I might be telling you something you already know, but what’s new, right?
Here it is… are you ready?
Our Savior is glorious!!
He is amazing and breathtaking and beautiful and awesome, and I stand (yet again) freshly amazed at His person.
This latest round of awestruck Savior-marveling joy comes via meditation and study on the first few chapters of the letter (or sermon) to the Hebrews. From the opening salvo, the author of Hebrews shows us a Savior before whom we can’t help but bow the knee in wonder and amazement.
Listen to this description of our Lord Jesus:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.”
“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”
If you’re familiar with the book of Hebrews, you know those lines come from chapter 1 and I’ve quoted the author of Hebrews as he quotes the OT. But think about the texts from which he is drawing his statements.
The first selection comes from Psalm 45, a psalm praising the king. However, the line the author is directing towards Christ would have been understood as being spoken of Yahweh, not of the human king. But the Hebrew’s preacher pulls it into his sermon and places the tag of this statement squarely upon the person of Jesus!
However, I think the second quote is the more staggering of the two. It comes from Psalm 102 and there is no way anyone could have mistaken the statements found there as applying to anyone less than deity (notice the strong contrast in the Psalm between the frailty of the human condition with the eternal stability of God Almighty). An OT Jew would have read those statements as applying solely to God Himself, yet the author of Hebrews says those are the qualities and characteristics of the Son:
“You laid the foundation of the earth”
“the heavens are the work of your hands”
“they will perish, but you will remain”
“You are the same, and your years will have no end”
Staggering, isn’t it? (If not, go back and read through that again- especially dwelling on the idea of the heavens- the heavens!- being his handiwork!)
As you finish chapter 1 of Hebrews, you might ask yourself the question: who could doubt the deity and exalted status of this glorious Person? Who could doubt the divinity of Christ when the author of Hebrews makes his case so strongly?
But, as you marvel at this exalted Person, let the shocking nature of chapter 2 hit you like a bucket of cold water in the middle of a deep and blissful dream: this eternal and glorious Person took on our humanity and suffered for us!
Think about this: with the words of supreme exaltation still ringing in our ears, the author of Hebrews turns and says, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things” and “he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Do we realize what is being said here? The One with an eternal throne, the One who made the stars and will outlast them all, that One stepped into my frail and feeble “skin,” He lived in this cesspool of a world, He walked its filthy streets, He witnessed its multiplicity of evils, and He suffered what I suffer.
The eternal One suffered.
The One who outlasts the heavens suffered.
The One who Psalm 102 paints as a contrast to human frailty tasted the full breadth of our frailty!
Doesn’t the question “Why?!” just thunder through your mind and crash into your conscience? Doesn’t it all seems so wrong… the Perfectly Holy One tempted, the Omnipotent One suffering, the Eternal God being made like us?!
It seems so wrong, but yet… so glorious. As you find the answer to the “Why?!” question (“so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people“) you discover the beauty in what looks like perversion.
So, as I sit meditating on the Person of my Savior… the One who tossed the stars into place with His fingers and yet died the death of criminal, naked and pierced onto a tree… a faithful Son lovely atoning for the sins of a people who rejected Him… who atoned for my sins while I was willfully opposed to Him… I have to confess: I can’t help but be amazed.
What a glorious Savior!