Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Superiority Of Jesus

When it comes to spiritual matters, people are peculiar. They become obsessed with angels, but somehow ignore or forget the God who created and directs these heavenly messengers. They devote themselves to seeking and understanding "truth", but they never encounter the Holy One who encompasses all truth They engage in all sorts of rituals and practices to try to find and reach out to their Creator; but they somehow miss the fact that He has already reached down to them.

     This is the case today, just as it was in the first century. In fact, this spiritual "pecularity" is one of the reasons the Spirit of God inspired the letters to the Hebrews. To Jewish Christians who were dealing with persecution and hardship, who were doubting the truth of the gospel and the New Covenant, and who were considering the idea of turning away, the writer of Hebrews send this clear message: Christ is the Ultimate.

      More than a mere prophet, Christ is God in the flesh ( Heb. 1:2,3,8 ). He is Creator (Heb.1:10-12)  and  Sustainer of all (Heb.1:3). As the " holy, harmless, undefiled" High Priest who is " separate from sinners" and " who does not need to offer up sacrifices... for His own sins" ( Heb. 7:26,27), Jesus Christ alone is capable of providing salvation and sanctification ( Heb.2:10,11).

      Given these facts, it is easy to see why the author of Hebrews ststes that Christ is better than the angels (Heb.1:4). It is clear why even Moses pales in comparison. No wonder Hebrews states that Christ is the Author and Mediator of a better covenant ( Heb.7:22, 8:6 ), that He offered a better sacrifice for sin ( Heb. 9:23 ), that He possesses a more excellent name (Heb.1:4), and that He carries out a more excellent ministry(Heb.4:6).

        We must resist the temptation to settle for a superficial spirituality. Angels, rituals, and human role models all have their place. But none of these compares to Christ. And therein lies the staggering promise of the gospel: Jesus Christ comes to us and offers Himself. Because of His perfect payment for sins, we can have the  forgiveness we so desperately need. More than that, we can experience eternal life, which Jesus Himself described as an intimate, never ending relationship with God the Father , God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Given that mind-boggling opportunity, why would we look anywhere else or settle for anything less?