Monday, October 5, 2020

The Seven Wonders of the Son

"The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word" (Hebrews 1:3a)

After stating that God speaks in words through His Son, the author of Hebrews tells us just who this Son is and why we should listen to Him. Hebrews 1:2–3 lists seven amazing facts about the Son.

First, the Son is heir of all things. He will judge the world because the world is His, given Him by the Father. As heir, His word is law for the family of mankind.

Second, God made the universe through the Son at the beginning. Thus, the Son knows everything there is to know about the cosmos, and His word is absolutely definitive.

Third, the Son is the radiance of God’s glory. This reminds us of John 1:1–14, where we read that the Word is both with God and also is God Himself, and that it is the Word who reveals the unseen God. Similarly here, the Son shines forth the glory of God, revealing Him.

Fourth, the Son is the exact representation of His being. Statements like this brought the early church rapidly to an understanding of the triunity of God. Human beings are the created images of God, but the Son is an exact, uncreated image of God the Father. Being fully God, the Son is an absolutely authentic representation of God’s being. Thus, there cannot be any higher authority than words spoken by the Son.

Fifth, the Son sustains all things by His powerful word. If the Son’s word knits the cosmos together, it is clear that we must respect the words that He speaks to us.

Sixth, the Son has provided purification for sins. In the Levitical law, the specific idea of impurity was this: Sin caused impurity, and impurity put a barrier between the sinner and God. God would not allow anyone to draw near to Him until he had been cleansed of impurity. The Son has taken away impurity once for all, removed the barrier, and given us access to God. Who is more worthy to be heard?

Seventh, the Son has been enthroned at the right hand of the heavenly Majesty. His entrance to the throne is proof that the barrier caused by impurity has been removed. His enthronement is the seal of His authority, and of the authority of His word. “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!”

The seven glories of the Son are structured like this: one and seven are linked, the Son as Heir and King; two and six are linked, the Son as Creator and Recreator (Purifier); three and five are linked, the Son as the Glory-radiance of God that sustains the universe. Central is number four, the Son as exact copy of the Father.