This coming Might 6, the UK will have a good time its first coronation of a brand new monarch in seventy years. In line with the announcement from Buckingham Palace, “The Ceremony will see His Majesty King Charles III topped. . . . The Coronation will replicate the monarch’s function in the present day and look in the direction of the longer term, whereas being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”
Queen Elizabeth II was topped on June 2, 1953. You will discover movies on-line. There was certainly pageantry, and I’m positive we’ll see nice pomp and circumstance this coming Might. However superb because the scene is perhaps — when a kingdom marshals all its collective vitality and assets to mark, with pageantry, the crowning of a brand new monarch — the primary chapter of Hebrews tells us of the coronation that even probably the most spectacular on earth (occasions ten) can solely faintly anticipate.
The opening scene of Hebrews is the coronation of Jesus Christ, everlasting second individual of the Godhead, who got here to earth as man, lived, suffered, died for sins not his personal, rose once more to new life, and forty days later ascended to heaven — and Hebrews offers us a glimpse into that second when Jesus returned to heaven, with angels wanting on, to be topped Lord of all by his Father on the throne of heaven itself.
Are you able to think about the scene in heaven? Across the throne are innumerable angels in festal gathering, ready with pleasure, when the God-man seems on the periphery, and one eye after one other sees him. And the vitality and anticipation of heaven rapidly turns silent. And Jesus processes to the throne, signaled by his Father. He sits down, his work full, exalted, within the universe’s seat of honor, and heaven crowns Jesus Lord of all with many diadems and praises.
In order we come to Hebrews 1 this morning, and to verses 3–6 specifically, let’s hold this scene in thoughts. There are some difficult ideas on this first chapter (and in all of Hebrews), however we might be helped with a few of these challenges if we bear in mind the setting, which I wish to present you within the textual content. So let’s look briefly at (1) the timing and (2) the situation of Christ’s coronation, after which we’ll focus most of our time on (3) its significance.
First, the timing. There’s a specific “when” that anchors this chapter — the opposite aspect of Christ’s ascension. Leap down and see that Hebrews 1:6 says, “When [God] brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’”
Now, that may sound just like the incarnation (the primary time Jesus got here) or the second coming, however Hebrews 2:5 clarifies it for us (utilizing this similar phrase world from 1:6): “It was to not angels that God subjected the world to come back, of which we’re talking.” What do you imply “of which we’re talking”? Nicely, in chapter 1. Chapter 1 is talking of “the world to come back” — that’s, the world to come back for believers, “the town of the dwelling God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22), the heaven to which Jesus ascended to reign until his return.
However an excellent clearer time indicator is the tip of Hebrews 1:3: “After making purification for sins, he sat down.” That’s, after conducting his sacrificial work on the cross — and rising once more, and ascending — Jesus sat down, on heaven’s throne, for the good coronation that’s Hebrews’ opening scene.
Second is the situation. Now we have a selected “the place” that anchors this chapter: heaven. The tip of Hebrews 1:3 tells us, “He sat down on the proper hand of the Majesty on excessive” — within the place of honor, with God himself. We’ve already seen this within the first a part of Hebrews 1:6: “When [God] brings the firstborn into the world” — which Hebrews 2:5 says is “the world to come back,” heaven.
Notice this rigorously: heaven is a superior location than earth for a king, not an inferior one. It is a problem for contemporary individuals. As God says in Isaiah 66:1, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool,” the place he rests his toes. And as we’ll see later in Hebrews, heaven can be a superior, not inferior, place for a excessive priest, as Hebrews 8:1–2 says: “Now we have such a excessive priest, one who’s seated on the proper hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister within the holy locations, in the true tent that the Lord arrange, not man.”
So earthly thrones are made by males and restricted by males, however the heavenly throne is God’s, not made and restricted by human palms. Because of this, when our youngsters ask, “Daddy, the place is Jesus? Why have I by no means seen him?” — as my kids have requested no less than twice — we are saying one thing like this: “Buddy (or Sweetie), Jesus is seated in energy, as King and Lord of all, on the proper hand of God in heaven. Jesus is actual, human, risen, glorified, and reigning over all, ready patiently for all his enemies, in his excellent timing, to be put underneath his toes.”
