Chapter 1

Jesus Christ is Superior to the Prophets. 1:1. 

The epistle of Hebrews is called the fifth gospel. The four Gospels explain what Christ has done on earth. Hebrews describes what Jesus is doing in heaven. This epistle says Jesus is the beginning and the end of all things. Hebrews may be compared to Romans.  The epistle of Romans explains 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 author to write this letter. During the Old Testament period, God spoke to us in different ways and different times.  God spoke in the Old Testament through dreams, visions and prophets over a period of many years (2 Samuel 23:2; 2 Peter 1:21). This revelation was incomplete and fragmentary. The Old Testament Prophets were testifying of Christ (Luke 24:27; John 5:39; Romans 1:2). To Moses, God appeared in a burning bush ( Exodus 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 (Hebrews 1:2). It is the final and complete revelation from the Father. God has revealed to us everything we need for living a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). When God speaks, we must listen.  The period of last days begins with Christ's incarnation and ends with His second coming (Hebrews 9:26).  This letter was not written to scare but to encourage the readers.  Christ is the final and complete revelation from God. He is the Word that became flesh and lived among us (John 1:14). When prophets were only messengers, 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; 14:9). Jesus is the living Word.  The Bible is the written Word of God that speaks of Christ (John 5:39).  It is the once for all given Word for our faith and practice (Jude 1:3).  We do not need any further revelation.  What we need today is the illumination of the once for all  given Word of God (Ephesian 1:18).

Secondly, Christ is the Appointed Heir of all things. 1:2.
From eternity God has made His Son the heir of all things. Christ is God's agent in creation and heir of all things (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 (Hebrews 2:5-9). The believers are part of His inheritance (Ephesians 1:18).  Christ owns us by creation and redemption. We are joint heirs with Christ and we will reign with Him side by side one day (Romans 8:17).  It is a reference to His millennial reign in the future.  Jesus is our wonderful Savior and Lord. Do you know Him as your Savior and Lord?

Thirdly, Jesus is the Creative Agent of the Universe. 1:2.

Time, space and matter are made through Christ and for Him. Jesus is the creator of all things. Apart from Him nothing was made (John 1:3). He performs the works only God could perform.  He upholds all things by the Word of his power.  All things were created by Him and for Him 

(Colossians 1:15-17). He is the sovereign source and the divine agent of all things.  For His glory all things were created.  He is the first cause of creation. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Psalms 24:1).  In creation we see God's power and wisdom. Christ is the power and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). 

Fourthly, Christ is the Brightness of God's Glory. 1:3.
Christ is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact representation of His nature.  God is clothed with majesty and glory. God has manifested His presence through His glory in the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34). The glory of God is His moral perfection revealed in the Law. The disciples saw this glory in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14).  The glory can be summed up in one word "Righteousness". Christ is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). He died to bring  many sons and daughters to glory (Hebrews 2:10).  Christ has revealed the invisible God to us (John 1:18).  Peter says  "We are witnesses of His glory" (2 Peter 1:16-18).  Christ alone is the expression of God's glory.  He lives in us as the hope of glory. No angel or prophet could make that claim. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one" (John 10:30).  Jesus said "He who has seen me 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 manifested  in the flesh"(1 Tim 3:16). Jesus is our glorious Savior!

Fifthly, Christ upholds all things by the Word of His power. 1:3.
Christ has not only created all things but also carries all things into their final destiny. He controls and guides history. You are not your own. He created all things by the power of His Word (Isaiah 40:26; Jeremiah 32:17). Christ holds all things together and preserves them. He controls the laws of this universe. He helped 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.1:3.
Here, the emphasis shifts from creation to redemption. Creation was very good but man's sin brought curse and corruption into this world (Genesis 1:31; 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.  The One who knew no sin was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Christ became our substitute. He is now seated at the right hand of God in glory (Matthew 26:64). Jesus Christ has finished the work of our redemption by dying on the cross.  He is risen from the dead and seated at the right hand of God. The right hand speaks of honor and authority. There is no other sacrifice needed for sin besides Jesus' death on the cross. Old Testament sacrifices could not remove sins but only cover sins. But the blood of Christ cleanses us from all our sins (1 John 1:7; Micah 7:19). Even the worst of sinners can find forgiveness in Jesus.  We dishonor Christ when we reject his death for the forgiveness of sin. God offers forgiveness based on the merit of Christ's atoning death. Have you experienced this forgiveness of sin by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Finally, Christ Sat down at the Right hand of God. 1:3. 
Christ is the exalted King. He purged our sins and sat down on the right hand of the majesty in heaven. His death was the final sacrifice for sins.  Christ is the source of eternal life. There is no other sacrifice for sin besides Christ's sacrifice.  It is the perfect sacrifice that cannot be improved upon. This is in direct contrast to the Old Testament priestly ministry and sacrifices. They offered repeated sacrifices for sin. There was no chair in the Tabernacle  and the priests were not allowed to sit there. Their ministry continued. But Christ died once for all to take away our sins and sat down. On the cross Jesus said "It is finished".   His death is sufficient to forgive all our sins.  Salvation is a gift from God but it is to be received by faith. First Christ came in humility to take away our sins. He will come again in glory for those who wait for Him. Therefore pay earnest attention to Christ, so that we may not drift away from Him. Do you know Christ?  Put your hope in Christ and be ready to welcome the soon coming King of kings.


