The book of Hebrews is a book of exhortation (13:22); expectation (future focus--1:2; 2:5; 9:28; 10:25, 37); and exaltation (1:2-3). Hebrews exalts the Lord Jesus Christ from beginning to end. Jesus is SUPERIOR OVER ALL THINGS ON EARTH (1:1-3).
I. Superior in His
A. GOD HAS SPOKEN in the past (v. 1).
1. Through dreams (Gen. 31:11)
2. In visions (Gen 46:2)
3. Face-to-face (Ex. 33:11)
4. By an angel (Jud. 2:1).
5. With His own voice (Ex. 19:19) by His own mouth (2 Chron. 6:4, 15)
6. By Ephod--the Urim and Thummin (Num. 27:21; 1 Sam. 28:6).
7. With a strong hand (Isa. 8:11).
8. By the prophets (Acts 3:21-24)- Notice who God spoke to in time past--"unto the fathers"--the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Therefore, Hebrews has a definite Jewish designation.
9. By the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures (2 Pet. 1:21)
10. By His Son (Heb. 1:2). God's Word MADE FLESH! God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well please, HEAR YE HIM."
B. God has spoken in "THESE LAST DAYS " (v. 2).
1. "last days..." Old Testament references to "last days" are usually aimed at the tribulation period. They refer to the "last days" of Israel, not the church.
2. "Last days" -- first mentioned in Gen. 49:1, 10, 11, 24 in relation to the twelve tribes. "Last days" --Deals with the setting up of the kingdom (Isa. 2:2). They begin with John the Baptist and are suspended after Acts 7. They resume with Israel back in the land (Luke 21:24-28) and finally end with the second advent.
3. On the day of Pentecost, Peter preaches to the House and Israel and quotes the prophet Joel, as if they were in "the last days" (Acts 2:17). That is, if the House of Israel would have repented of murdering their Messiah and received Him, the Lord would have returned right then and set up the Kingdom. Because they refused and finally blasphemed the Holy Ghost in Acts 7 under the preaching of Stephen, "the last days" have been put on hold.
4. Paul writes to Timothy and speaks of "last days" as being in the future (2 Tim. 3:1). Since the writer of Hebrews speaks of "last days" as being current days, means two things:
a. HISTORICALLY- He is writing early in the Acts period (which would be evidence against Paul's authorship, unless Paul wrote it during his stay in Arabia- Gal. 1:15-18). One possible answer is that Paul wrote the first twelve chapters in Arabia and chapter thirteen later).
b. DOCTRINALLY-- He is writing for those who would be living in the future "last days" of Christ's advent. Doctrinally, Hebrews is aimed at Jews going into the Tribulation period.
5. "...spoken unto us by his Son..."Jesus spoke prior to His ascension (cf. 2:3); Jesus will speak in the "last days" (cf. 12:25; Rev. 1:10-19; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14; 22:20), but not from earth.
II. Superior in His
PERSON (vs. 2-3).
A. An INHERITED claim"...appointed heir of all things..." (cf. Mt. 21:37-40). One day He will come and claim His inheritance.
B. An INHERENT claim--"by who also he made the worlds " (v. 2).
C. An IMAGE that is clear - "...being the brightness of his glory, and the EXPRESS IMAGE of his person" = exact; stamped image (as the impression on a coin). Jesus Christ is the "exact stamped" image of God (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15).
Large corporations spend millions of dollars to develop and maintain a favorable image. When their names are mentioned, they want John Q. Public to have positive thoughts about their integrity and the quality of their products. It's a problem, however, to keep the corporate images from "tarnishing." Value Jet and TWA promoted a picture of sleekness, safety, and trouble-free comfort. But that representation is now disputed. A more realistic appraisal shows it to be one beset by scheduled flights being late; faltering profits; charges of environmental contamination; tragic crashes and bizarre highjackings. The same can be said of Jack in the Box; Hudson Meats; Odwalla Apple Juice; Clothing w/ the Kathi Lee label (sweat-shops); Marv Albert; O.J. Simpson. Yes, corporate as well as personal images "tarnish" easily.
There is One, however, Who will never lose His glory or superiority. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, "the EXPRESS IMAGE of his person " He is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15). When we speak of Him in this way, we have much more in mind than arousing a mental picture or an emotional reaction to the sound of His name. Instead, we have reference to His real nature--HE IS GOD. The image of Christ is superior to the image of man because He never loses His glory as many times man does.
III. Superior in His
POWER (vs. 2-3). "...upholding
all things by the word of his power..." The atomic structure
of the universe is held together by what God spoke.
A. Jesus spoke "Let there be light," and light was! Jesus said to the leper "Be clean" and he was clean. Jesus said to the wind, "Be still," and it was still!
B. The reason the roof over your head hasn't caved in is because God has not told it to.
IV. Superior in His PURIFICATION (v. 3). "...when he had by himself purged our sins..." Past tense. Sins were purged by blood, not fire (cf. 9:14, 22; 10:2). He didn't just temporarily cover our sins; He REMOVED them.
V. Superior in His
POSITION (v. 3). "...sat
down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (cf. 8:1;
A. His work is FINISHED. No Old Testament priest ever sat down in the tabernacle. There were no chairs. Their work was never done. Jesus' blood completed the work of our salvation.
B. Two times there is a change in Jesus' position in heaven (cf. Mk. 16:19; Acts 2:32-35; 7:55-56; James 5:3, 8, 9; Rev. 3:20-21).
CONCLUSION: Does Jesus hold the superior place in your life?