In these first
three verses of the epistle to the Hebrews the apostle sets forth
the Christ in the sevenfold glory showing His superiority over
prophets. Before he enumerates these glories of the Son of God,
the apostle shows that God reveals Himself. "God spoke."
God is not a something that may be discovered, God is a Someone,
a Person Who reveals Himself. Before making a contrast between
the old and the new covenants, proving the superiority of the
new over the old, the writer is clear to make his readers realize
that God is the Author of both covenants. Though the old covenant
came by Moses and the new covenant came by Jesus Christ, God inaugurated
both of them. In the old covenant God spoke "at sundry times
and in divers manners in times past." In the new covenant
"God hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son."
are to be noted here between the old and new covenants.
There are two different periods of time. God spoke in times past,
referring to all time before the birth of Christ. Christ divides
all history. In times past all things pointed forward to Christ.
Since His advent all things point back to Him. The apostle distinguishes
between "times past," and the present which he calls
"these last days."
past refer to the time before the flood - the time of Noah, the
time of Abraham and the calling out of the Hebrew nation, the
time of Moses and Joshua, the time of the judges, the time of
David and succeeding kings in both Judah and Israel and the time
of the captivity and the return. God spoke in times past prior
to the gift of His Son.
God has given
us a greater revelation of Himself in these last days, which began
with the birth of Christ and his death on Calvary which was the
means of ushering in a new dispensation, a new covenant.
there were fragmentary revelations and then a final revelation.
"at sundry times" in many parts and by sections through
many prophets. God spoke in divers manners, in various methods.
He spoke through dreams, visions and symbols. God revealed Himself
in types, ceremony and partial revelation of Himself through Moses
and the other prophets.
But now in
these last days, God hath spoken. God's revelation of Himself
is no longer fragmentary but final. "These last days"
expresses the thought that there is no more a progress in revelation.
God is not speaking in various methods as in times past, but God
hath spoken by His Son.
There are two parties addressed: FATHERS and US. "God spoke
in times past unto the Fathers." Writing to the Hebrews,
the writer, in referring to the fathers would have in mind, Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob. Literally Abraham was the father of those to
whom the epistle was written. By grace we can call "Abraham
our father" - for he is the father of all those that believe.
But, in these last days God hath spoken unto us.
There are two different mouth pieces through whom God spoke: PROPHETS
and THE SON.
In times past
God spoke at different times and in various methods through the
prophets. He spoke through Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel and many
others including John the Baptist. But in these last days, God
hath spoken by His Son. What a contrast! He spoke through prophets.
They were moved by the Holy Ghost. (Peter 1:21) Now He hath spoken
in His Son. He is the Mover. The prophets were the organs of prophecy
but the Son is the Originator and Object of prophecy. The prophets
gave voice but the Son is the Word! God lost his speech when He
gave His Son. He exhausted His vocabulary in the giving of His
Son. (if I may use such an expression) In the Son is hidden all
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. God has no more to say.
He has given His last word in the person of His Son. God hath
spoken "in Son" is the literal translation. "In
Son," repeat it in your own mind, "in Son." We
speak "in words" but He hath spoken "in Son."
When God spoke
in times past He was heard but not seen save through some symbolic
presence. But now God hath revealed Himself in a much greater
measure. "The Word was God" (John 1:1) and "the
Word became flesh." (John 1:14) God is now not only heard;
He is seen. "God was manifested in the flesh." "They
beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father
full of grace and truth."
OF THE SON
having shown God to be the Author of both covenants and having
shown the contrast between the communication of God to His creatures
in the old and new covenants, He now proceeds to set forth the
Glories of the Son. If the apostle would show these Hebrews the
superiority of the new covenant, he must prove that the Son, its
Mediator, is better than prophets. There are seven statements
that set forth the infinite fullness of the Son. Let us look at
1. He is the
Heir of all things
2. By whom also He made the worlds
3. He is the brightness of God's glory
4. He is the express image or very impress of His substance
5. He upholds all things by the word of His power
6. He is the One who purged our sins
7. He has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Let us consider
these varied glories of the blessed Son who is our Redeemer and
1. HE IS
THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS
Christ is Heir of this creation and the whole universe of God.
God is the creator and possessor of all. The Son of God is the
Heir of it all. It is true that Christ the Son created all things.
"All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything
made that was made. For by Him were all things created, all things
were created by Him and for Him." (John 1:3, Col 1:16) God
made all things by His Word and through His Spirit. Nevertheless,
He who was in the form of God made Himself of no reputation and
was obedient unto death, has been appointed Heir of all things.
