Monday, April 5, 2021

The New Word (Hebrews 1:1-4)

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe." (Hebrews 1:1–2).

There is no greeting at the beginning of the epistle to the Hebrews; the author gets right down to the subject, which is the excellence of Christ. In the past, he writes, God spoke to men using various means. These included prophets, who spoke God’s Word, and also angelic messengers that did the same. God also appeared in various theophanies (appearances of God), such as the burning bush and the pillar of cloud. God spoke to men through dreams and visions, symbols, and rituals.

Now, however, God has spoken through His Son. The Son of God is the Word of God. When we speak, our sentences are our children, which go forth and reveal our mind to other people. Similarly, one of the biblical analogies for the Trinity is this: The Father speaks His Word (the Son) by means of His Breath (the Spirit). Jesus, then, is not merely another prophet; He is the very Word of God incarnate.

God has sent His Son and spoken His definitive Word to man in “these last days.” We commonly think of the last days as the time just before Jesus returns, but in the New Testament, the term last days refers primarily to the first century. These were the last days of the old covenant, and they inaugurated the last age of human history. We are still living in the last days. In a sense, last days means climactic days. The coming of Jesus was the climax of history, and we are still living in that climax.

This last age of history is characterized by the rule of the Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things. Humanity is the image of God, and thus humanity is God’s heir. Because of Adam’s sin, however, we have been disinherited. In Christ, however, we become heirs once again, rulers of the cosmos God created for His children. Christ has inherited the rule over the universe from the Father, and in union with Him, we also participate in that rule.

It is fitting that this Son be the heir. First, He is the right man to be the heir. Second, He is the eternal Son of God, and thus is the Father’s heir as God. And third, as the eternal Son of God, He created the cosmos in the beginning.

If the Son is the very Word of God, we can be sure all He says is true, perfectly revealing God’s will. Hebrews is full of Old Testament quotations, and this shows that the Old Testament is part of the Word of God. Meditate on today’s blog post, so that your confidence in the Bible increases.