And so we guarantee them, “Jesus is as actual as I’m, and as actual as Mommy is. In reality, he’s much more actual, as a result of he rose to new life in an excellent physique, which we too someday can have, when our seeing him with our hearts by religion turns into our seeing him, nose to nose, with our eyes.” Heaven just isn’t much less actual than earth, however extra actual and superior. Our materials world, in all its glories, is by-product and secondary, not final.
Now, the importance of Christ’s coronation. That is the place we’ll linger for the remainder of our time, in what it means. To take action, let’s ask (and reply) three questions on Hebrews 1:4–6:
- Why angels?
- How do the Previous Testomony quotations work?
- What’s “the identify” he has inherited?
We’ll begin with verse 4, transfer to verses 5–6, after which come again to verse 4.
1. Why angels?
Verse 4 hyperlinks Jesus’s coronation together with his “having develop into . . . superior to angels.” Angels? The place did they arrive from? And apart from, wasn’t the everlasting Son, as God, at all times superior to angels, who, spectacular as they is perhaps, are simply created beings?
Sure, the Son, as God, has at all times been superior to angels — however not as man. There’s an order of being, you see: God, and God alone, uncreated, on the prime. Then underneath him, angels; then man; then animals. Psalm 8:5–6 celebrates that God “made [humanity] slightly decrease than the [angels] and topped him with glory and honor,” subsequently “[giving] him dominion over the works of [his] palms” — “over the fish of the ocean and over the birds of the heavens and over each dwelling factor that strikes on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
So, people are superior to animals (and sadly, many people in the present day have misplaced contact with this!). And angels are superior to people, by order of creation. Nevertheless, God the Son grew to become man, and thus grew to become slightly decrease than the angels, and now has surpassed the angels. As God, he has at all times been superior to the angels. However now, by advantage of his life, sacrificial dying, and triumphant resurrection, Jesus as man has develop into superior to the angels. In different phrases, there’s now (within the order of latest creation) a person who is best than the angels.
And so now we have our first “higher than” comparability. The theme that we are going to see Hebrews return to time and again is that Jesus is best — higher than the angels, higher than Moses, higher than Joshua, higher than the primary covenant and its place and clergymen and sacrifices. And Jesus makes higher guarantees and provides us a greater covenant and a greater hope, a greater nation, and he’s the higher possession than all worldly possessions.
“Rehearse this theme explicitly in your souls: regardless of the comparability, Jesus is best.”
Rehearse this theme explicitly in your souls: Regardless of the comparability, Jesus is best. Higher than consolation and ease, cash and possessions, standing and fame, marriage and kids, work and leisure, sports activities and leisure, all food and drinks. And we do properly to not neglect or reduce it, however as Jesus says in Acts 20:35, to bear in mind it and rehearse it.
So, why angels? For one, they’re current on the coronation. And angels function an ordinary of comparability to indicate the incarnate Son’s progress — from under angels as man (Psalm 8:5–6) to above them as man by advantage of his achievement in human life, dying, and resurrection. The purpose of beginning with angels isn’t that Hebrews’ viewers is tempted to worship them; the purpose is that the angels worship Jesus. How then may Hebrews’ first readers even ponder not worshiping the one the angels worship? These individuals liked the Jewish Scriptures; they thought extremely of angels. And the angels worship Jesus.
2. How do the Previous Testomony quotations work?
That is the toughest a part of the passage and one of many hardest components of Hebrews for us in the present day: how he, the creator of Hebrews, makes use of the Previous Testomony. What verses 5–6 are doing is apparent sufficient: displaying Jesus’s superiority to angels (“For . . . Or once more . . . And once more”). However how these quotations do that may make us scratch our heads.
Jesus says in Matthew 13:52, “Each scribe who has been educated for the dominion of heaven is sort of a grasp of a home, who brings out of his treasure what’s new and what’s previous.” Hebrews is a grasp at this. Hebrews is a grasp class in find out how to use the Previous Testomony.
