1. A Better Revelation (verses 1-2a)
2. A Better Person (verses 2b-3)

For the past two weeks, I have preached two overview messages on the book of Hebrews. My aim in those messages was to drive home the theme of the book of Hebrews, which is, "Jesus Is Better, So Press On!" This morning we are beginning our detailed exposition of this book, where we will begin to examine the parts that make up the whole. And so, direct your attention to the first 3 verses of chapter 1.

As is the case with many books of the Bible, the first few verses set the direction for the entire book. In our text this morning, we will see the first half of the theme, "Jesus Is Better." The writer introduces us to Jesus by showing us that He has a better revelation than the Old Testament, and that He has a better position than anyone else in the universe.

The reason for beginning here is that there were those who weren't pressing on! There were those who were enamored by the ways of Judaism's past history. They grew up with the priests, so how could they abandon them now? They grew up with the sacrifices, so how could they abandon them now? They loved Moses, so how could they look to something greater than Moses? To help them move on, the writer shows them how much better Jesus is. As we read the text, listen for the ways in which the writer puts forth that Jesus is better.

Hebrews 1:1-3
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

Appropriately, the title of my message this morning is this: "Jesus Is Better." In these verses, the writer puts forth two ways in which Jesus Is Better. First of all, He has ...

1. A Better Revelation (verses 1-2a)

This is the point of verses 1 and 2a. The revelation through Jesus Christ is better than the revelation of the Old Testament. By "revelation," I simply mean the process by which God has made Himself known.

Here in our text, you will see that God is twice identified as "speaking." The first time comes in verse 1, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets." The second time comes in verse 2, "in these last days has spoken to us in His Son." God speaks, so as to make Himself known. God spoke in the former days. But, now, God has spoken in the last days.

The way in which God has spoken to us today is different. It is better. In the past, God spoke to the fathers, but in these last days, He has spoken to us. In the past, He spoke in many different ways, using many different methods, but in these days, He has spoken to us in one way, in His Son. In the past, He spoke through prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us in His Son!

The contrast between what God did in the past and what God has done in these last days only serves to show us that His revelation to us is better. And the point of these verses is precisely the contrast, which would have been felt by the Jewish people of this time. The revelation that God gave to us in the days of the Old Testament was good and wonderful. Isaiah 42:21 says that it pleased the Lord to "make the law great and glorious." But, it was all preparing for the ultimate revelation, which God gave to us in His Son!

Now, before we actually dig into the details and dissect verse 1, I want us first of all to marvel that God gives us any revelation at all. This is the first note that the book of Hebrews strikes. God has revealed Himself. In no way was it necessary for God to have made Himself known to us. He was under no other constraint to tell us of Himself. He could very easily have merely created the world, and then, walked away, only to observe it from a distance, to see how it might turn out,

There are many who believe that this is the way that God has acted in this world. They are called Deists, who don't the reality of God, but deny the reality of the self-disclosure of God (i.e. that God speaks). Many of the founders of our country were Deists, men like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. They did not believe that God has spoken. There are even many professing Christians today who live like Deists. Oh, they may not deny that God has spoken, but they make little effort to discover exactly what God has said.

Our God is a speaking God. And apart from God speaking, we would know nothing of Him. Consider the testimony of the Scriptures. The Bible begins with our God speaking, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). "Then God said, 'Let there be light'" (Gen. 1:3). "Then God said, 'Let there be an expanse'" (Gen. 1:6). "Then God said, 'Let the earth sprout vegetation" (Gen. 1:11). "Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens'" (Gen. 1:14). When God created the world, He did so through the means of His spoken word.

The Bible continues with our God speaking to Abraham. In Genesis 12:1, we read,

Genesis 12:1-2
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing."

God spoke to Isaac (Gen. 26:24). God spoke to Jacob (Gen. 35:10-12). God spoke to Moses (Ex. 3:7-9). God spoke to Joshua (Josh. 1:2-9). God spoke to Samuel (1 Sam. 3). God spoke to the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, and many more. How many times do they say, "Thus says the LORD"? This is their cry! "God is speaking to you. And here's what He's saying!"