He, the first born out from among the dead, is Heir of all things.
A son is an heir. Heirship goes with sonship. Christ was the Son
of God before worlds came into being and was declared to be the
Son of God by resurrection. He is Heir to all God's glory, to
all God's infinite possessions. He is Heir of all. But the blessed
Son is not alone in His heirship, He shares all with His redeemed,
the many sons He has brought into glory. The apostle Paul, rejoicing
in his union with Christ, says, "The spirit Himself bears
witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; and if
children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ."
What a privilege! We are joint heirs with Christ. To be a joint
heir with another to a legacy means that no one heir can have
his portion without the other having his portion. Think of it,
a joint heir with Christ. Joint heirs with Him, whom God hath
appointed heir of all things. " All things are yours … all
are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." He
is Heir of all things. No Old Testament prophet was made an heir
of God; but the Son of God is Heir of everything that it is possible
to conceive of and we are joint heirs with Him.
2. HE IS
THE CREATOR OF THE WORLD
True, "He is the creator of all things, visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers;
all things were created by Him, and for Him." (Colossians
1:16) "He stretched the heavens with a span." His hand
measured the heavens. His hand holds the trusting soul. He studded
the underside of heaven with diamonds that we call the stars and
He hung the earth upon nothing. This is said of no prophet. He
not only made the worlds and the entire universe, but He is the
fashioner of the ages. The word translated "world" here
is not "ge", translated earth, but "aion"
which is better translated age. The Son not only called worlds
into space but He fashioned the ages or time periods through which
is made known the unfolding purpose of God in His relation to
man. They have been framed and fitted together by the Son. The
ages have their origination, continuation and consummation in
3. HE IS
THE BRIGHTNESS OF God's glory
The Son does not reflect the glory of God as the moon reflects
he light of the sun. He is the shining out, the effulgence of
God's glory. God dwells in light unapproachable. The glory of
God is manifested in Christ. He is the essential light. "In
Him was life and the life was the light of men." By virtue
of His deity He was the splendor of God's glory. No prophet had
the essential light of God.
4. HE IS THE EXACT REPRESENTATION OF GOD'S ESSENCE; He
is the very impress, the very image of God's being, of His substance.
The word translated "express image" means the stamp
that makes the coin. The Greek word is "character."
Thus the Son is an expression of the "character of God."
He is an exhibition of God's righteousness, wisdom, goodness,
love and power. Hence He could say, "He that hath seen me
has seen the Father." Thus the Son is a full revelation of
the Father. The Invisible has been made visible in the Son. "He
hath declared Him."
5. HE UPHOLDS ALL THINGS BY THE WORD OF HIS POWER.
Not as Atlas upholding the earth in a stationary position, but
Christ is upholding, governing, guiding and controlling all planets
and constellation of stars, directing them in their paths with
such precision, does the son uphold His universe. The scientist
can mark out the date for the next eclipse and tell how many miles
the other planets are from the earth. There will be no chaos with
the Christ. He controls all things. Not only does He uphold the
material universe but He sustains the moral universe. There is
no collapse where there is a Christ. A Person, not a power, upholds
all things. It is the Son of God, the Mediator of the new covenant,
who is our Lord and Saviour. If He can uphold all things, material
things and moral order, can we not trust Him to hold us by His
6. HE HAS
EXPIATED OUR GUILT
Think of Him in His glories as set forth in this epistle. He is
Heir, Creator, the Effulgence of God's glory, the very image of
His being. Along with the glories, the apostle places the blessed
truth of redemption. He is the Redeemer who hath purged our sins.
The purging of our sins is associated with the glory of the Son.
He is the mighty purger of our sins. Note the wonder of it: When
He had by Himself purged our sins," He did it alone. He is
not doing the work now, He has finished His work in purging our
sins - "when He had purged" is the statement.
done, the great transaction's done."
7. HE SAT
DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE MAJESTY IN HIGH
No Aaronical priest could sit down after making atonement for
the sins of the people. There was no chair in the tabernacle that
Moses had erected. The Levitical priest stood. His work was never
finished. He stood 'daily ministering and offering oft times the
same sacrifice which can never take away sins.' But this man,
the God-man, Heir, Creator, Sustainer, the Effulgence of God,
the Express Image of His Person, "after He had offered one
sacrifice for sins sat down on the right hand of God."