Better than an angel

Today’s passage says simply, “Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.” Jesus was in anguish, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and an angel was sent to Him.

While the Bible clearly teaches that angels exist and that they minister even here on earth, there is much that the Bible doesn’t say that we have somehow manufactured into our theology.

Angels are all over the scripture, Old Testament and New. There are many amazing examples of their involvement in the affairs of men. But, it seems that those things are not enough. Culture tends to add to what the Bible teaches, sometimes contradicting the revealed Word of God.

We are never told to pray to angels or to worship them. Angels are God’s creation. They are indeed powerful and amazing creatures, but we are not to adore them or seek them out in prayer.

The Bible never says that when we die we become angels. As sweet and comforting as that might sound, it is not true and should not be embraced or taught as truth. (That doesn’t mean we have to correct everyone who posts a meme or story about human to angel transformation.) We will be in glorified bodies without the limitations we have today, but we will still be human, albeit our mortal shall be clothed with immortality. (see 1 Corinthians 15:51-57)

God loves us and we have experienced His love in a special way that the angels have not. We have been redeemed from sin and death. We were God’s special creation that Jesus left heaven (and the worship and adoration of the heavenly host) to come to earth to rescue, not the angels.

Angels serve at the command of God. Jesus, in the grips of sorrow, looked at us in our helpless lostness, and He looked at the cross. The only way to redeem us was to go to the cross. In that mysterious and holy moment He settled the issue. He said to the Father, “not My will, but Yours, be done.” He chose the cross knowing the pain He would endure.

And, in that moment, an Angel was dispatched to comfort Him. I know not what that comfort was, but it was heaven sent. And, it strengthened Jesus. In the next moment, Judas was betraying Him and the way to the cross unfolded.

You think, “just one angel?” Remember, in 2 Kings 19, one angel killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night. To say they are powerful is an understatement. Jesus, in His humanity, found strength from the heavenly messenger, not because of his power, but because this messenger was sent directly by the Father.

We should be thankful for angels, but not without realizing who has created them, who orders them and who dispatches them. They may be all around us, but don’t look to the angels, look to Jesus. Don’t pray to the angels, pray to God. An angel cannot redeem you, but Jesus can.

Always remember there is one special assignment that God has not given to the angels, but has given to you and me: To share the Good News. When we do it, we unleash the most powerful grace of God heaven and earth have ever known.

Read this (daily Bible reading):
Luke 22
35   He also said to them, “When I sent you out without money-bag, traveling bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Not a thing,” they said.

36   Then He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money-bag should take it, and also a traveling bag. And whoever doesn’t have a sword should sell his robe and buy one. 37 For I tell you, what is written must be fulfilled in Me: And He was counted among the outlaws. Yes, what is written about Me is coming to its fulfillment.”

38   “Lord,” they said, “look, here are two swords.”

“Enough of that!” He told them.

39   He went out and made His way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. 40 When He reached the place, He told them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 Then He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, 42 “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me—nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”

43   [Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44 Being in anguish, He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.] 45 When He got up from prayer and came to the disciples, He found them sleeping, exhausted from their grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation.”

47   While He was still speaking, suddenly a mob was there, and one of the Twelve named Judas was leading them. He came near Jesus to kiss Him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49   When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50 Then one of them struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear.

51   But Jesus responded, “No more of this!” And touching his ear, He healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, temple police, and the elders who had come for Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal? 53 Every day while I was with you in the temple complex, you never laid a hand on Me. But this is your hour—and the dominion of darkness.”

54   They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house. Meanwhile Peter was following at a distance.

One prayer to pray with the rest of us. 
Lord, thank you that there are angels all around me doing spiritual battle on our behalf.

Today’s assignment, should you choose to accept it.
Don’t look for angels, but look for and thank God for the work He does through whatever instrument He chooses to do it.——————

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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