Our God is a speaking God. He speaks to us. He tells us what He is like. He tells us of what He has done. He tells us what we are to believe. He tells us how we are to behave. When we have trouble obeying, God reminds us of what He has done. For this, we need to be thankful.

We pity the children who grow up without parents, because they have little direction in their lives. They have little influence in their lives. But, apart from God speaking to us, we would be like children without parents. In God's speaking, He gives us direction in life.

Now, let's spend a few moments uncovering the contrasts between God's speaking in verse 1 with God's speaking in verse 2. Because, all of these contrasts demonstrate how the revelation through Jesus is better than any revelation received beforehand. First of all, there is the contrast of ...

a. when He spoke.

The contrast is between "long ago," and "in these last days." "He spoke long ago" (verse 1). And, "in these last days has spoken" (verse 2). "Long ago" refers to the days of the Old Testament from the creation of the world, until the coming of Christ. "The last days" refers to the days of the Messiah. That is, the days in which we now live.

When you read the New Testament writers, they tell us that we are in the last days, ever since Jesus came. Though it may be 2,000 years since the last days began, we are in the last days even still.

Paul spoke this way. To the Corinthians, he wrote of how the events of the Old Testament were "written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come" (1 Cor. 10:11). James warned his readers of the folly of pursuing riches, "It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!" (James 5:3). In other words, "It is foolish to store up for yourselves treasures today, as we are in the last days. Soon, your treasures will mean nothing." Peter, speaking of Christ, said, "He has appeared in these last times for the sake of you" (1 Peter 1:20). The coming of Christ puts us in the last days, the last times.

Certainly, the original readers of the book of Hebrews knew that they were in the "last days," which makes the revelation of Jesus more significant and more important. Now is the time of the Messiah! The revelation which comes with the Messiah is better.

There is a second contrast in these verses. Not only is there the contrast of when He spoke. But, there is also the contrast of ...

b. to whom He spoke.

Look there in verse 1, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers ... in these last days has spoken to us." And though there is nothing implicit in this which makes the revelation of God more important (we are not more important than the prophets) there is a higher importance for us.

Think about it. When a father speaks to one child, it's important to the other children. But, it's not as important as it is if you are the child being addressed! And the revelation given through His Son is better (for us), because it is given to us. It is given to those who live in the days of the Messiah! So, let's pay attention to what God has said!

In verses 1 and 2, there is a contrast of when He spoke. There is a contrast of to whom He spoke. There is also a contrast of ...

c. how He spoke.

Long ago, God spoke "in many portions and in many ways" (Heb 1:1). But the revelation today is in one way: it is in the Son. The reality of God's revelation to His people in the Old Testament is that it came in many portions. There are 39 books of the Old Testament, written by more than 30 different writers. And the books are all different. Some are law. Some are history. Some are poetical. Some are wisdom. Some are prophetic. The Old Testament came in many different portions.

The Old Testament also came in many different ways. Sometimes, God spoke to the prophets audibly, so that they heard the voice of God in their ears (Jeremiah 1:4-8). Sometimes, God spoke to them in a dream (Dan. 2:19). Sometimes, God spoke to them in an angel (Judges 13:8-20). Even once, God spoke in a donkey to his wayward prophet (Numbers 22). At times, God thundered (like on Mount Sinai). At other times, He spoke in a still, small voice as God spoke with Elijah (1 Kings 19:12-13).

But, the revelation of the Messiah is different. It has come to us in only one way: in His Son.

There is a finality about the revelation of Jesus that simply wasn't true in the days of the Old Testament. We ought not to expect further revelation to come. We don't need to go about seeking more. We need to realize that God has spoken with finality in one portion and in one way. He has spoken in His Son!