And Hebrews doesn’t go away the second to return and clarify the traditional which means of texts solely to depart them there, however he brings them into the current to indicate his readers their fullness of which means and functions and significance now in Jesus — how God’s phrase is dwelling and energetic (Hebrews 4:12), that God isn’t just the one who has spoken, however the one who is talking.
Let me summarize how Hebrews makes use of these three Previous Testomony quotations. I’ll hold it transient, and you may divulge heart’s contents to the bigger contexts, learn these for your self, and study what Hebrews has to show us.
2 Samuel 7
Look first on the center citation, which is from 2 Samuel 7:14: “I might be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.” That is from a massively essential chapter within the Previous Testomony, the place God makes an everlasting royal covenant with King David. Not like King Saul earlier than him (who had no dynasty and by no means had a son on Israel’s throne), David’s dynasty, God guarantees, won’t ever finish:
When your days are fulfilled and also you lie down together with your fathers, I’ll increase up [to the throne] your offspring after you, who shall come out of your physique, and I’ll set up his kingdom. . . . And I’ll set up the throne of his kingdom endlessly. [And then:] I might be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. (2 Samuel 7:12–14)
In different phrases, “David, your son might be Israel’s king.” Israel’s king was God’s “son” within the sense that God dominated the nation by the human king. And God’s promise right here in 2 Samuel 7 anticipates the coronation to come back after David. At that coronation, when David’s son is topped king of God’s individuals, he too, as David is as king, might be “son.” So, in 2 Samuel 7:14, God guarantees to crown David’s son, and sons, in a kingly line that may endure till one king sits enthroned endlessly.
Which ends up in the primary quote in verse 5, which is from Psalm 2 (which Acts 13 says is from David). Psalm 2 is a coronation psalm, written for the day a brand new king in David’s line is topped king of God’s individuals. In verses 1–2 of the psalm, Israel’s enemies could rage and conspire in opposition to God “and in opposition to his Anointed” — that’s, the one anointed king, Messiah, the Christ. However in verse 7, as his enemies conspire, David remembers God’s decree from the day of his coronation: “You’re my Son; in the present day I’ve begotten you.”
So on the floor, 2 Samuel 7 and Psalm 2 are about human kings: David and his dynasty, one son then the subsequent, declared at his coronation to be God’s “son,” his specifically chosen and anointed human king of God’s individuals.
However bear in mind our timing and site in Hebrews. We’re not in Jerusalem in roughly 1000 BC. Our setting is heaven, after Jesus’s ascension. And so what Hebrews does is draw ahead these coronation declarations for David’s line to the climactic coronation of David’s promised offspring, who isn’t just a christ and a son, however the Christ and the Son — the one whom earlier anointed royal sons anticipated.
So verse 5 is about Jesus and about God making use of the guarantees and pageantry of Israel’s historical coronation declaration to him as his nice, climactic crowning as King of kings.
And verse 6, then, mentions the angels, quoting Deuteronomy 32:43: “Let all God’s angels worship him.” In some methods, this one is simpler within the utility, although trickier within the authentic textual content.
Deuteronomy 32 is a “track of Moses,” earlier than he offers the individuals his last blessing earlier than his dying. From verses 1–20, Moses is the speaker. Then God speaks from verses 20–27. Then Moses speaks once more from verses 28–33. However then a 3rd speaker appears to emerge in verses 34–42, who not solely speaks of himself as heaven’s agent (verses 39–40), but in addition says in verse 39, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there’s no god beside me.” Then a brand new voice, which Hebrews takes to be the voice of God, enters in verse 43 and speaks concerning the agent: “Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow all the way down to him, all [angels]” — which sounds just like the coronation. So Hebrews brings verse 43 to the enthronement of Christ.
So, we’re again to our coronation scene in heaven. Jesus, who was decrease than the angels with respect to his humanity, now has ascended to heaven and together with his Father’s welcome has taken his seat on the throne. And because the Father crowns his Son Lord of all, we hear the traditional coronation decree for David’s line: “You’re my Son; in the present day I’ve begotten you” (Psalm 2:7). Then he turns and declares to the hosts of heaven, “I might be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son” (2 Samuel 7:14). After which, “Let all God’s angels worship him” (Deuteronomy 32:42).
“If the angels worship Jesus, how far more would possibly we!”
And if the angels worship him, how far more would possibly we!
Lastly, then, what about “the identify”?
3. What’s ‘the identify’ he has inherited?
Verse 4 once more: “After making purification for sins, he sat down on the proper hand of the Majesty on excessive, having develop into as a lot superior to angels as the identify he has inherited is extra wonderful than theirs.”
If you happen to solely have these few verses in entrance of you, it positive appears to be like just like the identify is “Son.” He’s launched as “Son” in verse 2 and “Son” once more within the coronation quotes in verse 5. (And in the event you learn on in Hebrews, you’ll see that verses 7–13 travel evaluating “the angels” and “the Son.”) Most readers take “the identify” right here to be “Son,” and that very properly could also be it. Others have urged God’s personal first-covenantal identify.
Just lately, I learn an essay by the late British theologian John Webster, who says about Hebrews 1:4, “Maybe there’s a deliberate withholding of the identify” (God With out Measure, 79). That bought me considering, What’s “the identify” all over the place else within the New Testomony? Consider Acts, and the feverish consideration to “the identify” in Acts 2–5, after which in Acts 8–10 and the remainder of the e book. And what’s “the identify” that the apostle Paul says is “the identify that’s above each identify” (Philippians 2:9)?
And what if we take a step again from this fast context of the opening scene of Hebrews and ask, What identify does Hebrews itself use for the subsequent twelve chapters and, specifically, in all the important thing passages, like 3:1–3; 4:14–16; 10:19; 12:1–2; 13:8; and the good doxology 13:20–21? The identify of Jesus.
And if Hebrews provides to the pageantry of heaven’s coronation by intentionally withholding the identify, then when does the identify Jesus first seem? With dramatic aptitude in Hebrews 2:8–9:
At current [in this fallen world under the curse and sin and in these last days], we don’t but see every little thing in subjection to [humanity] [as God designed it from the beginning], however we see him who for a short while was made decrease than the angels, particularly Jesus, topped with glory and honor due to the struggling of dying, in order that by the grace of God he would possibly style dying for everybody.
On the finish of the day, the difficulty just isn’t precisely what Hebrews means by “the identify” (if he even has a selected identify in thoughts, amongst others), however that Jesus, the Son, is clearly higher.
Jesus Sat Down
As we shut, let’s end together with his sitting down, the seat upon which he sat, and what his sitting made that seat.
“Jesus sits within the presence of God, and in doing so makes heaven’s throne a mercy seat.”
First, Jesus sat down because the long-promised better son of David, now on heaven’s throne and now proven to be even better than anticipated, as not solely David’s inheritor, however his Lord. He’s exalted to the universe’s seat of honor, to be served, praised, and worshiped by males and angels.
Second, he sat all the way down to rule over all, as sovereign and choose, with all authority already his. From this throne he speaks, sitting to show his church (Matthew 5:1; 13:2; 15:29; Luke 5:3; John 6:3; 8:2) by his apostles and pastor-teachers, in addition to to rule the nations, and this might be his judgment seat on which he’ll sit to deliberate and choose (Luke 14:28, 31).
Lastly, he sat down together with his atoning, purifying work on the cross having been accomplished. Now he sits in joyful, glad repose, anointed with the oil of gladness. As we noticed in Leviticus, the old-covenant excessive priest solely stood in God’s presence when he entered yearly, however Jesus sits within the presence of God, and in doing so makes heaven’s throne a mercy seat.
So, brothers and sisters, “allow us to then with confidence draw close to to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). At this Desk, we draw close to to the throne to take a seat and eat with the one who made purification for our sins, and as we eat, we be a part of with the angels and worship him.