Hebrews 1:1-4 Communing with God face-to-face
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 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. 3 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, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
Christ is the exact revelation of God to humanity. Through Christ, God is brought near and becomes accessible and comprehensible. Therefore, Christ is not an extension of God, but God incarnated in human form. Today’s passage teaches us God’s progressive revelation in bringing Himself near to humanity in order to reconcile and restore humanity back to Himself through His sacrifice. It is through the Spirit that man can now have immediate access to God’s intimate presence, wisdom, love and power.
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.
In time past, ever since the fall of Adam, humanity is estranged from God because he chooses to rebel against God’s rule. As a result, God becomes distant and unreachable. However, God has never cease to reach out to man hoping that one day he may repent and be reconciled to Him. He does this by speaking to man concerning His laws through various avenues: prophets, main stream religions, cultures and traditions, and philosophies etc. In this way, God causes humanity to abide by His laws while preparing them in the last days to receive salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Even though many these main stream religions and philosophies are not entirely in line with Old and New Testament thought, and in some extent are perverted, they nevertheless do some good for human civilisation.
In the last days, which also means the start of a new dispensation, God speaks to man directly through His Son by sending Him in person and dwelling among men. In time past, God reveals His thoughts and commands through cultures and messengers. But in this new dispensation, God comes as an ordinary person and connects with individuals in order to reconcile and restore them back to God.
Whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 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.
God’s Son is Heir and Creator of the world. Being Heir and Creator, He possesses all authority to rule. The Son is the image of God, the Father, endowed with divine glory, wisdom, love and power. The Son upholds His rule over creation by His word which is His irresistible authority. In other words, the Son rules the world with absolute authority.
When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
The commission of the Son is to purify humanity of sins through His suffering on the cross. After the Father has accepted Jesus’s perfect sacrifice and forgives humanity’s sins, God raises Him from the dead and to heaven where He sits at the right hand of God. Purification of sins infers the restoration of humanity back to the kingdom of God. Right hand signifies next in command; as one who is entrusted with the highest authority.
4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
When Christ incarnates in the flesh, in man’s mortal weakness, He becomes inferior as compared to the angels. But having ascended to God’s right hand, He is restored to His eminence and glory becoming far more superior than the angels: having become as much better than the angels.
Through the Spirit of Christ, every believer can have direct and immediate access to God and to commune with Him face to face.
As Jesus is physically present and dwells among believers in the days of the Gospels, He dwells among us today through His Spirit. However, many believers still cannot sense God’s intimate presence or enjoy His companionship; God remains to them a philosophy, a romantic sentiment or ticket to salvation. For such have no expectation or desire of coming face to face with God. Hence, many of these churchgoers are still living in the times of the Old Testament where men can only interact with God through a messenger. And many merely want God to solve their problems and to bless them. But in the last days, believers can now sense God’s intimate presence and through the Spirit internalise His truth: (God) in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. Therefore, through the Spirit, God is no longer aloof or distant; His wisdom, love and intimate presence is immediately available to every individual who loves Him.
To know Christ is to know God, the Father
Through Christ, every believer can now understand who God is. In other words, to know Christ is to know God, the Father. Many churchgoers cannot reconcile the character of Christ in the gospel with that of God in the Old Testament. The God of the Old Testament seems much harsher, while God in the Gospels seems more compassionate and humane. It is important to note that God is unified and there is no division in God. Christ is in fact the ultimate revelation of God, who is His image (character), and who also possesses His attributes. Christ is thus, not an extension of God, but God Himself. By carefully studying the character of Christ in the gospels, we come to understand God not only as Son of God but Son of man. Because Christ is both human and divine, through Christ we can relate with God in intimate fellowship. By observing how Christ’s disciples interact with Him, we form a model of how we could interact with God today.
Do you take time to converse with God and enjoy His intimate presence through the Spirit? Or do you prefer to just read about Him and His truth but without the joy of fellowship and intimacy with Him? You can now come face to face with God through the Spirit and commune with Him today through your spirit, thoughts and emotions.
Dear Lord, as I approach you in fear and reverence, reveal more of yourself to me. As I yearn for your intimate presence and fellowship, cause me to perceive your wisdom, feel your passion and be filled with your power. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.