One of the most helpful things that I read this week concerning this text came from the pen of John Calvin, who wrote:

For it was a great hindrance to the Jews that they did not consider that God had deferred a fuller revelation to another time; hence, being satisfied with their own Law, they did not hasten forward to the goal. But since Christ has appeared, an opposite evil began to prevail in the world; for men wished to advance beyond Christ. What else indeed is the whole system of Popery but the overleaping of the boundary which the Apostle has fixed? As, then, the Spirit of God in this passage invites all to come as far as Christ, so he forbids them to go beyond the last time which he mentions. In short, the limit of our wisdom is made here to be the Gospel. [1]

In other words, John Calvin was bringing application home to us. While the Jews were in danger of going back to their old rituals and sacrifices, the Roman Catholics are guilty of continuing on past Christ. The Old Testament was filled with priests and laws and sacrifices and rituals and incense. But, now that Christ has come, the Jews were not to revert to their old ways. Sadly, the Roman Catholics have strayed in much the same way. They have continued on by instituting priests and laws rituals and incense of their own! Rather than falling from Christ, they have continued on beyond Christ!

Lest we think that we, as Protestants, are immune to such temptations, think again. We can easily go beyond Christ, seeking to find something more beyond Jesus, whether it be in new revelations or new experiences. In such cases, we are as guilty as the Roman Catholics, because we have sought something more, when our sufficiency is in Christ alone.

Let me show you a final contrast in verses 1 and 2. We have see a contrast in when He spoke, to whom He spoke, how He spoke, and finally, ...

d. through Whom He spoke.

In the days of the Old Testament, God spoke "in the prophets." You could easily translate this "through the prophets," or "by the prophets." These prophets were mere men to whom God revealed Himself. They were men through whom God spoke to the people. But, in these last days, God spoke "in His Son." You could easily translate this, "through His Son," or "by His Son." The idea here is that God spoke to us personally.

See, it's one thing to send a text. It's another thing to send an email. A written note is a bit more intimate. A phone call is more dynamic, with a give and take. But, in person, is the best, most intimate and most persuasive way to speak.

Some of the political events of last week illustrate this well. Last week, the International Olympic Committee was deciding where the 2016 Olympic Games will be held. The city of Chicago was one of the four finalists. In an effort to persuade the Olympic Committee of the worthiness of the city, officials spent millions of dollars, preparing documents and making presentations to the Olympic Committee, trying to convince them that they ought to select Chicago as the site of the 2016 Olympic Games. But, perhaps one of the most significant efforts in that process took place last week when president Obama traveled to Copenhagen, himself, to make his pitch for the Olympic Games to come to Chicago. He didn't send an email. He didn't write a note. He didn't prepare some documents. He didn't make a phone call. He didn't make his pitch via a satellite hookup. No, he came in person to make his push.

Now, of course, the analogy ultimately fails, as the president failed in his efforts. But, Jesus accomplished all He set out to do! He came to visit us in person. He walked among us. He taught us. The apostle John said, of Him, "We have heard, ... we have seen with our eyes, ... we have looked at and touched with our hands" (1 John 1:1). Jesus revealed Himself in person.

At this point, the text begins to center around Jesus. The writer puts forth seven descriptions of Jesus in the second half of verse 2 and all of verse 3. They describe who He is. They describe what He did. They describe what He does. And all of these descriptions are out of this world. They are beyond our full comprehension. We can try to understand them, but we won't be able to fully grasp it. But, don't lose heart, because the purpose of these seven descriptions will help us as we will be able to see how high they lift up Jesus.

Not only is Jesus (1) A Better Revelation (verses 1-2a). Jesus is also ...

2. A Better Person (verses 2b-3)

In these verses writer will describe how much better Jesus is than the prophets of old. And as he does, he begins to set up the entire book.

My hope and my aim and my goal in walking through these seven descriptions of Jesus is that you might be convinced of how Jesus is better than anything else you might ever want or have. We don't have a second-rate Savior. He is far better than any of the prophets. He is better than all of the prophets put together.

First of all, we see (in verse 2), that He is ...

a. The Heir of all things.

