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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hebrews, Day 2: Hebrews 1:1-4 (Pt. 2 of 3) - What Makes Jesus the Fulfillment of All of God's Promises?

What Makes Jesus the Fulfillment of All of God's Promises?
Hebrews 1:1-4 (Pt. 2 of 3)
Hebrews, Day 2

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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, ESV

For some people, greatness is a matter of opinion or taste. Some people think Jackson Pollack was a great artist, but many others realize the ridiculousness of calling his works great art. Some people may like a certain band or singer, while others may not like them. These things are subjective.

At other times, greatness of so obvious and/or quantifiable, it's beyond opinion and debate. Few people who know anything about baseball doubt that Babe Ruth was the greatest player to ever play the game. Likewise, Michael Jordan sits atop every knowledgeable basketball fan's list of the greatest players in NBA history. Was Rembrandt a great artist? Was Bach a truly gifted composer? These great ones are great beyond serious question.

Then we have a man who is in a category all by Himself: Jesus. Last time, we said the Last Days were ushered in by the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. These pivotal events changed history and ushered in the Last Days because God had fulfilled all of His promises in Jesus. Now, the only thing remaining is for Jesus to return and consummate His kingdom.

But what makes Jesus so great? What makes His coming and His triumph the beginning of the Last Days? These opening verses of Hebrews 1 tell us five things about Jesus that make Him supreme, the definitive One, the One who alone could fulfill all the purposes of God.

1. He is the heir of all things. The first thing we're told is that Jesus is the heir of all things, having been appointed to this position by the Father. Jesus was also the One through whom God the Father made all things. This makes Jesus the Alpha and the Omega , the beginning and the end. No one else holds this unique position at the beginning and the end of all things.

2. He is the God-man. Jesus is "the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature." The first part of this expression refers to Jesus' divinity and the second half refers to Him as the second and perfect Adam, the exact image of God. Together, this marvelous statement means Jesus alone is true God and true and perfect man.

3. He is the One who sustains of all things. Jesus "upholds the universe by the word of his power." All things everywhere are upheld and held together by Jesus and His power.

4. He made purification for sins. Jesus was qualified for His unique position as heir of all things by His nature and by the work He did. He alone made full and complete purification for sins. All the sacrifices of all the worshipers and priests in all human history could not accomplish what Jesus alone did on the cross in His willing death in our place.

5. He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Finally, because of His finished work of redemption, Jesus sat down at God's right hand, in the place of highest authority in the universe. He is King and all kings and Lord of all lords.

Jesus alone is uniquely great, far above all others. This makes Him the word we must hear and the One we must worship!


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