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This week we are starting a new series on Sunday nights titles “Jesus Christ as Our High Priest.”

The book of Hebrews isn’t the most popular book in the New Testament.

In many respects it is neglected.

The Jewish, or Old Testament, back ground that permeates every chapter has probably contributed to its neglect by many pastors.

The book of Hebrews portrays an exalted concept of Jesus Christ.

This week we are talking about,

Christ, God’s Messenger.

Text

Hebrews 1:1-2 (ESV)

The Supremacy of God’s Son

1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 

2 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.

Scripture Reading

Hebrews 1:1-14 (ESV)

Introduction 

The letter to the Hebrews was written to prove that the new covenant in Jesus Christ is superior to the old covenant of Mount Sinai.

God sent His messenger, Jesus Christ, to establish the new covenant.

This introductory chapter to Hebrews overwhelms its recipients with spiritual facts about Christ, God’s messenger.

  1. The Messenger preceded (Hebrews 1:1).

Hebrews 1:1 (ESV)

1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

God was active in human affairs before He sent His Son.

The author of Hebrews gives a summary of Devine dealings prior to “these last days”  which he talks about in verse 1:2

  1. Recipients

The revelation of God was directed to fathers, the ones who would respond to responsibility by faith, in order for society to have spiritual guidance.

B. Manner

The message from God came in a variety of ways.

God spoke through a “burning” bush, political decrees, meditations, miracles, natural disasters, and a number of other ways.

C. Prophets.

The author specifically notes the prophets’ role in presenting God’s Word to the fathers. 

2. The Messenger presented (Hebrews 1:2-3.)

Hebrews 1:2-3 (ESV)

2 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. 

3 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,

A concise theological lesson concerning Jesus Christ is given in these verses.

He is presented in three realms.

  1. A cosmic realm

Christ is revealed to be more than flesh and blood.

He is the cosmic Christ, and He has complete rule over the physical universe.

1. As heir, in verse 1:2. Jesus Christ is the heir of all things.

This heirship is shared with those who are born again in Romans 8:17 (ESV)

17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

2. As creator in verse 1:2.

The role of creator of the universe is attributed to Christ.

This is not an uncommon New Testament teaching look at John 1:3, and 10, and Colossians 1:16.

3. As upholder in verse 1:3.

God’s Son is declared to be the One upholding all things by the power of His Word.

There is an obvious force at work in the physical sustaining of the universe that the scientific world has not yet recognised. Check out Colossians 1:17.

B. In the spiritual realm.

The world of spiritual reality is controlled by Christ.

The author of Hebrews gives three major truths regarding the messenger in the spiritual realm.

  1. As glory (1:3) 

The transfiguration in Matthew 17;1-13 gave us a brief glimpse into the inner glory of our Lord.

2. As Image (1:3)

The New Testament speaks of Jesus a being the physical image of the invisible God in John 1:18 and Colossians 1:15, and 2:9.

Those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father.

John 14:9 (ESV) says

9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

3. As royalty (1:3).

As Christ finished His earthly service, He took a seat  “on the right hand of the majesty on high.”

This phrase does not imply that there are three Gods on three thrones in heaven.

Rather, it simply means that Jesus Christ shares in the royalty of the trinity.

C. In the human realm.

Since it is impossible for people to escape sin by their own power, God sent His Son to purge humanity of all iniquity.

It seems that the purpose of Jesus’ activities in both the cosmic and spiritual realm is fulfilled as He works with People in the human realm.

He has once and for all delivered human kind from their enslavement to sin.

3. The Messenger preferred (Hebrews 1:4-13.)

The author of Hebrews was aware that his recipients were steeped in Old Testament history and theology.

They would be tempted either to reject Jesus as being inferior to the angels of Old Testament fame or to categorise Him as being “among many.”

The author presented Jesus as God’s superior messenger.

This highly exalted Person has a superior name, that should invoke a response of adoration.  Hebrews 1:4 (ESV) says,

4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

The author presented Jesus as being superior too God’s angels in three ways.

  1. As Son, He is superior to angels.

1.  A personal declaration in Hebrews 1:5 (ESV)

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”?

Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

At no time has God spoken to angels as He did to Jesus when He said, “Thou art my son.”

2. A social declaration, again in 1:5.

God directs  a statement to society as a whole as He addresses Jesus in the third person.

God wants the world to know that Christ is His Son.

“I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”

No angel ever received that recognition from heaven.

3. A theological declaration.

Hebrews 1:6-7 (ESV) says

6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

7 Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.

The theological word “first begotten” expresses Christ’s supremacy as He relates to all creation.

He is superior to angels.

B. As king, He is superior to angels.

  1. Hebrews 1:8 (ESV) talks about Eternal rule.

8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

The Holy Father declared His Son’s rule to be eternal.

2. Hebrews 1:9 (ESV) tells of Righteous rule.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

The chief characteristic of His kingdom will be righteousness.

Biblical history gives record of certain angels who have fallen into evil, have a read of Isaiah 14:12. This was not so with Christ.

3. Hebrews 1:9 also speaks about Glad rule.

Christ imparts gladness to the people He rules.

C. As God, He is superior to angels.

1. Hebrews 1:10 (ESV) says

10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,

and the heavens are the work of your hands;

This is creative activity. Christ is the agent of creation while angels are the results of creation.

2. Hebrews 1:11-12 (ESV) says

11 they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment,

12 like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed.

But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

This is continued activity.

The eternal Christ as compared to the temporal universe points out His superiority to creation.

3. Hebrews 1:13 (ESV)

13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

This is Courtly activity.

A capstone in the comparison of Christ to the angels is found in this verse regarding His position in “court.”

The enemies of righteousness will serve as His footstool.

No angel can ever attain this position of glory.

Conclusion.

Though angels are inferior to Jesus, that certainly does not mean they are without purpose.

God planned for angels to be ministering to those who become heirs of salvation.

God has a plan for every member of His creation.

Though we might think of ourselves more highly than we should, we find peace when we adapt our wills to that of Christ.

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

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