And the Angels Rejoice
And the Angels Rejoice
By Robert Johnson
Scripture reveals to us that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are eternal, having no beginning and no end. Such a concept is difficult for us to consider and fully understand, being the finite creatures that we are. Paul references God creating all things, apart from deity, through Christ. “For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him” (Col. 1:16). The angels then, while heavenly servants of the Most High, are not divine, not infinite in their knowledge, power, or understanding. As is expressed in Scripture, being in the presence of God, they acknowledge in praise His greatness and majesty (Rev. 5:11-12; Psa. 148:2).
As such, they have a great interest in how God is fulfilling His purposes in and through us. At the birth of Christ, the shepherds witnessed angels praising God for the coming of Christ. Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!” (Luke 2:13-14). In speaking of the plan of redemption Christ accomplished for us, and in working it out in us, Peter writes, “These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—angels long to catch a glimpse of these things” (1 Pet. 1:12). The term glimpse, or look, means to bend, or stoop; to stoop down near or by something, bend forward or near in order to look at something more closely. Metaphorically speaking, it means to look into, to find out, to know. Angels know how important we are to the Father, Son, and Spirit, in the lengths taken to provide us salvation. They are greatly interested in how this eternal plan works out.
So it should be no surprise to us that, when one who has been ensnared by Satan is freed from sin through Christ, there is great rejoicing. Jesus tells us there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, and that includes the angelic host (Luke 15:7, 10). Angels know what is at stake in our lives…heaven and hell. They know we have been created in the image of God, and that Satan seeks to ruin and destroy that in us. They understand how horrible the punishment will be for one to die in that condition, and so the great joy they have over one who is redeemed from sin to eternal life. They understand all this better perhaps, than we do ourselves.
Have you ever given thought to how great that celebration must be? We aren’t told specifically how it is expressed, but if there were a great many, a multitude of angels, who expressed praise to God for the coming of Christ into the world, it seems logical to believe there is a great many, a multitude of angels, who express praise that God’s purpose in Christ is fulfilled in one who obeys the gospel, who finds life instead of death, hope instead of despair, salvation instead of condemnation. It’s hard to picture in our mind’s eye the throng praising God, but we know it’s true. When we obeyed the gospel, there was rejoicing in heaven that God’s salvation became real to us in Christ. When we sin, and repent, there is rejoicing again and again. We may not be able to visualize it in any way that gives it justice, but it happens. We are that important and precious to deity and to angels. Do we acknowledge that our souls are that important to ourselves?
We can’t see heavenly scenes in the flesh, but we know what some of them are. Someday, we will share in that eternal praise of God will all the host of heaven, if we connect our lives to Christ. Such thoughts should fill our hearts with joy, and offer us encouragement not to give up. “I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say, Blessing and honor and glory and power be to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13). Let us help each other be there, to see and participate in what we can only imagine today.