Summary: When we see Jesus, we see the very reflection of God Himself.
THE FINAL REVELATION
The poetry of this short passage is beautiful, and the theology is exquisite. The high Christology of these words and phrases resonates with the majesty and dignity of our Saviour. We are left in no doubt that “the Son” is the very voice of God to mankind.
One of the early church fathers suggested that ‘God alone knows who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews.’ More importantly, the writer to the Hebrews himself leads us to understand that all Scripture, Old Testament and New, has its origin in God. “At several distinct times, and in various manners, God spoke to the fathers through the prophets: but in these last days He has spoken to us through His Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
In the Old Testament, God spoke through dreams and visions, through type and prophecy, and through the sacrifices and ceremonies of a complex cultic ritual. With some, like Abraham and Moses, He spoke almost ‘face to face’ - but the fathers were walking in the shadow of the promise, and not in the fullness that we now enjoy. When Jesus came, it was not to abolish all that had gone before, but to bring it to fulfilment (Matthew 5:17).
He is also the One by whom the worlds were made (cf. John 1:3).
We read elsewhere that He is the image of the invisible God - “by whom and for whom all things were created” (Colossians 1:15-16). Thus He is both the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
2. The Son, we are told, is the effulgence of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). His is the brightness emanating from the Godhead (John 1:14). When we see Jesus, we see the very reflection of God Himself (John 10:30).
He is also the exact expression of God’s being (Hebrews 1:3). This is a perfect imprint, answering to the Father with whom He was “face to face” before Creation (John 1:1). If we would see God, we must look to Jesus, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9).
3. The Son also “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Not only is He before all things, but by Him all things consist (Colossians 1:17). The path of the planets answers to Him, as does the falling of the tiniest particle.
4. The Son is the perfect sacrifice for sins, and has sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 1:3). The blood of bulls and of goats would not suffice, but Jesus “by Himself” made the once and for all and forever sacrifice for the sins of the world (Hebrews 10:4-7).
The Old Testament priests stood ministering, making the same offerings again and again, day after day, Sabbath after Sabbath, new moon after new moon, year after year. They did not dare sit down, because their work was never done.
The work was finally done when Jesus cried upon the Cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). That was the end of all sacrifice. He gave up the ghost, was buried, rose again, and ascended into heaven and “sat down” - His work completed - at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
5. Finally, we see that the Son is superior to the angels, because He has inherited a better name than theirs (Hebrews 1:4). The rest of our chapter establishes this superiority by quotations from the Old Testament.
Truly, His is the name which is above every other name (Philippians 2:9). The angels of God worship Him (Hebrews 1:6). How much more should we, who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 5:9)?