The Ultimate Revelation (Hebrews 1:1-2)
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 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. —Hebrews 1:1-2
“In the beginning, God …” This glorious, opening chord to Scripture’s symphony reveals God as the author of time. Then, as the Bible plods forward along the stretch of history’s canvas, God supplies his people with periodic, progressive installments of revealed truth.
Each installment loops back to catch previous revelations like a sewn chainstitch, working forward by tying into the past.
Each new stitch—each fresh revelation of truth—is glorious in its own right; but the accumulating glory builds toward a singular crescendo.
The author of Hebrews takes a panoramic look, so to speak, at this canvas when he opens the book: “Long ago …” Looking back in time he exults in the God who lights the pathway of his people with life-giving truth. He also revels in the multiplicity of forms God’s revelation has taken through the ages (v. 1). Yet, most gloriously, each separate installment, as well as the cumulative whole, points forward to the ultimate revelation: God’s eternal Son. The Son is the superior revealer of truth compared to all previous heralds, whether prophets or angels (v. 2). Further, the Son is himself the superior revelation—the ultimate display and embodiment of God’s nature and glory (v. 3). So Jesus the Son is the fulfillment to which all the Spirit’s prophetic indicators pointed; and Jesus the Son is the epicenter of all that the Father has accomplished and is bringing to completion in redemption history.
Note further that the author’s glorious opening chord of praise to the Son exalts him as the “heir of all things” who “created the world” (v. 2). The linkage to Genesis 1:1 is no coincidence. The author wants us to grasp that the eternal Son, Jesus the “apostle and high priest of our confession” (3:1), is none other than the creating agent, appointed heir, and reigning sovereign of the universe. This means that when this Son speaks, we hear the very voice of God booming with all its creative, life-giving, love-effusing power and glory.
A friend of mine spent the first half-century of his life deeply involved in a “Christian” church. Through the many years of teaching in that church, he never heard that Jesus created the universe. When he read Hebrews 1:1-2, it confounded him. It was only a short step from there to the realization that the nice-guy, decent-teacher-Jesus peddled to him by his church for all those years was a different Jesus than the eternal, omnipotent Savior revealed in Scripture. By the mercy of God, my friend embraced the exalted Christ as Lord and his life was forever changed. Thanks be to God.
List at least five examples of distinct ways God revealed truth to his people prior to Christ’s incarnation.
List several reasons why you think churches that reject the authority of Scripture characteristically avoid any mention of Christ’s role in creation?
Meditate on the significance of the truth that we worship a God who speaks. What practical differences does this truth make in your life as Christ’s follower?