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 close neighbours.
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.