Summary: God has spoken to us in a Son, so pay lose attention to Him.
A little more than two weeks ago, on Saturday, January 13 (2018), at 8:07 in the morning, everyone in Hawaii received a text alert from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL." It turned out to be a false alarm, but it took the agency 38 minutes to send a follow-up alert correcting the error.
Why did it take so long? Well, a week ago Friday (January 19, 2018), Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, reported that he and his team took so long to post a message about the missile alert being a false alarm, because he didn't know his Twitter username and password. He had forgotten it, so he had to track down his communications staff spokeswoman, Cindy McMillan, to get the message out (Fox News and The Associate Press, 1/22/2018).
Contemporary forms of communication are wonderful things when they’re working. The Governor can text everyone in the state, and I just learned that the president of the United States can text everyone in the country if necessary. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The President of the United States can mass-message the entire phone-carrying nation at the same time whenever he deems it necessary” (Christopher Mims, "Here's A Thing: The President Can Text Everyone in The US at Any Time," The Wall Street Journal, 2-18-15). However, if you do get a presidential emergency alert and you're on the phone, it won't show up until after you've finished your conversation. I guess the apocalypse can wait?
I had to laugh when I read that; because despite the wonders of technology, it’s still hard to get the word out.
Even God Himself had trouble communicating with His creation. For centuries, He tried dreams and visions, tablets of stone, and human prophets. He spoke “at many times and in many ways”, but not many of us were listening. So God had to get our attention in a way we could not ignore. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Hebrews 1, Hebrews 1, where the Bible describes what God did to get our attention.
Hebrews 1:1-2 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 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. (ESV)
When all else failed…
GOD SPOKE TO US IN A SON.
He came to us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, the Lord. When the ancient text messages didn’t work, He paid us a personal visit.
You see, Jesus is none other than God in the flesh. He owns it all as “heir of all things.” He made it all, and He is Lord of all.
Hebrews 1:3a He 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. (ESV)
Wow! That’s a mouthful. Let me unpack it for you.
1st, Jesus “is the radiance of the glory of God” – i.e., the outshining of God’s brightness. In other words, Jesus is not a reflection of God’s glory; Jesus is the light of that glory Himself!
More than that, according to vs.3, [Jesus is also] the exact imprint of his nature. i.e., the stamp of God’s essence, or the precise representation of God’s being. The Greek word for “imprint” is the same word used in Bible days to describe the imprint on coins, and sometimes to describe the instrument itself that stamped out the coins.
Several years ago (November 1994), on a family vacation in Colorado, we toured the Denver Mint. It was quite a sight where we saw sheets of metal being fed into big machines, which stamped out pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters by the thousands.
It was all automated except, every once in a while, we saw a human inspector come along and inspect the quality of the coins. The inspector was looking to ensure that the image on those coins was an exact imprint of the stamp in the machine. And if there was the slightest variation, they stopped the machines and discarded the coins.
Those coins had to be exact, or they were no good. So it is with Christ. He is the exact imprint of God Himself. In fact, He is not the image made by the stamp; He is the stamp itself!
Jesus is God in the flesh, who #3, “upholds the universe by the word of His power.” In other words, Jesus not only made it all; he holds it all together.
He also sits in the place of all authority above even the angels themselves.