Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Oct 30 2013 - Hebrews 1:1-14 – He has spoken to us by his Son

When Paul was in Athens, he observed that the city was full of altars to the many gods in their pantheon. He also saw an altar inscribed "to the unknown god". Paul used this altar as an opportunity to tell the Athenians of the god of whom they were ignorant.

Before the philosophers of Athens, Paul could speak with confidence about the living God because God has not left us in ignorance concerning himself. Our God has spoken, and in speaking has revealed his heart and mind and purpose. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews speaks of the many times and various ways in which God spoke to his people in times past. And he not only spoke, he also acted to save; indeed the two are intimately connected. For instance, God's word through Moses not only revealed his purpose to rescue the Israelites from Egypt, his word accomplished what he promised. The threats against Pharaoh and against the Egyptians were not mere words; they brought the plagues and broke the power of Egypt. God's promise of salvation was not mere words; it parted the Red Sea, rescued the Israelites from slavery and brought them into freedom. God's word is powerful. At many times and in various ways God had revealed himself through his word and in acts of saving power.

"But", says the author of this letter, "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. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word" (Hebrews 1:2-3). In Jesus, God has spoken his final word. All that God had said and done beforehand was leading up to this final word. The word has now become incarnate; God has revealed himself in the person of Jesus the Christ. Here we have the clearest revelation of the heart and mind and purpose of God.

God's final word, spoken in Jesus, is also no mere word of revelation, it is a word of power. God has not only spoken in Jesus, he has acted in Jesus. In Jesus God has accomplished his final act of salvation for his people. The one through whom all things were made and by whom all things were and are sustained became part of the world he had created. He who is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being became one of us. And he did this that he might save us. He "provided purification for [our] sins" (1:3) so that in him we might be forgiven and reconciled to God. He who is now one of us has "sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven"; he is the firstfruits, the guarantor that we shall have a place with him in glory.

Here is God's final word: the focus and conclusion of all that God has said and done in revealing himself to his people; the sum and substance of all that he has to say to us and all that he will do for us. His throne – his kingdom – will last for even and ever. It's all about Jesus. And who could ask for anything more?

Living God, we thank you for every revelation of your grace and goodness in every page of Scripture. But we praise you especially for all that you have revealed of yourself in the Lord Jesus Christ. You have spoken to us in him. Help us to hear clearly all that you have to say to us and to be obedient to your call upon our lives in him. You have saved us through your Son. Help us to live as those who are no longer our own but who belong to you and live for the glory of the Saviour.

Peter Misselbrook