God’s ultimate revelation

God’s programme to bring humanity back to himself, also known as redemption, involved an astonishing process of progressive revelation, ultimately expressed in the focussing of his radiant glory in his one and only Son, Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father”?

Or again,

“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”?

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels spirits,
and his servants flames of fire.”

But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

10 He also says,

“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.”

13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet”?

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Cross, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Daily Devotion, Redemption

God’s revelation of himself to humanity, first as creator and father to our earliest ancestors Adam and Eve, really was heaven on earth, enjoying God’s constant company, and enjoying relationship bliss with each other. After they sinned, everything was tainted, including work, our relationships and, most tragically, our relationship with God.

A long process followed after sin and death entered the world, whereby God continued to reveal himself to our ancestors in the face of their inability to do what is acceptable to God. He did this firstly through specific individuals and their families, (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and later through the prophets, which included Samuel.

This was all part of God’s progressive revelation of his programme to bring us back to himself, also known as redemption. God’s holiness was revealed when he set up the Levitical priesthood to mediate between humanity and God in a very ordered way, which included a complex sacrificial system requiring the shedding of blood, without which there could be no forgiveness of sins.

As offensive as this system may seem to our Western mindset, it was God’s way of showing us how utterly incapable we are of relating to him in our current state. Our continued corruption, wars with each other and rejection of God by chasing after other loves, did not prevent God unfolding his incredible plan to save us, eventually fulfilled by the arrival of his Son Jesus Christ.

JB Phillips stated this wonderfully when he said “it is a fascinating problem for us human beings to consider how the Eternal Being – wishing to show humanity His own Character focused, His own Thought expressed, and His own Purpose demonstrated – could introduce himself into the stream of human history without disturbing or disrupting it. There must obviously be an unbelievable ‘scaling down’ of the ‘size’ of God to match the life of the plan…If it is to be done at all God must be man.”

And Hebrews 1:3 answers this question –“ The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being”. Thank God for Jesus who not only revealed Himself to us in human form, but also solved our sin problem, by providing purification for our sins (Hebrews 1:3(b).

Head: Contemplate how God is able to relate to us both as creator of our vast universe with all its complexity, as well as individually in the form of his son, Jesus Christ.

Heart: How do you feel, knowing that this amazing God who gave us the universe, the world and everything in it, putting us at it’s pinnacle, did not leave us after we fell, but brought us back to himself by sending us his son Jesus Christ?

Hands: These are grand themes, involving the sweep of human history and God’s plan for humanity. Pray for an opportunity to share this with a person young in the faith or possibly a skeptic.

Prayer: Thank-you Lord for not giving up on us after we fell and went our own way. Thank you for pursuing us through your prophets, priests and kings, until you gave us your one and only son Jesus, who gave himself for us, so we can know you, enjoy you, and live with you forever. In Jesus name Amen

A song to listen to: Bring Us Back

Sean Kluyts – Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina