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Sermon No: 498-Hebrews 1 - Part 1 - Greater than the prophets



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SERMON TOPIC: Hebrews 1 - Part 1 - Greater than the prophets

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 25 April 2010

Topic Groups: HEBREWS, TRINITY, BOOK STUDY

Sermon synopsis: Not only does God have a Son, but His Son is greater than all the prophets (not just a prophet amongst many as Islam teaches). We’re given 7 facts about the person and work of Jesus to show His superiority to the prophets.
(1) God appointed Him heir of all things
(2) God made the universe through Him
(3) He is the radiance of God’s glory
(4) He is the exact representation of God’s being
(5) He sustains all things by his powerful word
(6) He provided purification for sins
(7) He sat down at the right hand of God

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The 2 NT books which best make the transition from the OT are Matthew and Hebrews.

Scholars generally regard the book of Hebrews to be second in importance only to Paul’s letter to the Romans in the New Testament. No other book so eloquently defines Christ as high priest of Christianity, superior to the Aaronic priesthood, and the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. This book presents Christ as the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2). 1

The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and his role as mediator between God and humanity. 2

1 http:// www.gotquestions.org/ author-hebrews.html 2 Wikipedia: Epistle to the Hebrews

CENTRAL THOUGHT

AUTHORSHIP

The author of Hebrews is anonymous. Since the earliest days of the Church, the authorship has been debated and still remains unknown.

Authorship by Paul is the oldest and widest held view.

Besides Paul some common candidates are Barnabas, Silas or Apollos. Other suggestions for the authorship of Hebrews include Luke, James, Epaphras, Clement of Rome and even Priscilla (wife of Aquila).

Tertullian was the first to suggest Barnabas as the author. Barnabas, Paul’s first missionary companion, was a Levite (Acts 4:36) and as such would have been very familiar with the priestly Levitical rituals mentioned in the book.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Martin Luther first suggested Apollos as the author. Luke describes Apollos as a Jewish native of Alexandria who was “a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately” (Acts 18:24-25).

This would certainly fit the profile of the author.

AUTHORSHIP

Some have suggested Paul’s missionary companion Silas as the author. Silas assisted Peter in writing his first epistle. 1 The Greek language of both 1 Peter and Hebrews are of the same high quality. Silas was a friend of Timothy (1 Thess 1:1) who is mentioned at the end of the epistle (Heb 13:23). As a Jew, Silas would have been familiar with the many Jewish customs referred to in Hebrews.

1 See 1 Peter 5:12 (With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly). This is used to explain the very good usage of Greek in 1 Peter compared to 2 Peter.

AUTHORSHIP

As mentioned, authorship by Paul is the oldest view.

In the 2nd century Clement of Alexandria and Origen held to this view. The inscription “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews” is found on nearly all existing Greek manuscripts, including the Peshito (Aramaic translation).

Eusebius (c. 263-340) spoke of the “fourteen epistles” of the apostle Paul. Jerome (c. 347-420) considered Paul to be the author, as did Augustine (354-430). 1

1 “Hebrews: Who is the Author?” - Dr. W. Gary Crampton (http:// www.fpcr.org/ blue_banner_articles/ Who-Wrote-Hebrews.htm)

AUTHORSHIP

In several of the early Greek manuscripts Hebrews is located, not after Philemon as in our Bibles, but grouped among the other Pauline epistles, indicating that those who arranged the manuscripts considered Hebrews to be of Pauline origin. W.H. Goold listed a number of other scholars of antiquity that held to Pauline authorship: Hilary, Ambrose, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Chrysostom, Justin Martyr, and Athanasius. Then too, Pauline authorship was the adopted view of the synod of Antioch (AD 264), the council of Nicea (AD 315), the council of Laodicea (AD 360), the council of Hippo (AD 393), the third council of Carthage (AD 397), and the sixth council of Carthage (AD 419). 1

1 Ibid

AUTHORSHIP

Paul ends all his epistles using the phrase “grace be with you” or something similar. This is his “distinguishing mark.” In 2 Thess 3:17-18 he tells us, “I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Rom 16:20)

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. (1 Cor 16:23)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ… be with you all. (2 Cor 13:14)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. (Gal 6:18)

AUTHORSHIP

Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. (Eph 6:24)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Philippians 4:23 & Philemon 25)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (1 Thess 5:28)

Grace be with you. (Col 4:18, 1 Tim 6:21, 2 Tim 4:22)

Grace be with you all. (Titus 3:15)

Grace be with you all. (Heb 13:25)

This ending of Hebrews is consistent with the other letters of Paul (This use of the phrase “grace be with you” is not used in any other NT books endings).

