1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
There is no one like Jesus. The opening verses of the book of Hebrews are some of my favorites in the Bible because they encompass who Jesus is in such an amazing way. In a few short verses, we see powerful truths about Him made plain and know with certainty that the Son of God is without rival.
First, we see that God, with whom Jesus is one, changed His communication method. Whereas in times past He spoke to man through the voice of others, in Jesus, He spoke with His own voice. John 1:17 says, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” In other words, the law was given indirectly but the covenant of grace was hand-delivered. Grace has always been at God’s heart. It wasn’t a message to be mediated through angels. It was a love letter to be experienced by both the Giver and those receiving. Under the law, we received hard stones. Under grace, we are embraced with loving arms.
As we read on, we see that Jesus has been appointed heir of all things. If we can see it, and if we can’t, it’s His. God’s entire Kingdom, vast beyond measure, willed to the Son. This incredible inheritance coming to Jesus stands to reason. After all, it is through Him that everything was made. The worlds were made through Jesus. We must understand that the entirety of the Bible is about the Son. Genesis chapter one doesn’t expressly mention Jesus, but neither does it exist without Him.
Without this understanding of Jesus, people are confused about God’s nature, His character, and His heart. Religious teaching is a big culprit in this confusion. Various messages from the world is another. We form thoughts and opinions based on a variety of misguided sources and the result is a poor perception of God.
If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. Jesus is the “express image” of the Father according to verse three. This means that He is the exact representation of God. Is God really loving? Look at Jesus. Is God a healer? Look at Jesus. Is God a provider? Look at Jesus. Is God merciful? Yes, look at Jesus. If we open up the Gospel accounts of Jesus and look at His life, we see incredible compassion, mercy, love, kindness, willingness to heal, forgiveness – the list goes on and on. Jesus is the express image of the Father. If Jesus demonstrated it, then it was on God’s heart.
We also see that Jesus “by Himself purged our sins.” The fact that He did it by Himself means that not only did He not need any help, He also doesn’t need your help with your sins, or my help with my sins. He doesn’t need your efforts on your behalf to purge your sins. He doesn’t need my fruitless attempts to prove myself, or to work away my guilty feelings. He already did it, and He did it by Himself.
Religion tells us to do good works and hope that they will overcome our failures. The world tells us to strive to earn anything that we want or need. From the time we are old enough to understand, we are raised in systems that require us to work for everything. But Jesus already did the work of purging our sins and then sat down. He sat down because there’s no more to do. So stop striving. Brave grace and focus on Jesus, because there is no one like Him.