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A Cut Above

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A Cut Above

Hebrews 1:1–3 ESV
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews 1:1–4 ESV
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Intro - One of my passions is playing chess. I remember playing at a summer camp against kids and doing really well. However, then they brought in a Grandmaster of chess. At that point I realized what a real chess player was because this guy was way above the rest of us. However, then he let his apprentice play 6 of us at once as his representative.The representative was more like us being younger and more relatable. Yet he moved just like the Grandmaster did and the result was the same as before. Here we see that Jesus is that representative. Although appearing like us, He was a cut above the rest.
TR: The first way Jesus is superior is because He is the sole speaker of God’s will during this present age...

The Message: God’s Voice

Hebrews 1:1–2a ESV
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
This book is to the Hebrew people as indicated by the “our” and “us”
Although the writer is unknown the point is clear. Jesus, is superior to everything else that the Hebrews had experienced.
God spoke to the Hebrew forefathers, as we’ve covered in Genesis, in various ways.
The idea last days would have been familiar to the Hebrew people.
The prophets were the confidants of God
Amos 3:7 ESV
“For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.
They separated time into two parts, the present day and the days to come. In between would have been the Day of the Lord
The prophets were amazing! They consistently spoke to God’s people and to the societies and cultures around them.
Amos for instance would easily be classified as a “cry for social justice”, Isaiah “the holiness of God”, Hosea “a forgiving God”. All of which would have been fragments of the truth of God.
God has always chosen human vessels to communicate His perfect message.
When we think of us being a “family displaying Christ’s love to Kansas City”, how are we joining that line of messengers that convey God’s message to His people and this world?
In addition they conveyed God’s message in various ways. Sometimes through dramatizations, speech, and miracles
God has never been short on ways or desire to communicate! While we struggle and strain for us to know what God is saying, He has always been the type to want to speak.
Don’t you realize as well that your life, to this world, is conveying a message of God’s truth?
You are the dramatization in many ways, your marriages, friendships, relationships. What are you saying?
However, Jesus is superior to the prophets. While they received and presented fragments of truth, Jesus WAS the whole truth. All the truth the prophets presented was consummated in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the consummation of the truth of God.
In an age of meme’s, 30 second videos, retweets, opinions, conferences, and movements. Jesus is the truth of the creator of the universe.
Jesus is the ultimate dramatization and message! He is THE voice of God for these last days. None of this “God said to me...”, “I feel like God would want...”, etc. NO! It’s “what did Jesus say?”
I talk to so many believers that believe so many things about themselves that God doesn’t say about them!
Why is it this way? