefore led to the worshipping of angels. The apostle Paul referred to this in warning the Colossians,

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up in his fleshly mind.” (Col. 2:18)

The wonderful truth of the matter is that He triumphed over them (Col. 2:15) in His death on the cross thereby “openly” putting them in subjection. No doubt, Christ’s death and resurrection proved that He was more powerful than the angelic beings He created. However, the false teachers in Paul’s day and ours have substituted more and more ritualism, worshipping of departed saints, superior sanctity of some humans, and every form of asceticism. Also, in our most recent times, the intense, and over-occupation with beings of other planets, talking to the dead, and religious incarnations has become popular.

We must fully realize that He took an earthly position (lower than angels) for only a short time. He completely fulfilled God’s will and God’s purpose by suffering for our sin. Because of that completed work, He has been “highly exalted” into a position in glory.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” (Phil. 2:9)

Once, He was “lower” than the angels, now He is “above” every name or authority. When we compare Colossians 1:15-19, we see that He is not only “above” all, but that He is “before” all, and that He has the preeminence!

His position now is as the “head of the church, which is His body.”

“Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” (Eph. 1:20-23)

When we fully realize that He was born in this world, made a little lower than the angels for a time, suffered the reproaches of men, was crowned with thorns, and crucified on Calvary, what should be our attitude toward Him, “who loved us and gave Himself for us?” We should take our position at the foot of the cross and realize that it was our sin that nailed Him to the tree. We who have trusted Him must see that we “are only sinners saved by grace,” and say with Paul of old, “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Tim. 1:15). Then, and only then, can we know “the peace that passeth understanding,” and fully realize that we, who have trusted Him as personal Saviour, are now “seated in heavenly places.”

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6)

He took our position on earth that we might be with Him in His position in the heavenlies! When we fully realize that it was an absolute divine purpose that Christ reside in flesh for a time, suffer and then enter into the glory, it helps us to understand our life better and look for that time when we will be with Him in the glory. We can say with the apostle Paul:

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour. yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Phil. 1:21-24)