SOME thirty-five years ago, when the so-called "Higher Criticism" had begun its destructive work, a believer living in England, predicted that within thirty years the storm would gather over one sacred head. How this has come true! Satan's work of undermining the authority of the Bible, a pernicious work still going on, is but the preliminary to an attack of the Person of Christ. To-day as never before the glorious Person of our Lord is being belittled in the camp of Christendom. This is done not only in the out and out denials of His Deity but also in more subtle ways. It is for us who "deny not His Name" (Revel. iii:8), whose desire is to exalt Him, ever to remind ourselves of the Blessed One and His Glory. At this time we desire to look briefly at the teachings of the first chapter in Hebrews.
This chapter is divided into two parts. In the first part we find another great description of our adorable Lord, and in the second a description of His exaltation. The beginning of the chapter gives us that solid assurance that God has spoken and that the Old Testament is His Word. "God having spoken in many parts and in many ways formerly to the fathers in the prophets, at the end of these days has spoken to us in (the person of the) Son." The Old Testament Scriptures are the inspired Word of God; at last God spake in Son, as it is in the Greek. The Old Testament announced that God would speak in the person of the Son. For this reason it is impossible to deny the authority of the Old Testament without denying the authority of Lord Jesus Christ. The written and the living Word stand and fall together.
This is followed by a description of Himself. Seven things are mentioned concerning our Lord. 1. Heir of all Things. 2. By whom He made the worlds. 3. The Brightness of God's Glory. 4. The Express image of His Person. 5. The Upholder of all Things. 6. He has purged our sins. 7. He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. What wonderful seven things these are! Oh that we would meditate more on each, how it would strengthen our faith and deepen our fellowship with Him. It would give us victory when the hosts of the enemy press upon us. Our defeat is the result of losing sight of the object of our faith, Christ.
We also can divide the description of our Lord in the first chapter of Hebrews into three parts. 1. He is the Son of God in eternity; One with the Father, essentially and absolutely God. This is found in these great statements "By whom He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His Glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power." This could never be said of a creature of God. Our Lord is the Creator Himself, the express image of the person of God, the one who upholds all things. What it all means! What a Lord we have! All this harmonizes with the description of His Person in Colossians.
2. He is the Son of God in incarnation. This is found in the following sentence "When He had Himself purged out sins" or as it is literally "Having made by Himself the purification of sins." For this great purpose He entered His own world. The mighty Creator, the eternal Son of God, the Holy One is our Redeemer. As Son of God He walked on the earth in the Spirit of holiness, the holy, spotless One, God manifested in the flesh. And this wonderful Being was made Sin for us, went as the willing sacrifice to the cross. Oh what a record! "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who when reviled, reviled not again: when suffering threatened not; . . . . . . . who Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, . . . . by whose stripes ye have been healed." What a foundation for our faith, what assurance! He Himself has accomplished the work for us and has made peace in the blood of His cross. He only could do it.
3. The Son of God in resurrection. "He 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." And in verse 2 we read "Whom He (God) hath appointed heir to all things."
All this is spoken of Him who had died on the cross and who raised from the dead as glorified Man is at the right hand of the majesty on high. What He is in that resurrection Glory we shall be with Him. His Love does not stop short of this. The Glory the Father gave to Him, He has given to us. He is the image of the invisible God, because He is God. His redeemed people shall be transformed into His image, that He might be the first born among many brethren. What a thought this is! We shall image Him forth in all eternity, as He images the invisible God. Into what depths we gaze!
Then in the second part of this chapter we find a description of His exaltation and Glory. The Holy Spirit shows this marvelous theme from His Word. He quotes from seven Psalms, that book which is one of the most attacked in the present day. The Holy Spirit gives us a key in these quotations how we should look for Christ in the Psalms. What wickedness in face of such Scriptures to deny the messianic prophecies contained in the Psalms. The Psalms quoted are the following: "The ii; lxxxix (2 Sam. vii:14); xcvii; civ; xlv; cii and cx." They reveal His Glory and in what His future Glory will exist. And we shall share that exaltation with Him. We are destined to be His Co-heirs. We shall rule with Him and shall be priests with Him. He is higher than the angels in His resurrection Glory. He was made a little lower than the angels that He could take us with Himself into that place above the angels. All Glory and Praise to His Holy Name. We worship and adore Thee, Thou Son of God, our Saviour and Lord! What Glory awaits us! What dignity is ours! Oh, child of God, you need just this one thing, to know Him better, to have the Holy Spirit make Christ and the things of Christ, the future Glory more real to your souls. Let Him do it. And soon we shall be with Him.
Lamb of God, Thy faithful promise