Christ is Superior to Angels: Hebrews. 1:4-14.
Jesus is superior to angels by the name he inherited (Psalms 2:7). He has a more excellent name than angels.  His name is above every name and at his name every knee shall bow  (Philippians 2:9).  The first century Hebrew Christians gave great importance to angels because of their role in the giving of the Law (Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2).  Some even taught that Jesus was chief among the angels.  Many Christians were deceived to worship angels by false teachers (Colossians 2:18).  The writer shows that in six ways Christ is superior to angels (Hebrews 1:4-14). Jesus is the creator and angels are created being. From eternity, Christ is the Son of God and the Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16). Angels are the heavenly host, created to serve as messengers. They are the ministering spirits. In Hebrews all quotations concerning Christ come from the Old Testament. This shows that the Old Testament is a Christ centered book.  Christ  is superior to angels. 

Christ is superior to angels by His Name. Hebrews 1:4, 5.
Christ inherited a more excellent name than angels (Hebrews 1:4, 5). "Thou art my Son”. This is a quotation from Psalms 2:7. There is a dual focus in this verse. Originally it referred to King David but it is ultimately fulfilled in Christ (2 Samuel 7:14).  We are sons of God by new birth and by adoption.  But Christ by the very nature of God eternally the son of God.  It was declared by the Father at Christ's baptism (Mark 1:11; Luke 9:35; John 17:5). Angels are called sons of God collectively but never called Son of God individually (Job 1:6). Christ has a unique relationship with the Father (John 20:17). The prophecy of Psalm 2:7 was fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ (Acts 13:32, 33). It was a reference to His position at the throne of God. Jesus is declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection (Romans 1:4). His name is above every name.  At His name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9, 10). Those who love Jesus submit to His rule.  Christ is superior to angels because they worship Him ( Hebrews 1:6).   The angels are commanded to worship Christ (Revelation 22:9). At His birth the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest '' and worshiped Jesus (Luke 2:14). Verse 6 is a quotation from Psalms 97:7.  It is a reference to Solomon but his throne did not last forever.  But Christ will reign over Israel forever and His kingdom will never end (Luke 1:32). He is the first born among many brethren (Romans 8:29). This is a reference to Christ's supreme position. He is the first born from the dead.  It is a reference to Christ's resurrection from the dead (Revelation 1:5). Someday everyone will  acknowledge His Lordship and worship him. How blessed to know Him and serve Him now!

Angels are also ministering spirits. Hebrews 1:7.
This is a quotation from Psalms 104:4. Angels are the messengers but Jesus is the message. They are created beings.  Christ is the creator. Scholars suggest that the word "spirit" can be translated as wind or breath.  Angels ministered  to Christ in His temptation (Matthew 4:11).  Angel appeared to strengthen Jesus in His passion in the garden (Luke 22:43). As servants, angels are inferior to Christ.

Christ is superior because He is enthroned forever. Hebrews 1:8, 9.
This is a quotation from Psalm 45:6-7. It is a wedding Psalm for someone in the dynasty of King David.  But its ultimate fulfillment is in Christ Jesus. Only His kingdom is the righteous kingdom that lasts forever. Here Christ is referred to as God (Greek-Theos). "To the Son, God the Father says, Your throne O God is forever and ever". This is an undeniable proof of the deity of Jesus Christ. Those who deny this emphatic statement about the deity of Christ, have an issue with God and the Bible. Also His throne is forever. This speaks of Christ's eternal majesty. He has been anointed with the oil of gladness (Psalms 110:1). This speaks of His Kingship. Jesus having completed the work of redemption is now enthroned in glory.  Jesus is indeed God and he is worthy of our worship and superior to angels.

Christ is superior to angels because He is the Creator. Hebrews 1:10-12.
These verses are quoted from Psalm 102:25-27. They indicate the creative power of Christ.  Angels are created beings. Christ is the eternal Creator. Everything in the fallen world is exposed to decay and will perish.  But Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Those who believe in Christ will have eternal life and will be with Him forever. He never changes. How good to know that Jesus is the everlasting God who never changes. Blessed be His Name!

Christ is superior to Angel because He is the Sovereign God. Hebrews 1:13-14.
This is a quotation from Psalm 110:1. Angels are only servants. Christ sits at the right hand of the throne of majesty.  In the incarnation Christ came in humiliation. After He completed the work of redemption, Christ sat at the right hand of God making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). No angel can make this claim. On the cross Christ conquered Satan.  "I make your enemies your footstool" is a reference to an ancient custom of victorious kings placing their feet on the neck of the defeated kings (Joshua 10:24). This is also the picture of the ultimate reign of Christ (Revelation 11:15). This is the hope of this fallen world. Jesus alone is the Savior.  Angels are ministering spirits to those who are saved (1:14; Psalms 91). He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). How blessed to know and serve such a great Savior!