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Hebrews 1:1-7

1 “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the world. 3 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, 4 having become so much better than the angels, to the extent that He has inherited a more excellent name than they.”

“For to which of the angels did He ever say,

‘You are My Son,
Today I have fathered You’?

And again,

‘I will be a Father to Him
And He will be a Son to Me’?

And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,

‘And let all the angels of God worship Him.’

7 And regarding the angels He says,

‘He makes His angels winds,
And His ministers a flame of fire.’”

Verse 1: The author is referring to the Old Testament times when God communicated with His people through the prophets. These prophets served as intermediaries between God and the people, relaying His messages and instructions. God spoke many different types of messages to people in the Old Testament. Some messages were affirming and comforting, while others were about impending judgment. These were all spoken to the people of Israel, who have a long history with God. These “past” times will be revealed to be lacking compared to the amazing message spoken by God through his Son, Jesus.

Verse 2: The author is emphasizing that in the present time, God has chosen to speak to us directly through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is not only the heir of all things, but He is also the one through whom God created the entire universe. This highlights the unique and supreme role of Jesus in God’s plan of redemption. This also highlights the surpassing importance of the message that God communicated through his Son: the New Covenant of grace.  In this New Covenant age, God has spoken to us through His Son. Jesus is the final word from God. This would have been difficult for Israelites to accept because they were used to the Old Covenant law. The Jews revered their history with God and rightly so. However, the mistake made by Israel is finding identity in this history to the point that they missed Jesus. But Jesus is the final word from God. It is the revelation of God’s love and is a superior revelation than the Old Testament which is described in Hebrews as a shadow of what Christ accomplished (Hebrews 10:1). The love of God is not a feeling or experience of God where we hear His voice. The confirmation of the love of God is found in Jesus Christ. He is God’s spoken word. This is why the New Covenant matters.

Verse 3: Jesus is the perfect reflection of God’s glory and nature. He is the embodiment of God himself. Jesus upholds and sustains all things by His powerful word. This demonstrates His authority and power over creation. (Hebrews 1:3)

Verse 4: Jesus accomplished the ultimate act of purification for sins through His sacrifice on the cross. His work was complete, and as a result, He sat down at the right hand of God, signifying His finished work and His exalted position of authority and honor. Christ sat down because His work was sufficient and final. Under the Old Covenant, High Priests never sat because sin was constantly being dealt with. However, Jesus, the final High Priest, dealt with sin once and for all, and therefore, was able to sit down. His work was sufficient for the removal of the sins of the world. Consequently, no sin stands in the way of the Christian’s relationship with God. We have been perfected by the finished work of Christ (Hebrews 8:12; 10:14). The book of Hebrews does not leave room for the all-too-often present practice of trying to be more forgiven or more like Jesus. But Jesus’ work doesn’t allow for this. Jesus’ work is perfect and has perfectly cleansed us. He has so cleansed us, in fact, that we are as righteous as He is in this life (1 John 4:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Verse 5: This highlights the unique relationship between God and Jesus as Father and Son. This declaration was never made to any angel but is reserved for Jesus alone. It emphasizes the special status and divine nature of Jesus. (Hebrews 1:5)

Verse 6: This verse further emphasizes the superiority of Jesus over the angels. God commands all His angels to worship Jesus, acknowledging His supreme authority and worthiness of adoration.

Verse 7: This verse highlights the nature and role of angels as spiritual beings who serve God. It further emphasizes the distinction between Jesus and the angels, as Jesus is not merely a created being like the angels but is the Son of God himself. Hebrews is arguing for the superiority of Jesus over the angels because of His relationship to the Father. In fact, the New Covenant is a promise between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 6:16). This means that salvation in Christ is accomplished without taking individual humans into account. The Father cherishes His Son immensely and desires for us to respect His finished work. This superior work of Jesus and His divinity makes him worthy of worship. This is seen in contrast to the angels who are merely servants of God and not God himself. The angels worship the Son and consequently the Old Covenant bows to the authority of the New Covenant. Therefore, Hebrews forbids Christians from going back to something that angels ordained when they have the better covenant in Christ. This covenant is better, not just for salvation, but for the entirety of our lives afterwards.

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