AUTHORSHIP

Peter’s ministry was to the Jews (i.e. Hebrews). 1

When writing to the Jews, Peter in effect confirms that Paul did indeed also write a letter to the Hebrews:

2 Pet 3:15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

Peter continues to say that Paul writes with wisdom and that “his letters contain some things that are hard to understand” (2 Pet 3:16), which would be an apt description of the book of Hebrews.

1 Gal 2:7 On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews.

AUTHORSHIP

The author of Hebrews writes, “Those from Italy send you their greetings” (Heb 13:24) and we know from the book of Acts that Paul was imprisoned in Rome.

Paul regarded Timothy 1 as his “true son in the faith” (1 Tim 1:2) and they were frequent travel companions:

Heb 13:23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.

1 Timothy is mentioned 24 times in the Scripture, 23 times in his relationship to Paul and the ministry.

AUTHORSHIP

Some of the language is similar to Paul’s and the differences with the other 13 Pauline epistles can be accounted for by the fact that it had a different audience (Jews not Gentiles). 1

The author to the epistle to the Hebrews has always been a matter of speculation… In the end one is driven to confess with Eusebius, “But who it was that really wrote the epistle, God only knows.” While the authorship is not certain the ancient church has universally accepted the canonicity of Hebrews in both the East and the West. 2

1 According to Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) taught that Paul wrote the Hebrews in the Hebrew language and that Luke carefully translated it into Greek. This would also explain the difference in style and vocabulary. 2 http:// www.abu.nb.ca/ ecm/ Heb00a.htm

APOSTLE PAUL BY REMBRANDT

RECIPIENTS & DATING

The term, “Those from Italy send you their greetings” (13:24) seems to indicate that it was written from Italy. If Paul is the author, the most likely place of origin is Rome, during his first imprisonment there (Acts 28:30).

RECIPIENTS & DATING

The subject matter and traditional name (i.e. Hebrews) indicate that it was addressed to a Jewish audience. The recipients had faced persecution (10:32–34) but not yet to the point of shedding their blood (12:4) so it is most likely written just before Nero’s persecution of 64-68 AD.

Hebrews may well have been written near the very end of Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome. 1 This would give us a date for the epistle around AD 62 or 63.

1 This is also inferred by Heb 13:18-19, by his request for the addressees to pray for him that “I may be restored to you the sooner.” The fact that in 13:23 he speaks with confidence that “I shall see you,” in no way denies that he was in prison at the time of the writing. Paul wrote Philemon and Philippians from his prison cell, and in both letters he expressed a confidence that God would deliver him from prison and send him on his way to them (see Philemon 22 and Philippians 1:25; 2:23-24). (SOURCE: www.fpcr.org/ blue_banner_articles/ Who-Wrote-Hebrews.htm)

HEBREWS 1

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.

THE SON IS THE RADIANCE OF GOD’S GLORY AND THE EXACT REPRESENTATION OF HIS BEING, SUSTAINING ALL THINGS BY HIS POWERFUL WORD. AFTER HE HAD PROVIDED PURIFICATION FOR SINS, HE SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE MAJESTY IN HEAVEN.

The keyword in the book of Hebrews is BETTER.

BETTER THAN THE PROPHETS

Heb 1:1-2 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…

We are told in Isaiah 55:9 that “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Because God’s ways are higher than ours, we would know nothing about God if it were not for divine revelation.

In the dispensation of Law, God spoke and revealed himself through His prophets.

In our dispensation of Grace, God has used an even better channel of communication for His divine revelation i.e. His Son.

