In many ways and by many means God spoke in ancient times to our ancestors in the prophets; but at the end of these days he spoke to us in a son.
He appointed this son to be heir of all things; Through him, in addition, he created the worlds.
He is the shining reflection of God’s own glory, The precise expression of his very being; He sustains all things through his powerful word. He accomplished the cleansing needed for sins, And sat down at the right of the Majesty Supreme.
See how much greater he is than the angels: The name he was granted is finer then theirs.
To say that this opening to Hebrews is theologically packed is quite the understatement.
My goodness this says a lot!
Something to keep in mind from the get-go, is that there are four main concepts running through the whole book of Hebrews that may help in grasping it a bit better.
- God is a communicator
- His communicated word is effective (it changes lives)
- His now exalted Son is the ultimate means of His communication
- The Christ-following community is the immediate recipient of that communication
- Heir of all things. Jesus said that all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth. His inheritance is the meager WHOLE CREATED ORDER! We are to understand from Scripture that this royal inheritance has been inaugurated in Christ’s coming to earth, and will be consummated at the end of the age.
- Through Jesus God made the universe. This is what Scripture affirms here and elsewhere such as John 1:3. We actually believe that Jesus was the agent through whom God created the heavens and the earth.
- Jesus is the shining reflection of God’s own glory and the precise expression of His very being. Jesus provides us with a true and trustworthy picture of God. If you want to know what God is like, the answer is Jesus Christ, for it is He who revealed God to us most precisely. Jesus showed us God and cleared up any misconceptions on who YHWH really is.
- Jesus sustains all things through His powerful word. This should probably be understood in a managerial sense. “The action speaks of the continual organization and carrying forward of the created order to a designed end, an activity ascribed to God in Jewish writings.”*
- Jesus accomplished the cleansing needed for sins. What Jesus has provided is a permanent forgiveness that leads into the very presence of God. This is something that can be provided by no other human, though we often act and live as though someone can, don’t we! The only thing that can truly heal a human soul was and is provided by one person, Jesus Christ.
- Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty Supreme. Jesus has been exalted to an exceptional position of authority and honor where He still resides today.
- Jesus is greater than the angels. Remember He was made a little lower than the angels for a while during His walk on earth to accomplish His work. Then He was exalted back above them as He was before. (There may have been some angel worship going on in these early Christian communities, thus the author’s charge here.)
Soooooo, God has communicated with humans through the centuries, but ultimately through His Son Jesus who has been exalted to the pinnacle position of authority and majesty. I guess that’s all I had to say…Other than a little mathematical equation because I LOVE math:Jesus+Nothing=EVERYTHING!
*George H. Guthrie
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria