Simply the best!

– SIMPLY THE BEST –
A brief reflection on the person of Christ as portrayed in the Book of Hebrew.

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but 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. He 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, having become as
much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
(Hebrews 1:1-4 – ESV)

First of all, we are reminded that God is still in the business of speaking to His people! Praise
the Lord! Throughout the Bible we can see that God has always been a relational God
desiring to have fellowship with the pinnacle of creation: mankind. We can see as well that
He has spoken in many different ways, BUT the final revelation has come trough a very
special Agent that is the person of His Son Jesus Christ.

Once laid this foundation the author gives us several indications about Christ Himself, by
using nine different phrases. We will be looking at each of them briefly

  1. Heir of all things

Christ is said to be the heir, a very important aspect in Jewish tradition. It was not
merely a matter of stuff passed on to the next generation, it meant much more. In the
New Testament we are told that everything was created for Him and through Him (see
Colossians 1:16) and that at the end of the days everything will be put under His
authority. And of course, by saying “all”, it is clear that nothing will be out of His
reach and dominion.

2. Through whom also he created the world

It is in Christ that everything finds its origin. No matter how many people are trying
to discredit the account of the Bible about Creation, the Bible makes it clear for us
that everything was created by the Word. John underlines it by penning the famous
verses: “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made
that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (1:3-4). Christ is
supreme in the fact that He has not been created while all the rest have.

3. The radiance of the glory of God

God is depicted in the Bible at times like a luminary (see Psalm 84:11), and here we
are told that Christ is the perfect radiance of God. We cannot see the sun, but we can
see its radiance. In the same manner we can say that we might not see God, but Christ
is the One who will make Him known. No one else has or ever will match Christ in
this.

4. The exact imprint of his nature

Following the previous passage, we find this other aspect. It is common for us today
that when a child has a personality very much like his father it is said of him that “as
the father is so the son is”. The term taken for “imprint” is the one used for the
stamping. A stamp is used for the mere fact that it will reproduce whatever it is
supposed to reproduce. Not something almost identical or the 99.9% of the original
subject but 100% of it. Many people today, exactly like at the time of Jesus, challenge
the Church and Christians to show them the Father (God) that they might believe. It is
not something relegated to the Hebrew people in the wilderness the fact to have
images representing gods, in fact still today people have idols (that might be physical
or abstract) as their gods. The Bible still today has the same answer as for Philip:
“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me,
Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the
Father’?”” (John 14:9). In the same way Christ is the perfect representation of God.

5. He upholds the universe by the word of his power

The Amplified Version gives a more comprehensive idea of this particular part of the
passage: “upholding and maintaining and propelling all things [the entire physical
and spiritual universe] by His powerful word [carrying the universe along to its
predetermined goal]”. We see that Christ not only is the Creator, but He is the One
sustaining everything with a specific purpose. As we find in Jeremiah, still today God
says: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and
not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (29:11).

6. Making purification for sins

In this few words contained the heart of the Gospel: Christ offering Himself and going
through the hellish experience of separation from the Father so that we don’t have to
walk that path. We will never be able to get our head fully around the mystery of the

cross. In the Old Testament we read, especially in the Book of Leviticus, that
sacrifices were required repeatedly to cover the sin of the people. But only Christ,
once for all (see Hebrews 10:10) provided the final remedy to the problem of sin by
giving Himself in our place.

7. He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

For a person, to sit at the right hand of someone very important, designs power,
greatness, and glory. This passage throws light about the high honour Christ has. The
seated position gives us an indication of something that has been finish and
accomplished successfully, fully accepted by God the Father. Moreover, we are told
that this position is in the heavenly realm on high where the habitation of God is
figuratively known to be. Indeed, a place of honour not given to anyone else.

8. Having become as much superior to angels

Christ is superior to angels. Angels, throughout the human history, have always
played a very important role. Still today they are considered supernatural being
deserving our attention. If anyone should have an angelical visitation, this would for
sure have a deep impact on his or her life. However, albeit angels being extraordinary
beings, Christ is said to be not only superior, but much superior compared to them.

9. The name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs

Nowadays most of the times a name is given because of the sound of it or its
connection with a VIP or a movie hero. In some cultures, however, like the Jewish
one, names were very important and carried specific meanings. Jesus has been given
the “name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should
bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:9). In the Bible we
found many names given to Jesus, but I would like just to mention some of them: “his
name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Now, if we look at these names knowing that they mean what they say about Jesus,
are we not encouraged?

Conclusion:

After we have seen that Jesus is:

  • the heir of all things and by being with Him we are on the winning side;
  • He has created everything even you and me;
  • Through Him we can get to know God and He is the only one representing
  • Him in its fullness;
  • He upholds the universe and therefore our lives (hence we are in good hands);
  • He has given His life so that our would be spared;
  • He is far superior than anyone else;
  • His names (which denote His character) speak about a loving One who cares
  • for all of us

I can only say that indeed Jesus is the BEST!

Article by Giuseppe Laporta