In Islam, they teach that Jesus was a prophet amongst many prophets. But they deny that God has a Son.

Hebrews 1 shows us that God has a Son and that He has used him as his final revelation: “God… has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1:1-2).

Not only does God have a Son, but His Son is greater than all the prophets (not just a prophet amongst many as Islam teaches). We’re given 7 facts about the person and work of Jesus to show His superiority to the prophets.

God appointed Him heir of all things

God made the universe through Him

He is the radiance of God’s glory

He is the exact representation of God’s being

He sustains all things by his powerful word

He provided purification for sins

He sat down at the right hand of God

BETTER THAN THE PROPHETS

Whom he appointed heir of all things

This is a logical condition of the fact that Christ is the ‘Son’ of God. A son is heir to everything his father owns. Gal 4:7 says, “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” The illustration is that all believers, because we are sons of God, are also heirs of God. Of course, Jesus is a Son in a very unique way because of His eternal relationship with the Father. Christ is promised to be “heir of all things.” However, He has not inherited everything at this present time. He has not yet inherited all nations and His earthly kingdom. This will be fulfilled in the future Millennium, when Jesus sets up His 1000 year earthly kingdom (Rev 20). 1

1 SOURCE: www.biblebb.com/ files/ gr280.htm

(1) Heir of all things

Dan 7:13-14 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.”

(1) Heir of all things

“He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

(1) Heir of all things

Again, we see that in the future Christ will inherit everything. This is the point of the writer in Hebrews 1. He is demonstrating the superiority of Christ by the fact that He is heir to everything. 1

1 Ibid

Through whom he made the universe

The second point that demonstrates Jesus’ superiority over the prophets is that He is the Creator.

The Bible teaches that all 3 persons of the Godhead were involved in creation:

The Father initiated the process: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)

The Holy Spirit was present: “… and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Gen 1:2)

But the Son was the channel: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:3)

(2) Creator

Not only were all things made by Him – they were made for Him. Paul says of Jesus, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” (Col 1:16-17)

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory

Jesus is superior to the prophets because He radiates God’s glory. In the OT during the exodus from Egypt, God physically manifested His glory to Israel through a consuming fire in a cloud.

(3) The radiance of God’s glory

When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai… To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. (Ex 24:15-17)

The Israelites saw a similar physical manifestation of God’s glory with the tabernacle.

Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle… So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels. (Ex 40:34-38)

When Solomon dedicated the temple, God’s glory was also revealed physically through a cloud.

When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple. (1 Kings 8:10-11)

When Jesus came to earth the glory of God was again revealed to man, but not in the temple or tabernacle as before. Now God’s glory was manifested through the tabernacle of human flesh.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Col 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”.

Although Jesus shares the glory of God equally with the rest of the Godhead, when He came to earth that glory housed within a human body was veiled to some extent.

(3) The radiance of God’s glory

However there were some cases when Jesus’ glory was revealed. On the road to Damascus, Saul (Paul) encounters Jesus in His glory and is subsequently blinded by light of His glory. 1

1 Acts 22:6-11 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied… My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.”

When John sees the glorified Jesus on Patmos he records that he saw “someone ‘like a son of man,’ dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead… (Rev 1:13-17)

When Jesus was on the mount of Transfiguration “the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning… Peter and his companions … saw his glory…” (Lk 9:29-32)

Speaking of this occasion Peter writes “we were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Pet 1:16).

This revealing of Jesus’ glory is most significant in the light of our current study that Jesus is greater than the prophets. Moses and Elijah were representative of the Old Covenant. Moses represented the Law and Elijah the Prophets. Yet in the presence of these 2 great men of the Old Covenant, God affirms that Jesus is His Son and that He is the one that should be listened to:

Luke 9:35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

What were Jesus, Moses and Elijah discussing?

