Sunday, October 26, 2008

Beholding Him in the book of Hebrews

Developed from an idea by John Piper 

Him is the subject of Hebrews, come read with me!
• He is, 1v2, God’s supreme revelation, and the inheritor of all things.
• He is, 1v2, the one who made the world by speaking.
• He is, 1v3, the radiance of the glory of God – the exact imprint of God’s nature. The one on whom to look to see precisely what God is like. The magnificent manifestation of God.
• He is the one who holds the whole universe together by the word of his power. Holding together even every molecule and every atom and every electron and all the depths of subatomic physics, that make the scientists at CERN look like they’re playing with a child’s science kit.
• He is the one who made purification for sins. Washing clean his people who were once indelibly stained and marked by the odour of putrification due to the sewerage of their hearts.
• He is the one who has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High because he has done his work. Finished.
• And He has a name that is more excellent than all the angels. Incomparably glorious.
• He is, 1v6, worshipped by the angels and, 1v8 rules forever with the sceptre of uprightness. A rule more powerful, just and beneficial, than all the rulers, in all the annals, of human history and politics.
• He is greater than the angels by whom the law was given. And therefore he is the one to whom, 2v1, we must pay much closer attention, for those who neglected the law died and how much worse the fate of those who neglect him.
• He was for a little while, 2v9, made lower than the angels but is now crowned with glory and honour, because of the suffering of death, which by the grace of God, he tasted for everyone.
• He is the one, 2v10, by whom all things exist and who brings many sons to glory, since he is the founder of that which is greater than every human institution, corporation and nation.
He is the founder of our salvation. The supreme reason, goal, purpose and end of all things.
• He has, 2v14, destroyed the one who has the power of death and, v15, delivered us from the fear of death because he is, v17, our merciful and faithful high priest who has made propitiation for our sins, turning aside the wrath we deserve and bringing us into the abundant fullness of God’s everlasting favour.
• He is the one whose achievements require big words like propitiation to describe them, for small words cannot contain him, and only mind-blowing words are sufficient to stir appropriate worship toward him.
• He is, 4v15, our high priest who is sympathetic with our weaknesses. A friend who does not just listen, but is able to meet us in our weakness and need. It is Him who offers acceptance independent of our performance and solely on the basis of what he has done.
• He never sinned.
• He enables us – any of us - to draw near to the throne of grace and receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need, whatever the need or situation.
• He, 5v5, was appointed as the final and forever high priest.
• He offered up, v7, prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears. Anguished to save us.
• He was, v8, obedient, his every work fulfilling the word of God.
• He is, v9, the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. The only way, door, gate, road.
• He, 7v16, holds his priesthood by the power of an indestructible life and is able, v25, to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him since he always lives to make intercession for them. Always pleading the cause of his people on the basis of his own never changing death.
• He, 8v6, has a ministry much more excellent than the old covenant, based upon better promises. The old is a pale reflection and a mere shadow by comparison.
• He, 9v12, entered once for all into the holy places by his own blood and secured an eternal redemption that, 9v14, purifies our conscience.
• He, 9v28, now appears in the presence of God on our behalf and will, v28, return to save those who are eagerly awaiting him.
• He has, 10v12, offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins and then sat down at the right hand of God, waiting until all things are under his feet.
• He has perfected for all time his people. Perfected, past tense. Done.
• His blood is, 10v19, the confidence his people need to enter into the most holy place.
• He is the one, 13v8-12, fulfills all the types and shadows of the Old Testament and where they could not benefit people.
• He is the one, v9, who strengthens our hearts with grace.
• And, 13v8, he is the same yesterday, today and forever.
He is Jesus Christ, and as John Piper observes: “All of this supremacy of Christ is poured into the word “him” in Hebrews 13:13: And this vast array of his glory is set before us to arrest our attention, lest we walk on by. Heavenly anthems resound here.

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