Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Hebrews 1:1-3a, “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.”

The main theme of the book of Hebrews is the truth that Christ is better than any angel, priest, or old covenant entity.  The readers of the epistle are thereby instructed and encouraged to find true rest and persevere in Him.

The superiority of Christ theme is apparent in these introductory verses.  Jesus is God’s final and preeminent revelation, surpassing all that which has come before (Cf. Hebrews 1:1).  Four points of contrast are made between the revelation which took place “long ago” and that which has been revealed in these “last days.”  The first, of course, has to do with the timing.  Secondly, the agency of revelation is different (“by the prophets” vs. “by His Son”).  Thirdly, there is a difference in the recipients (“to our fathers” vs. “to us”).  Lastly, there is a difference with respect to the content of that which has been revealed (“many times and in many ways” vs. the finality of that which has been revealed by his Son).

Jesus is the Divine Son.  He is also the creator.  John 1:3 ascribes creation to the Son: “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”  Likewise, Colossians 1:16 affirms that “all things were created through him and for him.”  Colossians 1:17 goes on to explain, using language similar to that found in Hebrews 1:3, that “he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

“In him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).  “He upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).  What is the meaning of these statements?  Pastor Phil Newton has commented on this, “We might have a mental image of Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders as we hear this statement.  But that does not convey the meaning of the word.  It is not a static bearing of the world as though it is some gigantic burden he bears.  But it is a word describing the dynamic of God the Son in relation to all things.  There is "movement" in this term-a movement that helps us to understand that he is carrying all things forward on their providential course.  It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development.  He is both Creator ("through whom He made the world") and administrator of his creation.  When we begin to fret about how life will turn out for us, let us think again about how our Lord and Redeemer "upholds all things by the word of His power."  Nothing passes out of his oversight and direction. He has no alarm system in heaven for emergencies or surprises, for there are none with him.  No plunging stock market or troubled Middle East threatens his administration or encumbers it in the least.  He is still moving everything forward to accomplish his good providence.  This means that in spite of how we might be viewing our circumstances and difficulties, we are to take comfort and find strength in knowing that Jesus Christ is sustaining everything about us by his own powerful will.”

In the study of Nuclear Physics we learned of a mysterious force that works within an atom to hold it together.  The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by like-charged positive protons.  Being of the same polarity they should oppose one another and disburse, but they are instead bound together by a force.  That unexplained force is called the “nuclear force” in physics.  But we know where its true source lies.

I used to listen to an old B.J Thomas song that encouraged me in these truths.  One particular part of the song is especially relevant: “He holds the stars in the sky. He holds the land back from the sea.  If He can do all of that, surely he can take care, of you and me.  He's got it all in control. He's got it all in control.   He's put that reassurance, way down in my soul.  He's got it all in control.”

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