In the Bible, Angels take on the role of God’s messenger. In several stories throughout the Bible, Angels descend from Heaven to deliver announcements, warnings, and messages from God. In this section, three Biblical stories of Angels delivering messages to humankind will be presented.
The First Christmas: Angels Announce the Birth of Jesus Christ
On the eve of Jesus Christ’s birth shepherds working near Bethlehem were dramatically interrupted when Angels descended from Heaven to announce Christ’s birth. The arrival of these Angels before the shepherds is what has come to be known as the Nativity. Here is a summarized version of the story from Luke Chapter Two of the Bible:
From Luke 2:8 – 12:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
God chose to reveal this news to the shepherds not because of who they were but because of how they had real faith and love in their souls. The shepherds were just the right people to deliver the announcement of Christ’s birth to because they truly understood importance of the Messiah’s arrival to save the world from sin. Since the shepherds raise the lambs that are sacrificed during Passover, they knew how important Christ’s sacrifices would be to mankind.
Further in the passage at Luke 2:13 – 14, the dark sky above Bethlehem shone with the light of the appearance of many Angels:
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’
After the Angels departed back to Heaven, the shepherds rushed off to Mary, Joseph, and baby Christ in the manger. From Luke 2:15 – 18:
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
Angels Announce the Resurrection of Christ on Easter
According to the Bible, it was an angel who announced the miracle of Christ’s resurrection on the First Easter. Jesus’ death was a sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity. His sacrifice would make it possible for humans to connect with a holy God. In turn, Christ’s resurrection was a miracle to show people that they could have eternal life with God through their relationships with Jesus. The Angels descended from the Heavens to spread this message.
In Matthew 28:1 -7:
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary [the mother of a disciple named James] went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
The Angel appeared before the women to deliver this message: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
With this message from the Angel, the two women ran from the tomb “afraid, yet filled with joy” to deliver the miraculous news to Christ’s disciples. Soon after the Angel’s announcement Jesus appeared before Mary Magdalene, while she was weeping about not knowing where to find the resurrected Jesus.
Over the next 40 days, Jesus made many appearances before ascending to Heaven with the Angels. While Jesus was still on Earth, the Angels remained active and went around encouraging people to deepen their faith in God.
Archangel Uriel Delivers a Warning to Noah
Image credits: Wellcome Library, London
According to Noah’s story in the Book of Enoch, witnessing the toll that sin has taken on Earth upsets the Archangels. God then goes on to assign each of those Archangels to help the fallen world. Archangel Uriel, who is known for delivering God’s wisdom to mankind, is tasked with warning the prophet Noah about God’s plan to wash the world clean through a flood. Uriel tells Noah that God will repopulate the world with the people and animals he saves on a large ship called an ark.
In Enoch 10:1 – 4 God assigns Uriel the task of delivering his warning to Noah:
Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spoke, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: ‘Go to Noah and tell him in my name ‘Hide yourself!’ and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.’