Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why No Angels?

Something I have pondered lately is the fact that there were so few visible angels at the empty tomb. At Christ's birth there were many angels, and several angels had been involved in several events before the birth. At the actual birth there was a multitude of them praising God. This makes me think that the angels had been aware of this coming event for a long time and had been looking forward to it. It was a wondrous and magnificent thing in their angel existence.

But when the death, burial and resurrection took place, there were very few angels involved, at least ones that could be seen. The birth was absolutely necessary to fulfill Scripture and to accomplish the many aspects of Jesus' life. The death, burial and resurrection also fulfilled Scripture and were accomplished in obedience to the Father, but they also fulfilled God's eternal plan for the saving of mankind. It was not a careless, haphazard plan. It was the plan to bring us to God in the only way possible--the perfect Lamb of God giving His life for fatally flawed humans.

So where were all the angels? Could they not bear to see the Christ, the God of Heaven, give His life on a shameful cross? Maybe they like God the Father had to turn away from Christ as the weight of sin was put on His shoulders. By the time we become aware of the angel at the tomb, the angel's part is almost low key. Or maybe it didn't take a whole heavenly host to announce that Jesus wasn't there anymore because he had risen.

I wish there had been a thousand angels announcing what had been accomplished that day. But God, Who truly is omniscient, executed the events in a different way. Since one angel made a very short announcement about the resurrection, we have to think about it for ourselves. We are not sidetracked by the magnificence of heavenly angels, but instead we are wholly caught up in the words "He is not here for He is risen." Wonderful, amazing, joy-causing, humbling, mystifying. Praise God!


Momstheword said...

I understand it was the custom for the villagers or whoever to sing and make music when a male baby was born. Since there were no people to do that, God had angels do it for Jesus' birth. You know,I never thought about it very much, the fact that they weren't there at the resurrection. But I believe they turned away just as God did when Jesus was on the cross. Good deep thinking, Q.

Julie said...

I wonder if it was to keep our focus on Christ. The passing of one age into another, so to speak.

Jen said...


Kay said...

one thing cool that Beth Moore pointed out:
There were two angels sitting on the slab where the body had been. One at the head and one at the foot. In the Old Testament when we have a description of the Mercy Seat - where God met with man - there were two cherubim. One on either end.

I have a CD of Irish Worship and one of the songs about the cross has a phrase about all the heaven's being silent, "The Spirit brooding 'round that empty throne." Then the proclamation that "He is Risen". What a wonderful image.

I've never given the number of angels any thought. Very interesting thing for me to contemplate now.