This message is a continuation of God Speaks (Part I).
Jesus came to save the lost and God spoke through Him and through His actions that very message. That is the message to share with others.
We must not forget or downplay the immense power of this. We see back in Hebrews 1 verse 2 “by whom also he made the worlds;” that God’s speaking to mankind did not end with Jesus, in fact it started long before.
This is vitally important, for Jesus’ ministry and death on the cross represents the fulfilling of God’s plan of redemption for man; a plan that began when mankind first rebelled in the Garden of Eden.
Here is another question for the reader this evening, was Jesus present at creation? Let us look at John 1:1-3.
1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2) The same was in the beginning with God.
3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.John 1:1-3 (KJV)
“The Word” here refers to Jesus so the answer is yes, Jesus was present at creation and has always been present and will always be present with God. He was the agent of creation. The Creator. Let us look at Romans 1:19-20.
19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:Romans 1:19-20 (KJV)
1) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.Psalm 19:1 (KJV)
The heavens and creation also speak for God. This is called the natural revelation of God. His creation is a direct revelation, though not a final revelation, of Jesus that speaks to God’s glory.
From the very beginning of the Bible with Jesus as creator, to the New Testament with Jesus as redeemer, there is a single theme and again a single message: God speaks about Jesus, be it through natural revelation, prophesy or Jesus’ own ministry on earth.
Again we see a contrast in our main verses (creation and Jesus’ ministry, Old Testament and New Testament) that leads to continuity (Jesus was there at the beginning, was on Earth and is still with us and will be forevermore) and also completion in the fulfillment of His ministry (His death, burial and resurrection).“From the very beginning of the Bible with Jesus as creator, to the New Testament with Jesus as redeemer, there is a single theme and again a single message: God speaks about Jesus…”
There are deep ramifications here regarding our position as breakers of God’s law as well— we are without excuse because God has been revealed in creation. This is our standing with God: that of rebellions sinners without excuse.
So it begs the question, do Christians that see God’s glory in creation go to hell because they know of God but are yet without the gospel message?
Is an intuition of God through the glory of Him that is spoken through His creation that which makes me guilty even if I have not heard the gospel before?
No, though many of God’s attributes can be discerned through His creation, the salvific gospel message is not within natural revelation, it is within God’s Word, it is through Jesus Himself and his message, the gospel message, the final revelation.
It is important to note here that people do not go to hell because they do not hear the gospel; they go to hell because they have broken God’s law, because all have turned away from Him. Back in Romans and following the verses in Romans we looked at before is verse 21.
21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Romans 1:21 (KJV)
This explains why we are without excuse, we rebelled and our hearts are darkened. However Jesus’ death is fully sufficient to save and redeem us. Again, this is the gospel message that saves us from the law that we all have broken.“…people do not go to hell because they do not hear the gospel; they go to hell because they have broken God’s law…”
God speaking in creation is important because again it provides continuity with Jesus’ life on earth and completion of His ministry. Creation alone, or natural revelation, was and is not enough. Creation (that is post-fall creation) needed Jesus. Jesus was, is and will always be the only way of salvation.
We have seen how God speaks to us in variety of means such as creation and through Jesus Himself. Let us return now to 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:
4) Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.Hebrews 1:3-4 (KJV)
The next two verses contain so much about who Jesus is. The details are not only truly awesome (awe inspiring) but also are written for us so that we may always know the standing of who Jesus is— that He is our redeemer and deserves the utmost reverence because of all that He is. He is God in the flesh.
Notice He is “the brightness of his glory”. I want to center our attention on the word brightness for a moment. Many times in scripture light is given as a descriptor of the Christian life. For instance:
12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.John 8:12 (KJV)
Jesus is the light of life; He is bright. He casts out darkness and shines upon our lives.
This is inherent in Jesus being the express (or exact) image of God’s person. You see Jesus is not only radiant but God Himself and His brightness shines upon your life when you come to Him.
Jesus’ brightness reflects God’s glory His image reflects the person of God and His Word reflects the power of God.
Going back to what was mentioned earlier; do you realize who is speaking to you when God speaks (whether it is God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit)? It is God himself who is to be reverently glorified and who is full of power.
When we speak of Jesus we again are not speaking of a good teacher or wise man, but of God Himself who is “upholding all things by the word of his power”, referring again to Jesus as Creator.
Jesus was not an ordinary man; he was an extraordinary authority. I find too often today that Christians do not approach God in an attitude of awe, especially in regards to church life and worship.
The author of Hebrews goes to great lengths in his descriptions of Jesus to make a very important point. He is demonstrating to the reader that Jesus is God and that in Him is all manner of glory and power.
Since the Scriptures are God breathed, that is they were inspired by the Holy Spirit which is also God, God wants us to know these important truths about Him. He is in fact speaking to us through the author of Hebrews. “Jesus was not an ordinary man; he was an extraordinary authority.”
I say all of this to emphasize, recognize Jesus’ authority and react accordingly. Do not live in fear of this beyond reverential respect but also do not trivialize Him in any manner whatsoever.
Remember that He “by himself purged our sins” through His death on the cross and then “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
Why did Jesus sit down? Because, in His words on the cross, it was finished. His mission was complete; He took His rightful place for all eternity next to God the father. Why?
Because He purged our sins and took them all upon Himself to save us. We cannot even fathom the unbearable pain and burden of that. He offered Himself for us.
Picture Jesus after His death on the cross, after His resurrection three days later and after His ascension into heaven, standing before God the Father and taking His place next to Him forever, truly magnificent!
This is also why He is greater than the angels, and not just the angels but He is greater than any person.
Never take for granted that we have these details recorded and preserved for us. They are vital. Think upon them and that Jesus obtained a greater inheritance because of His death, because of what He did for you and for me and for all that will be saved. What is the significance of that?
The significance is that His mission, dying for our sins, taking our place so that we may also have eternal life and be redeemed to freedom from sin, was complete and final.
His sitting down represents that, His name above the angels signifies that, His power to uphold all things and create the universe confirms that, and His brightness extols that.
Let God then speak to you through Jesus, for He wants you to know Him, and be saved. Amen.