Part 8, Hebrews
In examining the deity of the Son of God in the opening pages of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit began with what we can see with our eyes, describing creation and God the Son’s hand in it as the Architect and Engineer. The Holy Spirit hovered over the waters as God the Son created the plan of God the Father, the Trinity always in harmony.
Last week we examined Hebrews 1:1-4 where under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the human author focused on all that the Son has created, and on the redemptive purpose of his incarnation here on earth. God the Son designed the world, and then God the Son redeemed it.
Not only was he Creator and Redeemer, but he was pre-existent before anything was made that has been made. Jesus was not just a holy man, nor merely a human man. No, Jesus is the incarnation of God himself, God in human flesh, fully God and yet fully man.
This week, we consider the Son pre-existent before the human name “Jesus,” actually “Joshua” or “Yeshua,” was attached to the human body in which he eventually lived and moved and breathed. In the second half of the first chapter of Hebrews, we see a defense of the deity of the man Jesus Christ, God the Son in human flesh, Hebrews 1:5-14.
The Scriptures are God breathed, New Testament and Old both inspired by the Holy Spirit, and so he can seamlessly weave together what he foretold in the Old Testament and quote the fulfillment in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit is the Author behind the human author, putting God’s reality and truth into words.
The first-century audience of this letter, just like today, was typically misguided on things angelic. For instance, contrary to local legends or feel-good movies, people who die at any age do not become angels. Cherubim are not fat cuddly babies with wings, though depicted thus in art. In reality, in the history of Israel (2 Kings 19) one mighty angel alone, the angel of the Lord, in one night struck down and killed 185,000 enemy warriors who had besieged Jerusalem. In another account, Daniel, when confronted by an angel, was so frightened that he couldn’t speak (Daniel 10:4-21).
Angels, as depicted biblically, typically terrify the people who encounter them. These people often fall on the ground paralyzed with fear. Inevitably, the angel’s first statement is, “Do not be afraid,” or some other reassurance.
The human author of Hebrews debunks presuppositions that paint angels as either too large or too small, using the truth of the Scriptural record regarding the Son. The kind of statements that God the Father makes about angels don’t even compare with the far greater statements he has made about his Son from before time, when only the Godhead existed.
Everything I have made bold is something the Holy Spirit reveals as having been said by God the Father about God the Son, or having been done by God the Father in honor of his Son. In non-bold type I have entered my words after each bolded verse to emphasize the point being made.
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?
(The point is that he does say those things of his Son, who was born as Jesus Christ. He says none of this regarding angels. In Psalm 2:7-9; 89:26-27, in this promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16, and in Paul’s message explaining how Jesus Messiah, God’s Son, fulfilled all those prophesies (Acts 13:30-39), God makes these statements about his Son.
6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
(This is a command from God to the angels, quoting Psalm 97:7, gods in this OT passage translated angels in the New Testament passage. The angels worship the One who has preeminence over anyone and anything. Last week firstborn was discussed from Colossians 1:15, 18, Jesus as the prototokos.)
7 Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
(Psalm 104:1-4 describes the majesty of God as Creator, God the Son as his agent in creation, and then mentions the angels being made his messengers and ministers, winds/spirits and flaming fire. They work for him, being sent at his bidding. Angels are created beings. They are not worshiped, but the worshipers. Only God is pre-existent and eternal.)
8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
(In the opening line of this beautiful revelation about God the Son and who he is in character, the Holy Spirit makes it quite clear that the Son is himself God and that his throne has existed and will exist forever and ever: “of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God’…” He quotes from Psalm 45:6-8, which is seated within a larger prophetic statement about Christ, his incarnation, and the coming judgment.)
10 And,“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”
(Bask in those glorious words! Once again the Holy Spirit uses David as a vehicle to write down what is coming in his own lineage. The first part of this prophesy from Psalm 102: 23-24, includes a prophetic foretelling of the cry that erupted from Jesus in Gethsemane, and the second half, Psalm 102: 25-28, contains the above words. God the Son’s deity is also apparent for he existed before creation. He laid the foundation in the beginning, and he will remain, even after making that sacrifice for our sins and even after the earth and the heavens are rolled up like a scroll. They will perish, yet he will remain. His years have no beginning nor end.)
13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:5-13 ESV)
(As mentioned above in Hebrews 1:7, the angels are beings designed and created to render service to God and to those who inherit salvation. They are continually sent forth for our sake, for the work of God in the world, for drawing to God those who inherit salvation — the heirs of God, his family of true believers of all races on the earth. This is their mission…
In contrast, God the Son is far more than an angel. He is God in the flesh who put on humanity in order to redeem us. As a result, no angel was ever told to sit at God’s right hand, so that his enemies could be put below his feet. Yet, God the Son is given that promise in Psalm 110, which is quoted here, as well as in Acts 2:32-36 [see below], in Peter’s sermon at Pentecost.)
This is who our Savior is, the apostles and the prophets foretold him and then explained to us in this letter to the Hebrews and in the entire New Testament how he had come in fulfillment of the prophesies made about him, and how he will return as also foretold.
Rejoice in the words that God has had written down for us. The Son’s arrival among us was foretold, he came, he fulfilled all he was to do as he walked on earth, and he now pleads for us, intervening on our behalf before the Father, and drawing all who will believe to himself. He came. He will come again. It is written.Rejoice in the words God has written. The Son's arrival among us was foretold, he came, he fulfilled all he was to do as he walked on earth, and he now pleads for us, intervening on our behalf. Click To Tweet
32 “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:32-36 ESV).
This is who he is! In this season of thanksgiving and of heightened awareness of his incarnation, take time to praise him for coming to redeem us and to one day take us to heaven with him for eternity!
Dear readers, after years of work, it’s ready for you to read at last!
The Shadows Come, the sequel to No Longer Alone, launched this week. Both are available here: http://bit.ly/MelindasBooks! Come read these stories created just for you, stories to give you hope and to increase your faith!