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The Son Is Superior

Hebrews 1:8-12
But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.' He also says, 'In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.' (NIVUK)

While many religionists focus on angels, this letter shows Jesus to be far superior in every way. The writer has contrasted angels (God's servants and messengers) with the Son of God (Hebrews 1:4-7). Now he describes the Son of God by using God-authorised statements from the Old Testament. Father God said that the Son was also God, seated on a throne as in Psalm 45:6-7: it was a picture of God's Messiah-King. The sceptre was a decorated rod, symbolising the right to rule with wisdom and justice, because Christ's kingdom is marked by justice.

The psalm goes on to identify the character of God the Son. He loves everything which is right and hates everything evil with a pure intensity which sets Him apart from even the most noble man or woman. God the Father sees His own nature fully displayed in His Son: the anointing oil is not just of coronation but also of marriage, for Jesus is the Bridegroom and the church is His bride (Ephesians 5:25-32).

Jesus is also the Creator (Hebrews 1:2) and Sustainer (Hebrews 1:3) - the Lord of the universe. The writer uses Psalm 8:6, originally used of Yahweh, to apply specifically to God the Son. This parallels Psalm 19:1, "... the skies proclaim the work of His hands." However, unlike God, the earth is not eternal. It has a beginning and will have an end. The universe will become as disposable as an old, dirty, worn-out garment, as described in Psalm 102:25-26. But the Son of God remains unchanged, unchanging and unchangable for all eternity.

It is good for us to see Jesus in His glorious majesty, in stark contrast to all the other temporary things and people around us. Like the Hebrews, who were at risk of slipping from their spiritual moorings (Hebrews 2:1), we will also fall away unless we pay careful attention to what God the Father says about God the Son. Jesus is not just a friend of sinners, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: He is the Creator, the Lord of the universe and the King of justice. He is awesome in every way. To follow Him is not about increasing our health or wealth; it is about taking our privileged place as an honoured citizen in Jesus' eternal kingdom, obeying His rule and holding lightly to the things of this world. As we focus on Him (Hebrews 12:2), we will be able to run straight and persevere through whatever difficulties come.

Prayer 
Lord God Almighty. Thank You that the Lord Jesus Christ is in command of everything in this time-space cosmos, including all of my circumstances. Forgive me when I have devoted myself to angels or mystical ideas, or to the fragile and fading world I can see, and neglect to honour and obey the eternal King of everything. Please help me to understand the character and work of Jesus Christ, and grow in relationship to Him, so that I may be safely moored in Your love and confident to work with You for Your glory. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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