Saturday, August 15, 2009

First Words on THE Final Word - Hebrews 1

"GOD, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets
in many portions and in many ways,
in these last days has spoken to us in His Son,
whom He appointed heir of all things,
through whom also he made the world.
And He is the radiance of His glory
and the exact representation of His nature,
and upholds all things by the word of His power.
When He had made purification of sins,
He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high...."
(vs 1-3)

After finishing a very full study of Isaiah I asked my wise huband where he thought I should camp out next. Without a hesitation he said "Hebrews." His reason was that it is so Christocentric - so full of Jesus. So here I am and clearly, here HE is and oh! is He not glorious?!

Right off the bat we see, from the words of the apostle, that Christ is the fullness of revelation. He is the apex of the Word and of creation. He is the center of redemptive history and honestly all of history - hence BC/AD - the birth of Christ split time in two!

He is the living Word become the final word. Christ is "the most excellent Messenger that was ever sent into the world." (Matthew Henry) We would do well to listen to Him! Who else's voice need we to hear now that He has spoken? "In these last days He has spoken to us in His Son."

Several truths about Christ are revealed in the opening words of this grand epistle.

1) He is "heir of all things." "Whom He appointed heir of all things."

It's all about Christ. Everything revolves around Him. He is the heir of everything. Is your life humbly submitted to Him? He owns it whether you want Him to or not. Is it not much better and much wiser to be a bond-servant of the mercies of Christ than a rightful recipient of the justice of Christ? He will inherit you either way - either as an object of mercy or as an object of wrath. May we flee to the Heir of all things knowing that in so doing we shall receive an inheritance from Him that is "imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you." (1 Pe 1:4)

2) The world was made through Him. "Through whom also He made the world."

Colossians points us to this same truth: "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by Him and for Him." (Col 1:16)

Christ is the author of the original creation and He is the author of the new creation - that which is wrought to us through saving faith. (If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.) How much do we owe to the great 2nd person of the Trinity?!! This side of heaven we cannot even begin to comprehend and on the other side we will sing of it in amazement for all eternity! May we cast ourselves upon Him who made us that His omnipotent hand might take care of us!

3)He is God! "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature."

Here is a beautiful passage on the deity of Christ. He is no mere reflection of God but the EXACT representation of God's nature. "Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. The person of the Son is the true image and character of the Father. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of God the Father. This is the glory of the person of Christ; the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him." (Matthew Henry). Christ is Emmanuel - God with us. What comfort to know that my Savior is my God!

4) He is the Sovereign Sustainer of the universe. He "upholds all things by the word of His power."

The same Christ who spoke all that is into being -simply by the power of His word- sustains all that is simply by the word of His power. I quickly run out of steam trying to hold my little 3 bedroom corner of the world together in my own strength. Yet Christ reigns over ALL the universe and every detail of it with just a word - and He never grows weary! What a powerful, almighty, magnificent God He is! May we find our strength in Him for it is made perfect in our weakness!

5) He is the perfect Priest of His people. "When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."

Jesus Christ who is God incarnate, the heir of all things, the creator and sustainer of all, this most excellent and most glorious One is not only great but gracious. He who made life physical grants to us life spiritual through His own blood.

Matthew Henry writes: "From the glory of the person of Christ He proceeds to mention the glory of the grace of Christ. The sufferings of Christ had this great honor in them, to be a full satisfaction for the sins of His people. By Himself He purged away our sins. He has made atonement for sin. Himself, the glory of His person and nature, gave to His suffering such merit as was a sufficient reparation of honor to God, who has suffered injury and affront by the sins of men."

As Hebrews begins we are immediately pointed to the great and glorious final Word - Jesus Christ, the exact representation of God. He is the giver of life, the sustainer of life, the granter of eternal life. He has paid the price, in full, for the sins of His people and because "it is finished" He has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Do you know this all great and glorious Christ? If not, how I hope and pray that you will pause to examine the book of Hebrews, this wonderfully Christocentric book, and that He will leap out from its pages in all of His splendor and majesty and aprehend your heart.

Thankful for the Son,

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