What is being expressed here is nothing less than the completion, the fulfillment of all of the prophecies of the Old Testament. We are being taught the core truth of our Christian faith.
In this passage we encounter the great mystery of God’s revelation, and his saving mission in and through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. This is the great truth at the very heart of our faith as Christians. What is being expressed here is nothing less than the completion, the fulfillment of all of the prophecies of the Old Testament. We are being taught the core truth of our Christian faith.
In these two opening verses of the Letter to the Hebrews, we see that divine revelation came to us gradually over time, in fragmentary and varied ways, through Abraham, Moses, and the many prophets, and that, “in these last days,” that revelation has been completed and fulfilled in Jesus, the Son of God. We see that Jesus Christ is both the redeemer, whose coming had been prophesied in many ways through the prophets, and the very mediator of creation. For we are told that this Son, this heir of all things, has existed from the beginning, that before he became man, God “created the world” through him. These verses are a revelation of the mystery of the Trinity, the Oneness of God, and of the final fulfilment of God’s saving purpose.
To prove that, the very next verse in Hebrews states clearly that Jesus and God are one: “He [Jesus] 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.” (verse 3) After he had suffered and died, in the ultimate sacrifice for the purification of our sins, he rose again, ascending back to the right hand of the Father where his name is superior to and more excellent than the angels.
As Christians, when we read the Old Testament, we do so knowing that it is God’s word being given to us gradually. We know that God began his communication with us in the Old Testament preparing us in fragmentary and various ways, until the proper time when the fullness of his purpose would be revealed through his Son, Jesus Christ. We were being prepared to receive the fullness of his love and mercy, which became known to us in Jesus. The opening verses of Hebrews also tell us that Jesus’ name is superior to that of the angels. This was important for the Jewish audience, because some held to the Jewish tradition that the angels were the mediators of the old covenant. The author, therefore, emphasizes Jesus’ superiority to the angels in order to emphasize the superiority of the new covenant to the old, because Jesus is the fulfilment of all the prophecies. He is the eternal answer to all that was foretold.
Lord, you have revealed the fullness of your love and mercy to us in you Son, Jesus Christ. Open up our minds and hearts to understand this more intimately every day. Inspire in us a love of your scriptures so that we may gain new wisdom into the truth about you, so that we may better understand all your other truths. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen!
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