Summary: Who is this Christ that was born and given to us? The author of the Letter to the Hebrews unwraps this precious gift God has given us.
Who is this Christ?
Christmas gifts are exciting to open. As soon as we see the gift wrapped in its beautiful wrapping, we begin trying to figure out what’s inside. First, we notice the size of the gift. “Is it the right size to be the special gift that I wanted?” Then we pick it up and check its weight. We may even shake it and turn it upside down to see if it rattles. Then we start tearing off the wrapping paper. Now, some folks do this very methodically as though they are trying to recycle the paper. Others of us just find a place that we can get our excited little fingers into the paper and start ripping it off. In our excitement to open the gift, we do not even read the card to see who the gift is from. With every piece of paper that comes off, we discover a new clue as to what the gift is.
The greatest gift that all of us have received is the gift of Jesus Christ given to us from God. We handle the gift with great care. An infant is not something that we shake and turn upside down to see if he rattles! Instead, we hold him gently, and cuddle him up close to our cheek and we hold him close to our heart. But to see this infant fully, we must gently unwrap him from his clothing. And until we live with him, we cannot fully know him.
Who is this Christ that was born and given to us? The author of the Letter to the Hebrews unwraps this precious gift God has given us.
I. Jesus is the complete revelation of God.
As we unwrap the first piece of clothing from the Christ child, we see that he is the complete revelation of God. The author Hebrews tells us this in verses 1-3.
1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Before Jesus came, God spoke to us through the prophets. They were the spokesmen for God. You might even say that they were God’s very own message service. They used many different ways to proclaim God’s message to the people. Each prophet seemed to have a particular theme to the message that he was to deliver. Elijah and Elisha were the lightening and thunder during the darkest days of the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. Isaiah was the princely prophet who faithfully ministered in the king’s court until king Manasseh had him placed in a hollow log and sawn into. Jeremiah was known for his tears and Daniel for his dreams. Hosea saw God as the husband with and unfaithful wife (Israel). Amos was the prophet of justice and Nathan was the one who confronted king David about his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. There was Haggai who motivated the people to rebuild the Temple. And the prophet Jonah, who won a hearing in Nineveh that brought about a great revival. And the list goes on.
But each of these was only a fragment of the revelation of God. Who would have thought that God would reveal himself in a tiny, fragile infant? God’s final revelation did not come in a loud screaming voice. It did not come in a strong wind. Nor, did it come in an earthquake. The coming of this revelation did not dominate the conversation at the local gathering places. In fact, most likely those who heard of the experience of the shepherds probably accused them of being drunk. Besides, who would believe a story about angels appearing the sky and singing?
The writer to the Hebrews tells us that if we want to know God, then we must look at Jesus. He is radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. In the Gospel of John while in the upper room, Philip asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus told Philip and the others, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father…I am the in the Father and the Father is in me.” Jesus’ entire life was a revelation of God: the words he spoke; the miracles he performed; his concern for justice; even his death on a cross. Through the life of Jesus, we can see a complete picture of God.
We want to know God. We want to see him. We want to her his voice. We long to know what he wants us to do. We want a relationship with God. Jesus is God the Father. When we know Jesus, we know the Father.