They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. (Lk 9:30)

(3) The radiance of God’s glory

Moses and Elijah discussed with Jesus about Jesus’ coming death in Jerusalem. What was the relationship between Jesus’ death and the work of Moses and Elijah? His death ended the force of the laws revealed and taught by these OT prophets (Col. 2:14-17). 1 Note, however, that these men were not antagonistic toward this event, but freely discussed it with Jesus. This shows that Jesus’ work was not a contradiction or a violation of what they had done, but rather a fulfillment of it, completely in harmony with God’s plan as revealed through the Old Testament prophets. 2

(3) The radiance of God’s glory

1 Col 2:14-17 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross… Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 2 http:// www.gospelway.com/ topics/ bible/ transfiguration.php

Although Jesus’ glory was veiled on earth, when He returned to the Father, He resumed the full display of glory that He shared with the Father for all eternity.

Jesus says in John 17, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you … And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (vss 4-5) and “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (vs 24)

Jesus told the 2 disciples on the Road to Emmaus “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luke 24:26)

(3) The radiance of God’s glory

When Jesus returns, His glory will not be veiled:

Matt 24:30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”

Matt 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.

(3) The radiance of God’s glory

The exact representation of his being

Here we have a very clear statement concerning the Deity of Christ. Anyone who doubts that Jesus Christ is God need only read this verse. First, we are told that Christ is the “radiance of His glory,” and now we see that He is the “exact representation” of the character of God. Incidentally, this is the only time in the New Testament that this phrase is used. It means “the impression made by a dye or seal.” It is an impression, or an exact replica. 1

1 www.biblebb.com/ files/ gr280.htm

(4) Exact representation of God

John 14:8-10 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?”

As believers, we reflect the character of God in our lives, but we cannot stand up and say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” That would be blasphemy. The only person who has ever lived on earth that can truthfully proclaim this statement is Jesus Christ. He is an exact reflection of God’s being, God’s character, and God’s essence. 1

1 Ibid

(4) Exact representation of God

If one wants to see God the Father, one must look at Jesus Christ. This truth is illustrated again in Col 1:15 which says, “And He is the image of the invisible God…” God the Father is invisible. If you or I want to see the Father, the only way it is possible for us to do that is look at Jesus Christ. 1

This is another example of the superiority of Christ. The prophets could reveal what God is because He told them. Christ could reveal what God is because He is God. 1

1 Ibid

(4) Exact representation of God

Sustaining all things by his powerful word

As the creator who gives being and existence to his creatures which he created from nothing, God continues to provide the same being and existence to his creatures which do not have being in themselves. Thus creatures are totally dependent on God and would vanish without his conserving action. 1

Jesus said, “My Father works until now and I work.” (John 5:17)

Augustine commented on John 5:17, “Let us therefore believe that God works constantly, so that all created things would perish, if his working were withdrawn.” 2

1 SOURCE: Wikipedia: God – the Sustainer 2 De doctr. Christ. I 32,35

(5) Sustains all things

There is no creature that is not dependent upon God.

Matt 6:26-30 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them… If that is how God clothes the grass of the field… will he not much more clothe you…

(5) Sustains all things

In this passage in Hebrews we are told that Jesus is “sustaining all things by his powerful word”.

So Jesus not only made the universe – he sustains it.

Col 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

(5) Sustains all things

This is telling us that Christ is the mystery behind the physical forces: the gravitational force, the electro-magnetic forces, the strong and weak nuclear forces. It is Christ who sustains all things and holds all things together: holding each atom together, keeping us anchored to the earth, sustaining the revolutions of the planets around the sun. 1

Laminin is the cell adhesion molecule that holds the proteins of our bodies together. Interestingly the very shape of this ‘glue’ which holds us together is in the form of the cross. 1 www.scripturestudies.com

(5) Sustains all things

Laminin

After he had provided purification for sins

The next fact concerning the superiority of Christ in verse 3 begins, “He made purification of sins.” There is an important change of tenses concerning this fact. The previous examples, 1 which we examined, were written in the present tense, meaning that it is forever continuing. Now, suddenly, the author switches to the aorist tense, referring to a completed action. 2

Once again, Jesus is shown to be superior. No prophet or any other man for that matter was capable or qualified to provide purification for sin.