In verse 2 we read that the Son was "appointed heir of all things." This is the implication of Jesus being the Son. It's the son who is the heir. The heir is the owner of the house, as opposed to the servant, who is merely the steward of the house. Later in Hebrews, the writer makes the distinction for us, using the example of Moses.

Hebrews 3:5-6
Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house--whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

Moses was a servant in the house. But, Jesus was a son over His house. In other words, Moses was a laborer. But, Jesus is the boss. Moses was merely a player in the game, but Jesus is the owner of the team. Moses was employed, but Jesus is the owner of the company.

There is something vastly different about dealing with the owner as opposed to dealing with an employer. When I was working in the computer world, I would often have discussions with vendors, who were attempting to sell me their products. As a mere employee, I had to obtain approval for all things through my boss. At times, we needed to go to the Vice President of Finance to get approval for our items. But, had I been the owner of the company, things would have been much different. I would have been able to give approval on the spot, with any other further discussion. Such is the case with Jesus. He owns all things.

The extent of the ownership of Jesus reaches far and wide. He is heir "of all things." Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the LORD's, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it." Now, if He is the heir all things, then why would you go anyplace else for help? The prophets were a help, but they only in so far as they were able to direct people to God. But, the help that Jesus provides is different. He doesn't speak on behalf of the owner. He is the owner and can come and help immediately. He is the heir!

Now, the strange thing here about this phrase here in verse 2 is that Jesus was "appointed" heir of all things. It seems as if there was a time in which Jesus wasn't the heir. That's an implication that isn't held up throughout the rest of the Scripture. Nor does it even hold up in this passage. We will see in the next phrase that Jesus is the creator of the world. As such, He owns the world from the very first day of its existence. But, there is the idea in Scripture that the work of Jesus obtained a place in the universe because of His work upon the earth.

We see this at work in Philippians 2, which speaks of His incarnation and humiliation and resultant exaltation. Jesus ...

Philippians 2:7-8
...emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

And it is His humiliation and death that gained Him the highest place in the universe. Paul continues, "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him" (Phil 2:9). It was precisely because of the work of Jesus upon the earth that He was exalted so highly.

Now, it's not that Jesus wasn't exalted before His incarnation. He was. He had glory with the Father before the world began (John 17:5). But, the incarnation (and His suffering and death) gave Him dominion over the world in a new way.

Hebrews 2:9-11
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is the Heir of all things. He is also...

b. The Creator of the world.

At the end of verse 2 we read, "through whom also He made the world." The grammar of this text indicates that it is God, the Father, who is the creator of the world. However, His creation came through the means of Jesus. This agency in the creation of the world is consistently used by the writers of the New Testament.

John wrote, "All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being" (John 1:3). Paul wrote, "By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him" (Colossians 2:16). Jesus is the agency of creation.

To understand exactly what this means, you might easily go back to the days of the first automobiles. When we think of early automobiles, Henry Ford comes to mind. What did Henry Ford create? Wasn't it the Model T? Of course it was. But, Henry Ford wasn't on the assembly line putting the cars together. It was the factory workers who actually made the cars. So, who made the Model T's that everyone drove around? It was those on the assembly line. But, in great measure, it was really Henry Ford who created the cars.

The same parallel exists here. Though God, the Father, was the creator of the world, Jesus was the one who pulled it off. And so, in many ways, Jesus is the true creator of the world. (I know that we are speaking Trinitarian mystery here).

This puts Him far beyond the prophets (or the angels or Moses or the high priests), none of whom had any part in the creating of the universe. This puts the Son as the Sovereign One in the universe - the one who owns all things; the one who has dominion over all things. Jesus is Better than anyone. The writer to the Hebrews could easily have stopped there and His point would have been made. But, the writer also points out that Jesus is ...

c. The Glory of God

At the beginning of verse 3, we read, "And He is the radiance of His glory." These words describe for us the essence of Jesus. They describe His being. The writer here depicts him as "glowing." He is "radiance." The shining is the shining of the glory of God! Any glimpse that we see of the presence of God in the Bible, we are struck by the brilliance of His appearance.

