Monday, March 14, 2005

It's All About Him: Hebrews -- Lesson 3

To start at the beginning, click here.

So God has spoken to us though His Son. Hebrew's author now provides his resume:

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, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:2-4, NASB 95)

Behold the Son:

  • Appointed heir of all things:Because of His obedience to the Father in coming to planet earth and offering Himself as an offering for sin, all the stars, galaxies, people, things, and authority belong to Him. In effect, He is now in charge.
  • The constructor of the universe: The Writer tells us that God made the world through Him. Thus the Father had the plan and the Son implemented the plan. The creation moments all begin with "And God said..." The action of the Son is all wrapped up in the word "said." That is why John later tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (John 1:1-3)" Note that if the world was made through the Son, it means that the Son is eternal: outside of time and space.
  • Seeing the Son is seeing the Father: This is why a study of the gospels is crucial to understanding the rest of the Bible, in my opinion. We need to get to know Jesus and how He reacts to events and situations and use that knowledge to properly color our understanding of events and situations in the Old Testament and in the rest of the New Testament.
  • He maintatins the creation: This verse blows deism away. Deism is that view of God by which He created the universe and let it run off on its own. If Jesus "upholds all things by the word of His power," then the universe needs constant attention. The concept also connects, in concept, with Genesis's "God said" and John's, "in the beginning was the Word." That is the universe is maintained through command.
  • He made purification of sins: It follows that if the Son is responsible for maintaining the universe, that He would be part of the solution to the "sin" that arose on earth. He made purification for it and by doing so brought great esteem for Himself. Hebrews has much to say about this.
  • He sits at the Father's right hand: This seems to be saying that this is a new postion that He earned by making puriifcation of sins. I think that it may be more correct to say that He resumed His place at the right hand of the Father.
  • He has inherited a name far better than the angels: "Angels" is a broad term. It includes the prophets, the burning bushes, and the angels that appeared and spoke to men. These are all the past messengers. By saying that Jesus has inherited a "better name" the Writer affirms, yet again, that the message is clearer and more potent and from a superior source than any that came before. Indeed, there is not likely to be a better messenger in the future. The Son is the last word.

The last point in the Writer's resume of the Son transitions the book to its first Biblical defense of the Writer's points. This topic, I will pick up tomorrow.

Test everything. Cling to what is good.


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