Hebrews 1:1-3 really struck me tonight. I looked at the description there of Christ and found myself thinking how amazing Christ was compared to who I might have, in my puny mind, thought of Him as. Check it out:
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
The author of Hebrews is not known for certain. Some suggest a Pauline authorship, I have seen Timothy ascribed as well. However, the authorship is surely supernaturally the work of the Holy Spirit. This powerful opening to the book is clearly written to the Hebrews who would be ever-so-familiar with the fathers and the prophets as well as their portions and many ways. However, Christ is a newer and more important subject, one the author of Hebrews powerfully delves into in Chapter one!
We see in verse one a reference to Genesis 1:1 and at the very least the theology of John 1:1. We also see that Christ is to be the heir of all things, the kingship promised to David’s heir (ref) is His.
Verse three just blows me away. Christ is the radience of God’s glory here on earth. Whatever radience Moses may have had after being on Mt. Sanai (Exodus 34:29) was nothing compared to the radience of Christ in his ascended form (Colossians 3:1). Furthermore, Christ is not only God’s glory, but his nature as well! God’s perfect nature is in all three person’s of the Trinity, something that makes me marvel. Uphold comes from the Greek word (transliterated) fero which means to carry or bear. However, instead of this being a physical endurance, it is something that comes about ‘by the word of His power.’ God’s supernatural power sustains us, through Christ. If our sustaining comes from Him, there is no failure for His own!
After having purified His own from their sins through His death, burial, resurrection and ascension he was seated on the throne at the right hand of God. This is similar to the Colossians 3:1 passage which refers to the exact same event. This theanthropism, or attribution to God of human like qualities, is not alone in scripture, but the description of God, who is light having a left or right hand is quite poetic. The right hand is historically a place of favor and blessing. I don’t mean to be disgusting or to offend, but historically, when toilette paper was a future invention, the left hand was dirty due to its use as a cleaner hand. Therefore, being on the right hand was a blessing, and on the left hand,… well, it just wasn’t a blessing.
This picture of Christ, which continues on in the rest of the chapter and on into chapter two is powerful and contrasts that very human picture of Christ given in the Gospels. I imagine that Paul, seeing Christ on the raod to Damascus, saw Him in His glory, which sure enough, would be blinding to say the least. I also imagine that Christ, seated on His throne next to God the Father, looks at us, those who are hidden with Him with pleasure because we are in Him!