Tuesday, January 07, 2020

2020.01.07 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 1:1-4

Questions from the Scripture text: When had God spoken (Hebrews 1:1)? In what ways had God spoken? By whom? When has God spoken in Hebrews 1:2? By Whom? What has He appointed Him to be? What did He do through Him? Of what is the Son the brightness (Hebrews 1:3)? Of what is He the express image? What does the Son uphold? By what? When did He sit down? Where? What had He become (Hebrews 1:4)? What had He obtained? How?
Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, and Song of Adoration come from Hebrews 1:1-4 in order to sing God’s thoughts after Him with Fairest Lord Jesus.

As the apostle is launching into an extended argument for why we should love the Lord’s Day, and its holy assembly, with Jesus as our Prophet and Priest in heaven, he immediately exalts Christ unto us in the loftiest terms.

Note while that God had spoken formerly by the prophets, the ministry of the apostles is on a different order—for, by them, God is speaking through His Son. The Old Testament is God’s speech, every Word coming from the Spirit of Christ Himself (cf. 1 Peter 1:11). What’s the difference? Now, Christ is the last and great human Prophet—the One who has purged our sins.

What can we say about the glory of Christ, the God-Man, the Redeemer, the ascended and seated One, who yet bears the marks of our redemption?

He is the Heir of all things. All things belong to Him; all creatures are servants in His domain.

Through Him God made the worlds. How can Scripture say this about Him in a place that is focusing upon His humanity? Because Jesus is not two persons, but one Person with two complete, distinct natures. And when we speak of Him, we speak of the Person. The One who (in accord with His human nature as fully Man) has by means of Himself purged our sins is the very One who (in accord with His divine nature as fully God) made the worlds.

This is why we can now say such remarkable things as “God was born” and “God died,” or, as Acts 20:28 says, that God has purchased the church with His own blood. Because, although these things have been done by the Son in His humanity, it is still the divine Person of the Son who has done it! Scripture speaks this way, and so must we. Perhaps you have heard the phrase communicatio idiomatum—that’s the theology term that says that we can say of Christ as a Person whatever is true of Him in accord with either of His natures.

How glorious, then, is the Son? He is the very brightness of the glory of God. He is the express image of God’s nature. There is no subordination here. The Bible knows nothing of greater or lesser degrees of glory in the Godhead. As the catechism rightly summarizes Scripture to say, “These Three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.”

Our minds are ready to melt in trying to put it all together: the One who was bleeding on the cross, under His own divine wrath, is simultaneously upholding that cross (and the nails! and that body and the very blood that flows from it!).

Oh, the sweetness of the Lord Jesus—God the Son, become Man, to save sinners! As one of our faithful Presbyterian ministers of old so aptly put it, “Put the beauty of ten thousand thousand worlds of paradises, like the Garden of Eden, in one. Put all trees, all flowers, all smells, all colours, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness, in one. Oh, what a fair and excellent thing would that be! And yet it would be less to that fair and dearest Well-beloved, Christ, than one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths.”
At what times in your day and week do you meditate upon the loveliness of Christ?
Suggested songs: ARP45A “My Heart Is Greatly Stirred” or TPH283 “Fairest Lord Jesus”

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