My family attended a wonderful church when I was growing up. Our pastor, Doc Hauser, was an expository preacher. I loved listening to the details and benefitted from the richness of digging deep into the Word. During my high school years, he worked his way through the book of Hebrews. We went word by word, verse by verse. And as I sit here today, I sure wish I had those sermon notes in my hands. I do remember Doc was convinced that Paul was the author of this book (although we have no conclusive evidence of the author’s name). I recall some of his presentation regarding the audience for Hebrews and the reality that we are not quite sure of this book’s intended readers. Nevertheless, Hebrews is a book that calls its readers to deeply consider Jesus Christ.
The opening four verses point out Christ’s superiority in contrast to the prophets of old.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 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. 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, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” ~Hebrews 1:1-4
Let’s pull out a couple phrases for our consideration:
- He [God, the Father] appointed [Jesus, his Son] the heir of all things (Psalm 2:8)
- Through whom also he created the world (John 1:3)
- He is the radiance of the glory of God (Psalm 108:5)
- The exact imprint of his nature (Col. 1:15)
- He upholds the universe by the word of his power (John 1:1-2)
- He made purification for sins (Hebrews 10:10, 12)
- He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69)
Take some time to meditate on these four verses and write out the phrases. You might want to journal some of your personal thoughts about each phrase listed above. And, finally, I invite you to spend some time in worship of the Almighty God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It’s my hope as you read through the book of Hebrews this month that you will take time to consider Christ. He is superior to the prophets, to the angels, and to Moses. Beginning in chapter 5, take time to ponder the priesthood of Christ. And as the book draws to a close, I pray you will spend some time thinking about the power of Christ (especially in Hebrews 11 – reflect on the lives of those listed in the Hall of Faith).