God Has Spoken . . . In His Son
God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, HATH in these last days SPOKEN unto us BY HIS SON, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; WHO, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, SAT DOWN on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Christians commemorate December twenty-fifth as the day more than nineteen hundred years ago when the eternal Son of God was clothed in human flesh. That the day and month are almost certainly in error is of no great consequence. It is the fact that God became man through the virgin birth which is of enduring paramount importance.
For multitudes, however, the incarnation of the Son of God means little more than “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “stockings hung by the chimney with care”, Christmas trees and merrymaking. But, after the last card is mailed, and the last decoration is hung, and the last carol is sung, and the last light is lit, and the last present is opened, and the last party is attended, and the last cocktail is consumed, and the last “indiscretion” is pursued, and the clock strikes midnight – what then? When the tranquilizing trappings of Christmas are all gone, what does
the birth of a Child,
to a lowly maiden,
of an insignificant people,
in an obscure village,
with a stable for shelter,
animals for companions,
and a feeding trough for a crib,
really mean for twentieth-century man?
God Has Spoken (Heb. 1:1)
The magnitude of that statement can only be fathomed to the degree that the gulf between the greatness of God and the total bankruptcy of man is comprehended. The psalmist had this gulf in mind when with wonder he inquired, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Ps. 8:4).
God has spoken – not otherwise could we know Him. To be sure, “The heavens declare the glory of God . . .” (Ps. 19:1). And all things created have a voice to utter, “The hand that made us is divine!” But, if God is to be known – intimately known – if He is a transcending God – He must sovereignly reveal Himself – He must speak.
And what is the implication in the fact that God has chosen to speak to man? Is it not this, that God made man capable of understanding His speech, receiving His revelation and entering into a sympathetic understanding and intimate communion with Himself? It is this potential which gives to man his dignity, nobility and worth and sets him immeasurably above and apart from the animal world.
The tragedy, enormous in its consequence, is that man, with limited exception, has refused to listen to what God has spoken – his ears have been closed to the divine utterances.
The merchant underwrites the cost of a TV broadcast and with frequency he interrupts to sell his product. God has laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of His hands. One day He will fold them up like a garment (Ps. 102:25-27). His credentials as Creator should suggest to mankind the divine right to give His commercial – to tell His story. And those who listen will find that:
Because God has spoken, there is an answer to our question –
Because God has spoken, there is a solution to our problem –
Because God has spoken, there is a hope for our end.
God Has Spoken In His Son (Heb. 1:2)
It is one thing to understand that God has spoken, it is quite another thing to comprehend the final agent of God’s communication.
“God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son . . .” (Heb. 1:1-2a).
In the Old Testament, God spoke through prophets – during this age He has spoken through His Son. Literally, the text says that God has spoken “in son”. The contrast is between the prophets who were servants, and One who has the filial relationship of a Son. If the former revelation communicated through servants was important, how much greater importance should be attached to that which has in this age been communicated through a Son? Nor should the message of God through His Son be limited to what Jesus audibiy taught. The life He lived – the death He died – His attitudes and actions – values and goals all combined to reveal God’s message to humanity. And, the importance of this revelation cannot be overstated.
No man has seen God at any time (Jn. 1:18). But if man wants to know what God the Father is like, he can see Him in God the Son – not a mirror-like reproduction but an exact reality, for the glory and substance that belong to the Father belong equally to the Son (Heb. 1:3). And whereas the message of the prophets was incomplete, fragmented, temporary, the message of the Son is complete, perfect and eternal. Since God has spoken through His Son, and since that revelation is complete, perfect, and eternal, and since that revelation is found in the New Testament Scriptures, man requires nothing more, nothing less and nothing different than the Word of God. All that he needs is found herein, for God has spoken through His Son.
God Has Spoken In His Son Who Sat Down (Heb. 1:1-3)
God’s communication through His Son included a self-disclosure of His holiness and justice. It also revealed man’s sinfulness and lost estate. But, if that’s all there were – if there were no way out – if God diagnosed man’s dilemma but provided no remedy – then man’s lot would be one of utter despair and hopelessness. Most happily, that is not the state of affairs. God is holy, man is sinful, a chasm does exist – but God has provided a remedy in His Son, and that remedy is inferred in these words, Jesus “sat down” (Heb. 1:3). The implication is staggering.
The Temple which stood in Jerusalem in the days of Jesus would, by today’s standards, be a “billion-dollar” building – but it had no chair. It took more than forty six years to construct – but it had no chair. it was massive in size – but it had no chair. Its architecture was beautiful to behold – but it had no chair.
The Temple was intimately associated with religious worship. Its genesis went back almost fifteen hundred years to Moses, the Tabernacle and the Levitical priesthood. Almost five hundred years later, the Tabernacle gave way to the permanence of the Temple during the reign of King Solomon. And though destroyed by the Babylonians, the Temple would be rebuilt and eventually expanded and beautified by Herod the Great. But through those almost fifteen centuries, the high priests of Israel never sat down. No chair was provided because the priest’s work was never done. The yearly sacrifice which he offered on the Day of Atonement could never take away sin. The blood of bulls and goats could never satisfy the demands of a holy God. They simply covered the sins of the nation for a year.
The contrast is marked and crucial. Jesus, “when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down” (Heb. 1:3). The sacrifice was offered, the work was done – ONCE AND FOR ALL! The holiness of God was satisfied perfectly and eternally. There was no more that needed to be done. “It is finished” was His triumphant cry. And now, resurrected and ascended, He “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3), forever enthroned at the place of honor and equality with His Father.
The hymn writer put it this way:
Golden harps are sounding,
Angels’ voices ring,
Pearly gates are opened,
Opened for the King;
Christ, the King of glory,
Jesus, King of love,
Is gone up in triumph
To His throne above.
He who came to save us,
He who bled and died,
Now is crowned with glory
At His father’s side;
Never more to suffer,
Never more to die.
Jesus, King of glory,
Is gone up on high.
All His work is ended,
Joyfully we sing;
Jesus hath ascended:
Glory to our King.
God has spoken through His Son. This communication began when Jesus was born one glorious night in Bethlehem long ago. And because He did, right will defeat wrong, hope will defeat despair, light will defeat darkness, life will defeat death, and God will defeat Satan.