God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,…
I. Consider what is said of the person of Christ, PREVIOUS TO HIS BECOMING OUR SAVIOUR. He is "the brightness of the Father's glory, the express image of His person, and He upholds all things by the word of His power." If this be not descriptive of His being truly God, it is not in the power of language to convey such an idea. The antecedent glory of Christ is a subject on which the Scriptures delight to dwell, as may be seen in various passages (Micah 5:2; John 1:1-3; 1 John 1:1, 2).
1. Christ is here called the brightness of the Father's glory. Christ is not the Father, yet there is such an equality that He is emphatically " the brightness of His glory." It is also through Him that the glory of the Divine nature is revealed and made manifest. God made the world by Him, and by Him He saved it; the Lord Jesus is therefore the shining forth of all this glory.
2. He is the express image of His person, the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). There is not an attribute or a feature in the character of the Father but what is also in the Son. Here is likewise a personal distinction consisting with a oneness of nature, and without any other subordination than that which is relative, as between a Father and a Son.
3. Christ upholdeth all things by the word of His power. Nothing can be more expressive of His Godhead, for this is claimed as the special prerogative of God alone (Psalm 75:3).
II. Observe what is said of HIS WORK IN UNDERTAKING THE OFFICE OF A PRIEST. "He by Himself purged our sins."
1. The efficacy of His sacrifice — "He purged our sins."The term alludes to the ceremonial cleansings under the law, which were effected by sacrificial blood (Hebrews 9:22). Hence David prayed (Psalm 51:7). Our being cleansed by the blood of Christ is the substance of all these typical purifications (1 John 1:7, 9). By His death He removed the penal effects of sin, and through the application of it by faith, the conscience is purified. The gospel therefore connects repentance and remission of sins, and proclaims forgiveness amongst all nations (Luke 24:47).
2. The ground or reason of this efficacy — "He by Himself purged our sins." When the Scriptures speak of Christ's miracles, they usually ascribe them to the authority of the Father, rather than the divinity of the Son. So also in His sufferings He was succoured by the ministry of angels, and upheld by the power of God, seeing He had taken upon Him the form of a servant, which required that He should act in subordination to Him that sent Him (Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:8). But the Scriptures as uniformly ascribe the efficacy of His sacrifice to the divinity of His person, as giving value and virtue to His sufferings (1 John 1:7).
III. THE EXALTATION WHICH FOLLOWED UPON HIS OFFERING HIMSELF AS A SACRIFICE FOR US. "He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
1. By "right hand of God" is meant the first place in His favour. In all things He is to have the preeminence, for He is before all things, and by Him all things consist (Colossians 1:17, 18).
2. This is mentioned as an honour which became Him. Conscious that He had done the will of God, and finished the work which He had given Him to do, the Lord Jesus took the place which belonged to Him. He sat down on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him (1 Peter 3:22). While all in heaven cry, Thou art worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (Revelation 5:12).IMPROVEMENT.
1. Seeing that God hath provided for us an all-sufficient Saviour, let us learn to trust Him, and to call upon His holy name, remembering that there is salvation in no other (John 3:35; Acts 2:21; Acts 4:12).
2. We see the way in which our sires are to be expiated and removed; not by tears or sufferings of our own, but by the precious blood of Christ, and that alone. Nevertheless sin must be confessed, or it cannot be forgiven (1 John 1:9).
3. The exaltation of Christ, as the reward of His humiliation, is to us a source of great encouragement. He is exalted as a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and the remission of sins; and is able to save all that come unto God by Him.
4. The conduct of Christ in doing and suffering the will of God, and then entering into His glory, is given as an example for our imitation (Hebrews 12:2).
Parallel VersesKJV: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,