The angels do not get the attention that God gives to us believers. That’s one reason why the angels stare intently at Christ’s work on our behalf. It’s something that’s not available to them. They are either fallen or unfallen! The fallen angels are irredeemable. They are what they are and can’t be redeemed from their fallen state. It’s their fallen state and willful, continual rebellion against God that makes their redemption impossible. But mankind, for some reason, has received the blessings of redemption from our fallen nature. God sent His Son, not for the angels, but for you and me! The author of Hebrews begins the next passage, Hebrews 2:16-18 with this idea. He writes, “For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

The perfect humanity of Christ is an essential doctrine. The first Adam failed and passed on that failure to us. The second Adam, Jesus, succeeded in all things and passes on His success to us through faith. That’s why the writer talks about the “offspring of Abraham.” The Abrahamic covenant, unlike the Mosaic covenant, is based on God’s unconditional promises. The Mosaic covenant is conditioned upon our obedience. The “tests” than Abraham endured were tests in regard to whether or not he was going to trust God’s positive disposition towards him, or believe that lie that God was a policeman or his boss. It’s important here to understand that the word for “temptation” is the same word for “testing” or “trials.” The question associated with all these things is “will we trust God to have our best intentions foremost in mind regardless of our circumstances?” Job’s faith in God’s love was tested through some of the most difficult trials imaginable. Abraham was tested directly to see if he would trust God’s love for him under all situations. He did, and that made him righteous. As the writer will tell us later in Hebrews, “it was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac.”

God tells us something in this passage and everywhere in the New Testament. God loves us and sent his Son to be our merciful and faithful high priest. He made “propitiation” for our sins! He reconciled us to God and wiped away the account of our sins through His sacrifice on the cross as the ultimate demonstration of His love for us. I believe the question that the author of Hebrews is challenging us with is “are we going to believe that?” Did Jesus make us right with God or do we have to do it ourselves? Did Jesus “help” us in our failures in line with the first Adam by succeeding on our behalf? Is His success really ours? Do we trust in what Christ did for us, or do we trust in what we do for Him. Is God’s love unconditional or do we have to earn it? Do we think more about being good and measuring up to standards, or do we trust Christ to have met all the standards for us? It’s your choice.