After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
(Hebrews 1:3b ESV)
Continuing the theme of the chapter, the author of Hebrews describes the role of Christ and his position in the cosmos. The second half of verse three moves from Christ’s position in terms of eternity, and makes specific mention to his role in the story of redemption and the specific event of the crucifixion after which he took his place of power.
As will be further explained in chapter 2, it would seem that Christ, though complete from before time began, had a special relationship to his role as Savior. The author’s expressed distinction of Christ’s “making purification for sins” says much about his completeness being found in that specific act.
For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
“I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”
And to which of the angels has he ever said,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
(Hebrews 1:4-14 ESV)
The rest of the chapter is rich with proofs from the Old Testament describing the roles of the angels, and how Christ’s position is wholly distinct. In verse 5 it is important to note that, as reflected in the Nicene Creed, Christ was “begotten not made” meaning that he did indeed exist from the beginning (as the first 3 verses make clear), but that at the appointed time a different expression of Christ’s relationship with the Godhead came about when he descended to earth to be born as one of us.
On casual reading verses 8 and 9 sound awkward since it is a quotation from God the Father in reference to Christ, God the Son. These verses also recall the throne of David and God’s promise that one of David’s line would rule on his throne forever. The rest of the chapter in that spirit describe the power of Christ as he is seated on that throne.