God's Superior Son
Topic: Hebrews Scripture: Hebrews 1:1–1:3
The sermon text will be Hebrews 1:1-4. "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs."
The writer of Hebrews wrote to exhort his readers, who were primarily Jewish converts to Christianity, to persevere in their faith in Christ. Their temptation was to leave Christianity because of persecution and to return to the comfortable and familiar Older Covenant institutions. What we read in the opening verses of Hebrews is a tightly packed summary of the author’s argument—that Jesus is the sum and substance of the types and shadows of the Older Covenant. The Hebrews are therefore to “pay closer attention,” “hold fast,” “draw near,” “press on,” because to forsake Christ is to forsake the reality of all that the Older Covenant pointed to. Jesus Christ brings in something altogether better than the old, preparatory era could provide (Hebrews 11:40). Richard Phillips writes, “Jesus is the perfect and all-sufficient answer from God for our everlasting blessing. The significance of this for the original readers is obvious: If you have a Savior like this, you never let him go. If you have to lose your job, your family, your possessions—even your life—then so be it. Jesus said, ‘Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?’ (Luke 9:24-25). What great profit it is, then, to gain Christ, and eternal life with him, even if all the world needs to be lost.”