Oh, Hebrews 1:1-4 packs a lot in there. Such a perfect picture of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
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, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
So I decided to take an in-depth look at what these verses tell us about Jesus.
First of all, God has spoken to us in His Son (Jesus). God has spoken before in many ways- on occasion He spoke directly to individuals, He spoke through dreams and visions, He spoke through a donkey once, and He spoke a lot through the prophets. God has always spoken, He spoke “long ago” and in “these last days.” God spoke to “our fathers” and God spoke to “us.” In the past God spoke in many ways, in the last days He has spoken in one way-in His Son. In the past God spoke to us through others (the prophets), in the last days God Himself speaks to us in the form of His Son. And He did not just speak in words through His Son, but in the way that He lived while He walked on this earth. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Secondly, Jesus has been appointed heir of all things. Jesus is the one who has been designated by God the Father to inherit the throne and to rule over all of creation.
Third, Jesus is the Creator of everything and He is to rule over everything He created. That certainly seems fitting that the one made this world is the one who will rule over it. This also speaks clearly to the fact that Jesus is not one of the created things-He is the Creator of all created things. He is far above the rest of creation.
Fourth, Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory. What exactly does that mean? I’m not really sure but I thought back to times when God’s glory appeared in the past, and Moses comes to mind. Remember how the Israelites asked Moses to put a veil over his face to hide the glory of the Lord that shone from him after spending time in God’s presence? Remember the fear they had about approaching God and being able to live? And now comes Jesus and in Him we see God’s glory-it is no longer a fearful thing, we can look upon His face and not die.
I am letting that thought sink in.
Fifth, Jesus is the exact representation of God’s nature. To see Jesus is to see the Father-they are of the very same essence. Jesus is not just “like God”, He is God.
Sixth, Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. I immediately thought about Genesis and how God spoke a word and the world came into being. The power of His word created all things and the power of His word sustains all things-He holds all things together. Isn’t that a great thought-the One who created me is the same One who sustains me-the same One who holds me together through each and every day, through each and every circumstance! Who could possibly know me better than He who created me?
Seventh, Jesus made purification of sins. Sin entered the world at the fall, and since then we have been under a death sentence. Nothing could satisfy the debt we owe because of our sin, and then came Jesus-He paid the debt, wiped it out completely. Through Jesus I have been washed whiter than snow-clean and purified.
Fills me with joy inexpressible to think about that at this moment.
Eighth, Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Once Jesus accomplished the cleansing of our sin He sat down at the right hand of God the Father. It is finished. There is significance to being seated at the right hand-it is the hand of power, it is the place of access to the Father, it is the place where Jesus is able to intercede to God on our behalf. To be seated at the right hand of God the Father means to have a highly exalted place in the kingdom-it is a place of special honor. It is a place of authority.
Ninth, Jesus became much better than the angels and inherited a more excellent name than they. Jesus is unique, He is above the angels, those mysterious heavenly beings that arouse our curiosity. His name is above every other name-at His name every knee will bow in heaven and on earth-even the angels bow down to Him. That is how highly exalted He is.
Like I said at the beginning, the author of Hebrews has packed a lot into these beginning verses-I has done my soul well to stop and contemplate them this morning.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,