While the authorship of this loaded book has remained an issue of dispute for years, (many ascribe to Paul as the author, others believe it was Apollos, and still others say we cannot know) we can at least be certain that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. So I’m going to lay aside the matter of who penned the words and instead dig into the incredible and inspired message that lies within them.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. (verse 1)
We are introduced to this epistle by first being presented with God himself. Cutting right through all formalities, the writer plunges straight into the acknowledgement that God has been speaking to His people through the ages in various ways and through diverse messengers.
Because it’s important to know that God hasn’t fallen silent or grown detached.
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (verses 2, 3)
He acknowledges that His mouthpiece changed, utilizing One greater than the rest which would testify to the fact that He now has more skin in the game than ever.
Because Christ had come, in flesh and weighted with the burden of our transgression, to bring a message of redemption. A proclamation of hope. A declaration that all was not lost if only wayward man would turn his love and allegiance back to a forgiving, provision-making God. And His were not mere words; they were a blood-tinged sacrifice that literally unlocked the grave and bound the adversary from having those who were not his.
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? (verses 4, 5)
Jesus wasn’t an ordinary vessel through which the gospel was preached; He WAS the gospel. He lived it and poured it out for us to partake of. He was flesh and blood and tempted as we are, and yet, His solid, unwavering, tireless pursuit of His mission bound Him to God in such a way that even the angels marveled.
And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. (verses 6, 7)
Christ had willingly entered into an experience that the angels themselves have never endured: one of suffering. He cloaked Himself with our burdens and entered fully into a fallen world He could have instead cast off. And He, by inheritance, obtained a name that went far beyond a title. His name was the very description of His character and nature. We see, in this first chapter, our great God petitioning His people to see His son for who He is. For what He has done. It’s a plea from His heart to ours to not miss this incredible gift. This Gift for which even the angels bow before in worship.
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (verses 8, 9)
As the message continues, we pick up on the heart of a very pleased Father praising His beloved child. We hear Him call Him by His own name-God-and proclaim His place on the eternal throne. But don’t miss where the Father speaks of the anointing of the Son by the oil of gladness. This calls into view the close interaction of the work of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son.
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands; They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they shall wax old as doth a garment. (verses 10, 11)
The Father puts to rest any dispute over who the Creator of this world is. He calls it right out, in plain language so there can be no doubt. And He also makes mention of the fallen condition of this world and that it will pass away but (and here, the Father refers to the Son as, Thou, Lord) Christ the creator shall not.
And as a vesture shalt thou be fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and they years shall not fail. (verse 12)
Isn’t that the most beautiful part? Because it points to the unchangeable nature of this fair Savior, Creator and God. It points to the blessed hope of restoration to One who is today as He was yesterday and will be in an eternity of tomorrows. It speaks of a promise that was made good on at the cross. But also it’s a simple reminder that He is who He is and ever will be.
But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of creation? (verses 13, 14)
And then we’re left, once again, with the reminder that He is One greater even than the angels. Perhaps it’s because He knows how prone we are to idol worship, even in this day. It could be that is the reason we are told and retold that, while the angels play a significant and valuable role, they do not carry salvation in their wings. It is through Him alone that we can find restoration. It is through Him, and the life He breathed out on that cross, that we can find peace.
Notice how this chapter ends with a question? But it’s also a call. A gentle whisper, a thunderous shout, to all those who want to accept this inheritance. Are we among those who will answer the call?
Share with us YOUR thoughts below as you study through this chapter…