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Hebrews 1:1-4 - Hush little baby

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1Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Hebrews 1:1-4

You know I was reading about David Cameron’s speech the other day about Christianity and the UK.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2075205/Speak-Christianity-Cameron-tells-Archbishop-PM-calls-Church-defend-values-moral-code-Bible.html#axzz2Km1gr3dU


It’s interesting that Christians have been praying for this for years and when it finally happens. Some of those Christians  still complain about it.   A couple of thoughts  on this are that 1) It took courage to speak about this, especially when being in a coalition government, and when there is so much apathy and disdain towards Christianity, not from other faiths but from the ever increasing onslaught of the humanist society.  The 2nd thing I applaud him for was his honesty.  He was not trying to make himself out to be the believer he isn’t nor was he trying to turn his religion political, he simply said there was much to learn from what Christianity has given us in this country especially is the last 100 years.   What I also noted was that number 10 were “concerned about the speech prior to it being given” which means this is not some spin doctor spouting rhetoric to appease and silence disgruntled Christians, but was actually a heartfelt belief… 

So I said I wanted to start working through Hebrews while I’m up here, and so being Christmas I felt these first 4 verses captured the enormity of what happened in Christ birth beautifully.. 

Let’s take a look at what’s being described here.
Long ago, that’s a good place to start… This is where I dazzle you with my acute knowledge of Greek and inform you that the two words for “Long ago”, contrasted with “these last days” are two very similar words.  Polymeros, and polytropos contrast the many times and many ways in which God spoke to us first through the prophets, and now through his Son Jesus Christ.   Ofcourse really I just looked at the study notes in my bible but no one needs to know that ;) !!

What is significant here in relation to Christmas in these first two verses is that the writer refers to the many ways God revealed himself in the past, and then in these last days signifying that this child, this baby, the Christ is the final revelation of Gods glory, His master plan.  The cannon of scripture is complete, no further revelation is needed. 
Of course one of the biggest tragedies of Christmas for me was also highlighted by David Camerons speech and the to be expected tidal wave of comments that followed it. 
Can anyone guess what that might be?

For many people who are not committed believers, but have some inclination towards church, whether that be spiritual or habitual, Christmas is perhaps the one time of year where they will go to church, and see glimpses of the Christmas story on TV, or if you’re very lucky, on the odd Christmas card, and for all that exposure year after year, Jesus never makes it out of the manger. 
For ever doomed to be the innocent, sweet, mild, tearless baby we drolly sing about year after year in our carols.  But to us Jesus is so much more, and Christmas represents so much more.

“his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

Hebrews 1:2-3

Jesus the heir of ALL things, through whom the world was created.   I love this next bit…  The Radiance of the glory to God.   Now contrast that with

2For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.

Isaiah 53:2

The unattractiveness of his outward appearance is far outweighed by the brilliance of Gods glory, the radiance that oozes out of his very being.  Does that not excite you?
For me that’s a source of great encouragement.  For us as sinners, (which let’s face it, is pretty unattractive for those of us to whom the truth has been revealed)_ redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, that we might shine like stars, reflecting, not our own glory, or superficiality but instead reflecting the nature of and brilliance of Christ’s glory in whom and through whom we are a new creation. 

I love this, in the ESV, he is the EXACT imprint, or in the Greek (Charakter) which by definition means:

1.    the instrument used for engraving or carving
2.    the mark stamped upon that instrument or wrought out on it
       a.    a mark or figure burned in (Lev. 13:
3.    or stamped on, an impression
       a.    the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e facsimile
       of His, that is Gods nature or the Greek (hypostasis) meaning

1.    a setting or placing under
       a.    thing put under, substructure, foundation
2.    that which has foundation, is firm
       a.    that which has actual existence
              1.    a substance, real being
       b.    the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing
       c.    the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution confidence, firm trust, assurance


Who upholds the universe by the word of his power.   After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Jesus Christ, Born of God, and who is fully God, who chose to give up his place in heaven, a place higher than the angels, that he might also become like us, lower than angels (at least until his return), that we might know that power, that radiance that set sinners free, raised people from the dead, let the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk and saw the sick healed.

I close as I opened; the biggest tragedy of Christmas is that Christ never grows up in the eyes of those that only see him once a year.  It may be Christmas but Easter is coming.  The baby Jesus is far more than a nice story, a sweet Children’s nativity.  The baby Jesus is the beginning of events that turned this world on its head.   And maybe this Christmas we can take people on a bigger Journey than they bargained for when they set out to hear a cute story about 3 shepherds, a bunch of wise men, a couple and their baby.

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