Summary: Hebrews 1 tells us that God had a very special message to give us. What was that message, and why do people continually reject it?
OPEN: A preacher and a member of his congregation stood by the side of the road. They were taking turns holding up a sign that said, "The End is Near! Turn around before it’s too late!"
It wasn’t too long until a car drove up, the driver saw the sign, rolled down his window and yelled out: "I just wish you religious nuts would leave us alone!" and he sped up and drove around the curve out of sight.
Shortly, you could hear the sound of tires screeching on the pavement… and a big splash.
The church member turned to his preacher and said, “You know, I told you we should have just put up a sign that said ’bridge out’”
APPLY: It’s obvious that those church people should have been more selective in what they put on their sign. And, because they weren’t careful in how they phrased their warning… a driver ignored them.
If something is important enough - if it’s critical enough - we try to be careful what we say and how we say it. There are times when we do not want to be misunderstood.
In our passage in Hebrews 1, God is telling us that He was very selective in how He spoke to us. Hebrews 1:1 tells us that “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways”
God had something to say.
And what He had to say was so important that He used special people called a very special group of people called “prophets” that He spoke through. And He repeated His message through those prophets at “many times and in various ways.”
Now, that implies that God had something specific He wanted to talk about.
What could that be?
Well, Hebrews tells us plainly:
God spoke through those prophets at many time and various ways - BUT NOW He has spoken by His Son.
What that’s telling us is this: His Son was the message.
The coming of Jesus was what God was focusing on all through the Old Testament times.
In fact there is the repeated message throughout the Old Testament: “Somebody’s coming”.
Sometimes, God could be real subtle.
For example, one man I read told of an intriguing message he found in the genealogies.
Genealogies are those boring sections of Scripture that nobody seems to enjoy reading, and yet – in the genealogy of Noah we find these names:
Adam - Seth - Enosh - Kenan - Mahalalel - Jared - Enoch - Methuselah - Lamech – Noah.
In the Jewish language each one of those names had a meaning.
Adam, for example – means “Man”
Seth means “appointed”,
Enosh means “mortal… and so on.
So this man took the meanings of each of those names came up with the most intriguing message:
“Man - appointed - mortal - sorrow –
The blessed God - shall come down - teaching –
His death shall bring - the despairing - rest or comfort!”
Never knew that was there did you?
Neither did I till I read this man’s article.
And that’s just in the boring part of Scripture – the part no one wants to read.
That’s just when God was being subtle.
But there other times when God wasn’t very subtle at all.
Sometimes God was very direct and obvious.
For example, you could look in the book of Daniel and you’d find that God gave a very specific information about when Jesus was to begin His earthly ministry. Using a very intriguing mathematical equation, God revealed the exact year that His “anointed one” would begin His ministry. The exact year that Jesus began His ministry.
Additionally, God used Daniel to describe the various nations that would come to power before the Church was created by Jesus.
In the book of Isaiah, God tells us a great deal about the coming Messiah.
We find, especially chapter 53, that
Ø The Messiah would be despised and rejected of men;
Ø That He would be wounded and bruised
Ø He would pour out His life unto death
Ø That He’d die with wicked men, and numbered with the transgressors
Ø But – that He would be buried with the rich
Ø And that His life would be a “guilt offering” - “bearing the sin of many”
Isaiah 53 is a very significant chapter in God’s prophetic revelation.
It is so powerful that – to this day – Jewish people are still puzzled and frustrated by it’s message.
And, that prophecy from Isaiah 53 was so powerful, that Acts 8 tells us the story of an official from Ethiopia who was riding home in his chariot reading that very passage. God arranged to have Philip (a Deacon of the early church) available, so that when the Ethiopian saw him, asked him to help him understand the chapter he was reading. He asked who God was talking about. And from that very passage, Philip taught this Ethiopian official about Jesus. It was so convincing that the Ethiopian believed in Jesus, confessed Jesus as His Lord and Savior, and was buried in the waters of Christian baptism for the forgiveness of his sins.