Wednesday, 15 January 2014

HEBREWS 1:2b-4 - 'THE MAGNIFICENT SON'

RGHP/2               Hebrews 1&2 - 'Such A Great Salvation '      PSC 12/1/14 pm
'THE MAGNIFICENT SON'
Hebrews 1v2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. v3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, v4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Why did they need a new word from God? They were facing a situation that no other part of the bible addressed in a sufficient way. With a completed bible we have a word that sufficient for all of life.
When did he write? It is likely that the letter was written before AD 70 as it speaks of the continued offering of the OT sacrifices.
Where did they live? Suggestions include: Jerusalem; Alexandria; Antioch; Samaria; Colossae, Ephesus, Cyprus & Rome
Why did he write? They needed a word of exhortation. He begins like a treatise, proceeds like a sermon, and closes like a letter. They were contemplating giving up. Why? They had suffered for their faith - Heb 10:32-34 but not shed blood - Heb 12:4. but might do soon. To escape further persecution they could join with the Jews who were allowed to worship their God in their own way. God had accepted the OT saints - so why not do as they did?
We may be tempted to go back to how things were before we became Christians, or to live as some do today who are not Christians. There will be times in our lives when we too need a word of exhortation. A word to enable us to endure, to keep going. Stiff words of warning as to what will happen if we give up, and words of great encouragement to carry on. That's what we find in Hebrews.
When we are feeling like giving up, we not only need to hear that he has spoken by his Son. He gives us seven reasons why Jesus is God's Greatest Messenger. We could think of them as 'The Magnificent Seven'.
[1] JESUS IS 'HEIR' - whom he appointed the heir of all things,
Matthew 21:37-39; Genesis 17:5; Psalm 2:8 Jesus is heir. How much does he get? Everything! He is heir not just of the nations but of all things.
[2] JESUS IS 'CONTRACTOR' through whom also he created the world.
The term he uses here means not just our little planet, but all 'time and space'. John 1:3 & Cols 1:16
He who built this world for us to live in speaks to us the words of eternal life.
[3] JESUS IS 'REVEALER' v3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,
He reveals both the glory God and the nature of God
His revelation of the glory of God is seen the transfiguration. Matthew 17:2 & John 1:14. FF Bruce - 'In Christ the glorious light of God shines into the hearts of men'
He reveals the nature of God in the way that the impression of the Queen's head on our coins reveals the queen. Jesus is the very stamp of God. 2 Cor 4:4 & Cols 1:15
[4] JESUS IS 'ATLAS' - and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
Atlas is from Greek Mythology. He was punished by Zeus by being made to hold the world on his back. Jesus is the true Atlas. He upholds not just the world but the entire universe. He does so willingly, not by virtue of his muscular strength, but by the word of his power. - Cols 1:17
[5] JESUS IS 'PURIFIER' After making purification for sins,
Domestos kills 99% of all known Germs. Jesus makes purification for 100% of all known and unknown sins. He makes us clean, he purifies us from all the pollution of sin - even that sin that haunts you. Heb 12:23 & 1 John 1:7
[6] JESUS IS 'MAJESTY' - he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
We see Jesus in his ascended glory. The Queen sits on the throne, with Prince Philip next to her but not on THE THRONE. Jesus sits on the throne. That's how good a job he did in delivering the word of God. Nowhere else was fitting for him to sit.
[7] JESUS IS 'SUPERIOR' - v4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Angels are a wonderful part of God's creation. Jesus is superior as he is the Son. This is the one through whom God has spoken. Shouldn't we believe what he says? Shouldn't we stick with his word even if all the world is calling us mad or wants to persecute us, even kill us.


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