February 2, 2020
Scripture: Hebrews 1:1-3
I. God used to speak through the prophets.
A. We see in verse 1 that in the past God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. The fathers in this verse refers to the Hebrew Christians’ Jewish ancestors. God would speak to these ancestors through intermediaries, through prophets. We have those words of the prophets, which are actually the words of God, collected in a book called the Old Testament. The Old Testament is not irrelevant. There is nothing wrong with the Old Testament. It’s just incomplete. The Old Testament is just as much the word of God as the New Testament. But the Old Testament is an unfinished story. The Old Testament needs Jesus to finish the story and fulfill it.
II. But Jesus is better so God has now spoken through Jesus.
A. As great as the words of God spoken by the prophets are, there is an even greater word. And that greater word is Jesus. Jesus is God’s final word. He is the fulfillment of God’s plan, and the end of God’s story. Jesus is a greater word than the Old Testament prophets, not just because He has brought in the last days of history as the fulfillment of prophecy. Jesus is also a greater word because He is God’s Son (vs. 2). Matthew 21:37-38: “Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’” God first sent His prophets. But then in these last days He sent His Son.
B. Jesus in His ministry has three offices or roles. Jesus is God’s prophet, priest and King. We see that Jesus has the role of king in verse 2. Jesus is called here the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. God is Creator so Jesus as the second person in the Trinity created the world as God’s agent of creation. Jesus then has the same attributes as God. What is true of God is true of Jesus. Jesus is Lord of the Universe, King of Kings, King of everything. We also see in Hebrews 1 that Jesus has the role of prophet. We have seen in these verses that a prophet speaks the words of God to the people. A prophet reveals to the people who God is. Well, who can reveal God better than God? God the Son, Jesus, reveals God the Father to us. Verse 3 says that Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. Nowhere was the glory of God more perfectly revealed than in the person of God’s Son and prophet Jesus. Jesus is the glorious one. When the author of Hebrews says that Jesus is the exact imprint of God’s nature, he is saying that when you look at Jesus you are in fact looking at God.
C. Jesus has the role of priest. In the Old Testament priests made sacrifices for the sins of the people. And we read in verse 3 that after making purification for sins, Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. There is one detail in verse 3 that makes it clear that Jesus’ work as priest was far greater than any Old Testament priest’s work: after Jesus offered up Himself as a sacrifice on the cross, he sat down. Animal sacrifices in the Old Testament were a symbol that pointed forward to a greater sacrifice. And that greater sacrifice was the sacrifice of Jesus. The sacrifice of Jesus, the perfectly righteous lamb of God, would take care of sin once and for all. No more sacrifices were needed after Jesus our high priest offered himself for us on the cross. So, when Jesus offered up the perfect sacrifice of Himself, He sat down. His work was finished.
No one and nothing is greater than Jesus. Offer your heart to Him.
The book of Hebrews
Commentaries by Tom Schreiner and Raymond Brown
Bible study by Michael Kruger