The Glory of the Eternal Christ

AdventThumbs12Advent Day 12

by John F. Klem

Our Advent meditations are designed to saturate you with multiple looks at the person and work of Christ from a variety of Old and New Testament passages. This saturation with Christ will deepen our joy and enlarge our hope. With that in mind, let’s turn our attention to the opening verses of Hebrews 1.

This text declares that Christ is the best revelation to us of the triune God (1:1, 2). He is the culmination of all the prophets beginning with Moses. God Himself, robed in flesh, is coming to speak to the creation He loves (John 1:18).

The latter part of Hebrews 1:2 affirms that Christ is the heir of all things. Such a wealthy person has absolutely no need. This affirmation echoes the Psalm 2:8 theme of inheritance addressed to the one Who is the Lord’s anointed and acclaimed by God as His Son (Colossians 1:17; 1 Timothy 1:17).

As Hebrews 1 unfolds, a major section strongly asserts that the all-powerful Christ is the creator of the universe (vv. 2, 3, 10–12). He laid the earthly foundation. The heavens are the work of His hands. He is the agent of creation. The triune God brought the universe into existence by the agency of the Son (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). The Son Who creates is God. The Son Who creates is Christ.

The Son is no created person. According to Hebrews 1:3, Christ is the exact image of God. He is the divine Person. This verse is the thrust, the climax of the opening four verses. It clearly identifies the person of Christ with the eternal Father. Christ is not an angel, an exalted spirit, or a successful human prophet. Hebrews 1:3 is a critical affirmation for the Jewish readers of Hebrews regarding the nature of the one Who makes God known to us.

This verses uses three critical terms: brightness of His glory, express image, and person. Brightness of His glory declares that Christ is the same kind of light as God. Express image asserts that Christ is the same kind of character as God. Person identifies Christ as having the same kind of substantial nature as the Father. With the original audience of readers, we are assured that Christ is God.

In the flow of Hebrews 1, the writer brings us back to the theme of power related to creation. The latter part of verse 3 presents Christ as the mighty, all-wise, eternal sustainer of all things. The Creator Who made the universe holds all the atoms of the physical universe together by the word of His infinite power. The creative utterance that called the world into existence is complemented by a mighty word of sustaining power.

In the final segment of 1:3, we are awestruck that this divine, all-powerful person willingly gave Himself to be our final sacrifice for sin. The progression of the verse moves from who He is to what He did in a cosmic way, to what He did in a personal way in dealing with our sin, to where He is now seated. The one Who made the universe in 1:2 is the one Who made purification for sin in 1:3. He Himself completed the High Priestly work to purge our sins and then sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Finally, the writer of Hebrews silences any notion that Christ is a created angelic being (1:4–6, 13, 14). He does so by showing us that His name is superior (1:4; cf. 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17). The inherited name, Son, is an eternal designation. As a result, His relationship to the Father is better (1:5). He is the Son of God. He is the firstborn Who is worshiped (1:6). Far greater than an angel, Christ is the eternal Ruler (1:8, 9).

In this Advent season we remember the arrival of the Christ Child. He is the better prophet, the better high priest, the one greater than any angelic messenger. He is the living God!

John F. Klem is director of Regular Baptist Press.

Regular Baptist Press is committed to providing educational resources that point people of all ages to Christ not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. RBP offers a wide range of curriculum, VBS programs, Bible studies, books, and training seminars that are Biblically sound, cover the entirety of Scripture, and designed for spiritual growth.

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