1 e.g. sustaining all things 2 www.biblebb.com/ files/ gr280.htm

(6) Provided purification for sin

(6) Provided purification for sin

Not anyone or anything could be the sacrifice for sin. There were 2 requirements for the sacrifice.

They had to be of the same family as man (i.e. a kinsman-redeemer).

Heb 2:9-11 … Jesus … suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone … Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.

The sacrifice must be without blemish (sin).

Rom 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(6) Provided purification for sin

An angel could not pay for our sin because they are not of the same family. Likewise the animal sacrifices of the OT were inadequate to atone for mankind.

Heb 10:3-4 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

The prophets were still men who were sinful, but Jesus alone was sinless and thus uniquely qualified to pay for our sin (and for the sins of the prophets themselves).

1 Pet 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

(6) Provided purification for sin

All men, including the prophets, are sinners:

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Only Jesus is sinless:

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

1 Pet 2:21-22 … Christ suffered for you… “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

1 John 3:5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

Jesus was the only person who could make purification for our sin. He conquered the power and the penalty of sin and death for all those who put their trust in Him.

(6) Provided purification for sin

Jesus is greater than the prophets because He is their redeemer. The prophets too were sinners and needed a Saviour.

So this is not just a side-issue. If Jesus were not greater than the prophets, he could not have paid for sin.

He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven

You find that of all the furniture mentioned in the tabernacle or temple, there were no chairs for the priests to sit on.

Heb 9:2-4 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant.

(7) Sat down at God’s right hand

The reason that there were no chairs for the priests to sit on was due to the fact that their work was never complete. Offering sacrifices was an ongoing occurrence.

But Jesus changed all that. He offered a sacrifice for sin once and for all time. What did He do after He ascended to Heaven? He sat down because His work was finished. The term ‘sat down’ indicates finality.

IT IS FINISHED!

Just before He died Jesus said, “It is finished” showing that the work of salvation was completed on the cross.

John 17:28-30 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” … When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Nothing further had to be done (like suffering in hell – as some falsely teach). The NT makes it clear that salvation was fully accomplished on the cross.

Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

(7) Sat down at God’s right hand

Jesus completed the work of giving eternal life. He prays to Father, “For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:2-4)

So there is nothing we can do on our own - to be saved and forgiven from our sins. Jesus finished that work when He died on the cross. Can we be forgiven by doing good works? No! Can we be saved by keeping religious ceremonies? No! Jesus provided “purification for sin” when He died on the cross for us, and then sat down because the job was completed.

(7) Sat down at God’s right hand

Jesus tells the churches in Revelation, “… I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Rev 3:21)

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)

Because Jesus overcame and accomplished a finished work of salvation on the cross, God exalted him.

Phil 2:8-11 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus has been exalted and given “the name that is above every name” including the prophet’s names.

(7) Sat down at God’s right hand

How important is the revelation of God through Jesus contrasted with the prophets? What qualifies Him to give us God’s word?

Well in the light of what we have seen in these first 3 verses of Hebrews ask yourself, “Who is greater, the prophets or Jesus?” The answer is obvious. The prophets never created. They don’t hold the world together. They aren’t the special heir (Son) of God who mirror His glory. The prophets never died for our sins or sat at the Father’s right hand. They were simply instruments of God who pointed to His future ordained plan of salvation.

The 7 facts we looked at show that Jesus is superior to any prophet ever. He brought us the final and greatest revelation of God.

BETTER THAN THE PROPHETS

Once we see the superior revelation of Jesus Christ, we can never go back to the old way of worship that was a part of the Old Covenant.

There are some today who want to go back to Sabbaths, feast-keeping, priest-craft, dietary laws, sacrifice and the things pertaining to the Old Covenant. These were simply shadows of the real thing – we have a much better covenant of Grace – mediated by God’s own Son who is GREATER THAN THE PROPHETS.

John 1:16-17 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

BETTER THAN THE PROPHETS

Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation:

Peter told the Sanhedrin, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Paul wrote that Christ’s death and not law-keeping was the way of salvation, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Gal 2:21)

Jesus told his disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

BETTER THAN THE PROPHETS

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