By Chuck Williams
Pastor, First Baptist, Covington
Focal Passage: Hebrews 1:1-4
Very few enjoy standing in line for an extended period of time. One particular man had decided he had waited long enough in the line to purchase an airline ticket. Shoving others aside he plunged to the counter and demanded of the ticket agent, “Don’t you know who I am?” Without hesitation the agent calmly grabbed the microphone and spoke these words over the public address system, “Your attention please. This is an emergency announcement. We have a gentleman here who does not know who he is. Would someone come and identify him for us?”
There is no identity crisis for the child of God when it comes to knowing who Jesus is. The writer of Hebrews begins this wonderful book by stating that Jesus is Greater. The symbol > originally denoted that the property to its left is greater than that to its right. Therefore:
(1) He is > in Communication. The Old Testament prophets gave revelations that were communicated as pieces of a puzzle. The puzzle came together with the coming of Christ. Every other form of communication without Christ is in Creation — “Through whom He made the universe.” The whole universe is His and He is its creator. He holds it together. His lordship is universal. His wealth is unlimited.
The second law of thermodynamics says that the universe is losing heat and thus slowly running down. Never fear; it will hold up until He is ready to make the new heaven and the new earth!
(3) He is > in Glory — “Radiance of His Glory.” Just as the rays from the sun reveal the sun so Christ is the revealer of the One who dwells in unapproachable light. I cannot look directly at the noonday sun with the naked eye but indirectly I can enjoy its radiance.
Paul spoke of the tragedy of those who are blind to this radiance in II Corinthians 4 where he said that the god of this world (Satan) had blinded the minds of the unbelievers.
(4) He is > any Priest “making purification for sins.” The priests in the Old Testament were a shadow of the perfect sacrifice which was to come. By His life in Palestine and His death on Calvary, He accomplished for us what we could not do for ourselves.
The world looks upon sin as a mistake, problem, disease, or weakness. Sin is a cosmic tragedy and its effects can be seen at Calvary. But through this tragedy He made purification for sin.
(5) He is > the Angels. “He became higher in rank than the angels.”Angels are first mentioned in Genesis 3 and throughout the Bible ending in Revelation 22. The more we study them, the greater should be our reverence and worship of Christ. They worship Him because He is divine, infinite, and perfectly pure. Yet with all this greatness, they are < the Son. (6) Who is the Greatest of All Time? In the 60s Mohammed Ali became the world heavyweight champion. He quickly declared himself, “the Greatest.” He also coined other nicknames for himself. One of those was “Superman.” As he was seated on a plane, a flight attendant said, “Mr. Ali, you need to buckle your seat belt.” Ali smiling said, “Superman don’t need no seat belt.” The flight attendant replied, “Superman don’t need no parachute either.” Ali quickly buckled. No matter how great anyone on this earth thinks they may be, they are inferior to Christ. He is > all who have been and all who will be.