When God appeared to Israel on Mount Sinai, it was in smoke like a furnace, with shaking like an earthquake, with sounds like loud trumpets (Ex. 19:20; Heb. 12:18-21). When John got a glimpse of heaven, he described the scene as "flashes of lighting and sounds and peals of thunder" coming "out from the throne" (Rev. 4:5). Paul describes God as the one who "dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see" (1 Tim. 6:16).

In some measure, Jesus radiated the same glory! Although, His flesh often veiled His glory. But, there was a time when the glory of Jesus shone through His flesh. Perhaps you remember the time when Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves. As they were all alone, the glory of Jesus began to shine through His skin. "He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light" (Matt. 17:2).

In His flesh, the glory of Jesus was veiled. But, here on the mountain, the disciples were able to peer into His glory. And what they saw was magnificent. Peter didn't want to leave! (Matt. 17:4).

Now, I ask you, which of the prophets ever had a glory like this? Moses was closer than anybody. When he ascended Mount Sinai and beheld God face to face, his face shone (Ex. 34:35). The radiance of God had rubbed against the face of Moses. Now, the radiance of Moses faded away, as it was only skin deep. But, the radiance of Jesus never fades away, as it reaches to the core of His being. "He is the radiance of His glory." Jesus is also ...

d. The Nature of God

We read there in verse 3 that Jesus is "the exact representation of His nature." This is one of the most plain texts in all of the Bible for the Deity of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the very nature of God. He is the exact imprint of God (ESV). He is the exact representation of His being (NIV). To see Jesus is to see God. In fact, this is what Jesus told His disciples, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). This is because Jesus is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15). He brings into flesh what is unseen. Jesus is the nature of God. "In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (Col. 2:9).

In the early days of the church, there were those who doubted the Deity of Jesus Christ. And yet, based upon verses like this, the Nicene creed could say, ...

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;

These words seek to get at the very essence of Jesus Christ. We ought to marvel right here in the Deity of the Messiah. Our Messiah isn't merely an earthly Messiah. He came from heaven, itself. He is God, come to redeem us!

Several times in Hebrews, we will see the incarnation. To be sure, He, Himself had flesh and blood like those He would redeem (Heb. 2:14). He took on a body, like us (Heb 10:5-7). But, He came down from heaven to be like us. As such, He is way better than any of the prophets. He was way better than any of the priests. This is one of the reasons why it would be so tragic for any of us to turn back. We have come to a better Savior than any of the prophets or the priests could ever turn out. To turn away from Jesus is to turn away from God.

e. The Sustainer of the world.

We see in the middle of verse 3, that "[He] upholds all things by the word of His power." Jesus is the one sustaining the world right now. The same truth is spoken of in Colossians 1:17, "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

Not only did Jesus create the world, but He also sustains the world. He keeps it running. Jesus isn't merely the clock maker, who created the clock, wound it up and went away. He is also the repair technician, to insure that everything keeps running as planned.

Regarding the universe, Jesus makes sure that gravity still works. Regarding the universe, Jesus makes sure that the electrical properties still work. Like charges repel each other, while opposite charges attract. Jesus makes sure that the magnetic forces and fields are fully functional. Jesus makes sure that the strong and weak nuclear forces are still at work!

Jesus is also in charge of the climate. In the days of Noah, a flood of waters covered the earth. But, God promised never to flood the earth again. Whose responsibility do you think that it is to make sure that this never happens? It's the Son, who "upholds all things."

Notice how Jesus "upholds all things." He does so, "by the word of His power." The word of God is powerful. The word that created the world is the same word that sustains the world. Can you imagine turning away from such a Savior? It's incomprehensible. We come now to the 6th characteristic of Jesus. Jesus is ...

f. The Purifier of sins

Look, once again in the middle of verse 3, "He has made purification of sins." This is the great reality of the good news that gives us reason to rejoice. Jesus Christ "has made purification of sins." We no longer need to pay for our sins! Jesus paid for our sins. We don't need to cleanse ourselves from the filth of what sin brings upon our souls. Jesus has done it all.

Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow. [2]

That God would cleanse from sin was the hope of David, who came to see his sin. He pleaded with the LORD, ...

Psalm 51:2, 7
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

This is the great reality of what Jesus Christ has done for us upon the cross two thousand years ago. He "has made purification of sins." He purified the sins of those who would believe. Are you believing in Jesus today? Then, you can have confidence that your sins are cleansed. Why would you turn away from the one who has made purifications of sins? And yet, this was the very danger of the original readers to whom this book was initially written. They were in danger of turning back. What a tragedy.

The danger comes to us today as well. Do you ever try to make purification of sins for yourself? Do you ever pray, "God, I sinned, but I read my Bible this morning, so I know that you would be happy now."? Or, do you reason to yourself, "Yes, I sinned, but I came to church this morning. That ought to help." Perhaps you even seek to justify yourself by saying, "At least I'm praying to God or doing some good deed." All of these are attempts at self-purification. And they will all fail.

We might not be Roman Catholics, who believe that we need to receive the mass to receive the grace ot forgive our sins. We might not believe that we need to confess our sins to a priest and then perform some penence to show our sincerity. But, at the root, our evangelical behavior is the same when we attempt to do something in exchange for the forgiveness of our sins.

The burden of the book of Hebrews is precisely that Jesus made purification for sins! We need seek no other means of purification. We can rest in that.

Three verses in Hebrews 10 put forth this fact very clearly. They are verses worthy of your memorization and meditation.

The first verse comes in Hebrews 10:10. After bringing to light the incarnation of Jesus, how Jesus came to do the will of God, the writer continues, "By this we will have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). In other words, the sacrifice of Jesus cleansed us "once for all." It is finished. We don't need to wash ourselves ever again.

The second verse I bring your attention to is Hebrews 10:14. In contrast to the priests, who are standing and continually offering the same sacrifices that can never take away sins, the writer then speaks about the finality of the sacrifice of Jesus. "For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). We who believe in Jesus are "perfected for all time" through the blood of Jesus. We lack nothing in the way of God's purifying us from our sins.

The third verse from Hebrews 10 comes in the 18th verse. After quoting from Jeremiah 31 and the New Covenant promises to us, namely that God promised never to remember our sins any longer, the writer continues with the implication that has come to us in the New Covenant of the blood of Jesus. He writes, "Now where is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin" (Hebrews 10:18). In other words, for those of us who are forgiven through faith in Jesus, there is nothing more that we can do to effect our forgiveness. So, don't try to purify your sins by yourself! Jesus has done it.

The seventh and final characteristic of Jesus in our passage is this: Jesus is ...

g. The Ruler of the world

We read at the end of verse 3, "He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," (Heb 1:3). Which of the prophets ever received this honor? Which of the disciples ever received this honor? None of them. But, they tried!

Perhaps you remember the following encounter that Jesus had with two of His disciples.

Mark 10:35-40
James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You." And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" They said to Him, "Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. "But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared."

Only Jesus has received the honor of being seated at the right hand of God, the Father. We see this truth four times in the book of Hebrews.

"But, to which of the angels has he ever said, 'Sit at my right hand.' (Heb 1:13).
"We have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (Heb 8:1).
"He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God" (Heb 10:12).
"Jesus ...has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb 12:2).

All of these verses allude to the great reality in Psalm 110:1. The Messiah is the one whom God has placed at His right hand. Jesus rules and reigns over the entire universe. May our hearts bow to Him. He is far greater than any of the prophets who went before Him.

This sermon was delivered to Rock Valley Bible Church on October 11, 2009 by Steve Brandon.
For more information see www.rvbc.cc.

[1] John Calvin, Commentary of the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 33.

[2] "Jesus Paid It All," by Elvina M. Hall.