Jesus Christ is Superior to the Prophets. 1: 1- 3
The superiority of Jesus Christ.
Read: Heb 1:1-3.
The epistle of Hebrews answers the questions people often asked about Jesus Christ. Some call Hebrews the fifth gospel. Hebrews says Jesus is the beginning and the end of all things. The first four Gospels explain what Christ did on earth. Hebrews describes what Jesus is doing in heaven. Hebrews may be compared to Romans. Romans explain the necessity of the Gospel. Hebrews explains the superiority of the Gospel. Hebrews starts with no self-identification of the author or greetings. So there is a sense of urgency in the mind of the writer to write this letter. During the Old Testament period, God spoke to us in different ways and different times. God spoke to us through dreams, visions and prophets over a period of many years (2 Samuel 23:2; 2 Pet 1:21). This revelation was incomplete and fragmentary. The Old Testament Prophets were testifying of Christ (Luke 23:26; John 5:39; Romans 1:2). To Moses, God appeared in a burning bush ( Ex 3:2) . To Elijah, God spoke in a still small voice (1 King 19:12 ).To Isaiah God spoke in a vision (Isaiah 6:8). But in these last days God has spoken to us through His Son (Heb 1:2). It is the final and complete revelation from the Father. God has given us everything we need to know for living a godly life in His word (2 Pet 1:3). The period of last days begins with Christ's incarnation and ends at His second coming (Heb 9:26). This letter was not written to scare us but to encourage the readers.
First, Christ is superior Prophet in Revelation of God. The revelation through Christ is superior to that of the Old Testament prophets. It is the complete revelation from the Father through the Son. He is the Word that became flesh and lived among us. Jesus is the message and as well as the messenger. His disciples saw His glory as the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth (John 1:1,14). Jesus has revealed the Father to us (John 1:18). He is the living Word and the Bible is the written Word. It is the once for all given Word for our faith and holy living (Jude 1:3). We do not need any further revelation. What we need today is the illumination of the given Word of God.
Secondly, Christ is the appointed Heir of all things. From eternity God made His Son the heir of all things. Christ is God's agent in creation and heir of all things according to His humanity (Luke 1:32) Jesus said “all that belongs to the Father is mine”(John 16:15). All things belong to God (Psalms 24:1). Since Jesus is the Son, He is the rightful heir of all things (Heb 2:5-9). The believers are part of His inheritance (Ephesians 1:18). Christ owns them by creation and redemption. We are joint heirs with Christ and we will reign with Him side by side one day (Rom 8:17). May be it is a reference to His millennial reign in the future. He is Jesus, our wonderful Savior who loves and cares for us.
Thirdly, Jesus is the creative agent of the universe. Time, space and matter are made through Him. Jesus is the creator and not the created. Apart from Him nothing came into existence (John 1:3). He alone performed the works that only God performs, such us creating the universe and upholding it by the Word of his power. All things were created by Him and for Him. Father delegated the creation process to Son. In Him and by Him and for Him all things were created (Col 1:15-17). He is the sovereign source, the divine agent, and for His glory all things were created. He is the first cause of creation (Rev 3:14). We live in a universe that belongs to Christ (Psalms 24:1). In creation we see God's power and wisdom. Scripture says "Christ is the power and wisdom of God"(1 Cor 1:24). Jesus is the mighty God.
Fourthly, Christ is the brightness of God's glory. Christ is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature (!:3). God is clothed with majesty and glory. He revealed His presence through His glory in the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34). The glory of God is His moral perfection revealed in the ten commandments and then in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). It can be summed up in one word "Righteousness". Christ is our righteousness 1 Cor 1:30). His mission was to bring many sons and daughters to glory (2:10). Christ has revealed the invisible God to us (John 1:18). Peter said "We are witnesses of His glory" (2 Peter 1:16-18). Christ alone is the expression of God's glory. He lives in us, the hope of glory. No angel or prophet could make that claim. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). He who has seen Christ has seen the Father (John 14:9). Christ is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20). Great is the mystery of godliness "God was revealed in the flesh"(1 Tim 3:16). Jesus is our glorious Savior!
Fifthly, Christ upholds all things by the Word of His power. Christ not only created all thing but also carries all things into their final destiny. He does control and guide history. You are not your own. He created all things by His word of power (Isaiah 40:26; Jeremiah 32:17). Through Christ all things hold together and preserved. He controls the laws of the universe. He cares the disciples who were terrified. At His word the wind and waves obeyed (Mark 4:35-41).
Six, Christ Provides purification for sins by His atoning sacrifice. Here the emphasis shifts from creation to redemption. Man's sin brought curse and corruption into this world (Gen 3:17). Apart from God, creation is meaningless and heading into decay and death. Christ came to redeem us from the bondage of sin. God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to become a sin offering for us. Jesus is God’s once for all sacrifice for sin. The One who knew no sin was made sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). He is seated at the right hand of God in glory (Matt 26:64). This indicates that Jesus has finished his work of redemption and it is sufficient to forgive our sins. There is no other sacrifice for sin besides Jesus' death on the cross. Old Testament sacrifices could not remove sins. But the blood of Christ cleanses us from all our sins (1 John 1:7). Even the worst of sinners can find forgiveness in Jesus. We dishonor Christ and his death if we try to earn forgiveness by good works. God offers forgiveness based only on the merits of Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. Have you experienced this forgiveness of sin by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and his death on the cross?
Finally, Christ Sat down at the right hand of God. Christ is the exalted king and the source of our faith. He purged our sins once for all and sat down on the right hand of the majesty in heaven. His sacrifice is final and sufficient. This is in direct contrast to the Old Testament priestly ministry. They offer repeated sacrifices for sin. There was no chair in the Tabernacle and priests were not allowed to sit there. Christ died once to take away our sins. On the cross He said "It is finished". Salvation is a gift from God. First He came to take away our sins. He will come again for those who wait for Him. Therefore give earnest attention to the salvation revealed by Christ, so that we may not drift from Him. Do you know this great Savior? Are you ready to welcome Him?