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August 5, 2012
We started through Hebrews 1 last week, and we covered the first three verses:
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
I want to pick up again in verse 3 and look at it a little more closely: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
I think there’s four parts to this:
First, He is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person. This shows us how His flesh reveals the invisible God.
Second, He was upholding (and still upholds) all things by the word of His power. This shows us that even in His flesh He is still God in the truest sense. He wasn’t a sub-god or a created being. He was God even in the flesh.
Third, He purged our sins through (by) Himself. This shows us that He did indeed truly die. He was the blood sacrifice. He upheld all things as God, yet He also was Man!
Fourth, when it says that He sat down, it shows us that He is still God and greater than all creation.
Now, let’s go through it a few words at a time:
upholding all things
The Greek word is φέρω (phero). It means to bear or to carry something. Our English name Christopher comes from this word: “Christ” “phero” or “Christ-bearer.” In the sense we use it here in Hebrews we mean that Christ bears the burden of upholding all of creation.
We have to put these first three verses of Hebrews into contrast with Colossians 1:14-17: “we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” A simple definition for the word “consist” in this context is to be put together or to stand firm. “By Him all things are upheld.”
The point of the verses in Colossians and here in Hebrews is that “He is before all things” and so He upholds all things. Look at how involved He is in creation. He is the One:
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: 5Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. 6Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. 7At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. 8They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. 9Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. 10He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among
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