During a seemingly bad situation, it’s hard to see the better. Seeing the better in the situation or in those around us is hard. I’m not talking about wishful thinking or silver linings. Like, when sick, thinking, “oh, I’ll get better in four days” or “at least I’m not dead!”.
Even During Tough Times, Things Are Actually Better
“Better” is a comparison word. It only works when it’s put up against something else. That’s important.
The writer to the Hebrews wrote to believers who were going through a rough patch. To fix their situation, some thought they needed to jump ship. Some stopped coming together (Hebrews 10:25). Some probably feared to suffer (Hebrews 12:4). All of them needed encouragement (Hebrews 13:22) to stand firm (Hebrews 12:12). They needed this letter where the author pits the choices against each other to show the better.
Not a better imaginable situation. Not a silver lining. Rather a re-aligning of their thinking.
We Have Better Revelation of God’s Message
The writer begins by grounding the message they have believed by focusing on the better (for lack of a better word) mode. Fact: The Old Testament doesn’t contain places where God spoke. The Old Testament is God speaking through the forefathers, prophets, or recorded situations. In other words: all of it is the word of God.
A Message from A Better Messenger
God clearly spoke by His Son. The Son, though a prophet, is not only a prophet. The Son is so closely tied to God that he can perfectly represent God. The Son perfectly acts in God’s place.
As brightness is to shining light, so is the Son in representing God. You can’t take shining light apart from the brightness. The Son is the exact representation, an exact picture—not a partial picture—of God’s nature. If there is anything to know about what God is like and who He is, we look to the Son.
A Message That Has A Better Explanation
The Old Testament is not a poorer representation of God. Rather, you don’t fully understand the Old Testament unless you grasp the Son. For example, the Book of Ruth is the perfect revelation of God in the form of a story. You don’t fully understand the Book of Ruth until you hear from Jesus, the redeemer of his people. At that point, Ruth makes more sense.
The Son who made all things. The Son who upholds all things by his powerful word. The Son who made purification for sins. The Son who sat down at the right hand, the position of authority, of the majesty on high. God spoke in Him! We live in a day and age where this speech has happened!
We Have A Better Representative Who Truly Understands Us
The writer then proceeds by showing how the messenger is better because of how he understands the message’s recipients. The writer does this by showing how the Son receives a better name. The Son doesn’t receive a better name than the angels by being God. He receives this name by being a better representation of God AND man.
First, God promises the son’s name will be more excellent.
In Psalm 2 and 2 Samuel 7:14, the promise of a more excellent name wasn’t given to God—it was already the case that the Lord God’s name is great in all of the earth (Psalm 8:9)! The Promise was given to David’s son.
Second, the Son inherits a name by coming into the world.
God tells his angels to worship the firstborn and to minister to Him. The angels’ work is in service and adoration; the work of the Son is by being brought “into the world.”
Third, the Son, as King, rightly inherits the honor.
Why? Psalm 45 shows God anoints the King and calls him God. Though he made the universe, he receives the honor of sitting at God’s right hand on account of his own special work. This special work is only possible because of the fourth reason.
Fourth, he came as a full human who can represent humans.
He didn’t break into time and space like a ghost, but instead, he came as a baby, born like any human. This is the eternal God lowering himself to go through our human experience. For a moment, this better representative was made a little lower than angels by not only being human but by going through something no angel had ever encountered: the suffering of death.
Adam, our first representative, had no fallen humans around him. The Son obediently tamed his infinite power while surrounded by a world of rebellious humans. Though Adam died as a result of disobedience, the Son died as a result of constant obedience. As a sufferer, he could stand with humans of all stripes. He can now, without shame, call humans his brothers, bring them in before God, and bring God the glory (Psalm 22:22; Isaiah 8:17-18).
The Son perfectly delivers God’s message and makes it understandable to humans because he truly represents both God and man. We live in a day and age where we’re sure of this representation.
We Have a Better Rescue (2:1-4; 17-18)
The writer shows how the perfectly delivered and accepted message is more effective in supporting us through trouble.
Christ, the perfect representative of God and Man, was tempted, suffered, and died: therefore, he’s able to help. He’s able to come to the aid of Abraham’s descendants. God lifts his people during the middle of trials. In this way, he became merciful and trustworthy in all things pertaining to God. God empowers people within their tough situation.
This is why this rescue is all the better. It’s not just saving people from catastrophe. This eternal rescue properly contextualizes every situation. As Jesus rose from the dead, he proved to be the Son of God with power (Rom 1:4). He wasn’t declared that on account of being God. He was declared that on account of having come as God’s better revealer, standing for God and man as a better representative, and finally offering a better rescue by rising from the dead.
Therefore, today, this rescue mission comes with understanding, strength, and support while we’re struggling. This rescue mission comes with compassion and understanding and support when we’re weeping over a loss. During those times, we realize that there is no better place to be than within these exact situations because the Son went on beforehand.
Focus On Today with Tomorrow’s Expectation
We’ve faced a tough season. Some have lost jobs. Some are sick and afraid. Some have experienced the loss of loved ones.
During this tough season, some believers have been in danger of drifting away. By being separated for so long, they have thought that their situation was made better. The people, or lack thereof, aren’t what makes your situation better. Realize that the Lord’s rescue is dependent not on your fellow believers but on the fact that Jesus Christ really rose from the dead. Christ sits on His throne. He is watching. He is the one that calls you and I and our fellow believers “brothers” while presenting us to God. In that light, God calls us to be here for one another.
Don’t only think about the good that you can find in a bad situation. Don’t only think about how things could’ve been better if things were different. Look forward to expecting things to be the very best, but today, we’re right where God wants us. We live in a time where we know, unlike those before, that God truly understands us. That he’s truly compassionate towards us. That he helps us. The Lord understands. Not only does he understand, but he’s there to give help to strengthen shaking and buckling knees. Keep walking. Keep standing.
No one teaches a child to love mom. They cling to mom and love her because they’re her kids. No one teaches kids to be comfortable with their brothers and sisters. While they all cling to mom, the kids realize that they’re family and expect to be with one another through the toughest situations. You’re a child of the one who calls you brother with your fellow sisters and brothers. On this side of glory, how can you possibly be any better than that! Cling to Him and love one another.