Monday, March 12, 2012

The Greatest of All, Part 2

Last time we began by talking about being the greatest, or at least knowing the greatest. And we looked at the biblical book of Hebrews, since its main theme is that Jesus truly is the greatest, and it was written as an encouragement and warning to keep trusting and progressing in Jesus.

In short, Jesus is better. He’s the best. He’s the greatest of all. So trust in Him.

It all begins with an amazing intro that essentially summarizes the book.

Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. (2) In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. (3) The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1.1-3, HCSB)

The writer of Hebrews says that although God spoke to humanity at different times and in various ways, in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son.

God spoke to us in a Son. His unique, amazing Son.

He really is the Greatest. Let’s look briefly at why Jesus is supreme over all, according to these first verses in Hebrews.

1. Jesus Christ is superior over all because He is the perfect messenger. (vv. 1-2)

In the first two verses the Holy Spirit inspired writer tells us that God the Father spoke in God the Son. So we see all three members of the Trinity at work here. And we are told that although the Father spoke to and through the forefathers and prophets, He has now ultimately and finally spoken in a Son. He sent the perfect messenger. Jesus perfectly fulfills and replaces the work of the forefathers and prophets since among things He is infinitely more personal and authoritative, being Himself the divine Son of God. Jesus, the perfect messenger, actually said that He only said what the Father wanted Him to say:

“For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak. I know that His command is eternal life. So the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” (John 12.49-50, HCSB)

2. Jesus Christ is superior over all because He is the perfect message. (vv. 2-3)

In addition to being the perfect messenger, Jesus is Himself the perfect message. No other supposed religious leader can even try to make this claim. Jesus is the perfect messenger of the gospel—the good news. But not only that, Jesus is Himself the good news. He is the perfect messenger and message: He Himself is the Word of God, and He came here to reveal Himself to us. John’s Gospel describes Him this way:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning. …
The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
(John 1.1-2, 14, HCSB)

3. Jesus Christ is superior over all because He is the perfect model. (v. 3)

Here is yet another reason is the greatest: since He is a Son, Jesus is the best example for us to see what God the Father is like. The writer of Hebrews says He is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature….” If you want to see and know God, then look no further than Jesus, since He is the perfect model for us. Jesus is God, who took on skin and bones, so He gives perfect clarity for us to understand God. Notice how clearly the Apostle Paul describes Him in Colossians:

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
(Colossians 1.15, HCSB)

4. Jesus Christ is superior over all because He is the perfect mediator. (vv. 3-4)

Even though in Jesus, the Son, we have the perfect messenger, message and model, we still cannot be with God unless He makes us clean. We need purification from sins, and verse 4 says that Jesus, our perfect mediator, does just that. He bridges the gap between God and us. He died in our place. He was raised for our justification. He brings us to God. Look at these amazing truths:

But Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree He is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been legally enacted on better promises. (Hebrews 8.6, HCSB)

For there is one God
and one mediator between God and humanity,
Christ Jesus, Himself human,
who gave Himself—a ransom for all,
a testimony at the proper time.
(1 Timothy 2.5-6, HCSB)

Since He is the perfect messenger, message, model, and mediator, Jesus Christ really is the Greatest.