Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Vision (9.2.15): The Density of Hebrews 1:3

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 (Hebrews 1:3).

I preached last Sunday morning on Hebrews 1:3 noting this verse teaches us two things about who Jesus is and three things about what Christ is doing or has done.

Two things about who Christ is:

1.  He is “the brightness of his [the Father’s] glory.”  No man can look upon God, but Jesus has made the glory of God known to us (cf. Exod 33:20; John 1:14, 18).

2.  He is “the express image [Greek:  charakter] of his [the Father’s] person.”  As Jesus told Philip:  “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Three things about what Christ is doing or has done:

1.  He is “upholding all things by the word of his power.”  The worlds were not only made by him (cf. Heb 1:2; John 1:3) but they also continue to be sustained by him.  Christ is not only the Creator but also the Sustainer of all things.

2.  He “had by himself purged our sins.”  Literally:  He made of himself purification [katharismos] for our sins.  The participle here is in the aorist tense indicating completed action in the past.  Christ’s atoning work is a complete.  “It is finished” (John 19:30).  Notice also the emphasis on particular redemption.  He purged “our sins [i.e., those of the elect].”

3.  He “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (cf. Psalm 110:1; Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; 1 Peter 3:22).  Having completed his work, Christ now sits in session, ruling over his church, until the time when he comes again (cf. Eph 1:19-23).

There is indeed a great deal of dense content packed into this brief verse.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle


Unknown said...

I thought your sermon was excellent. I am committing Heb 1:3 to memory.

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

Thanks for the encouragement Candace. SDG!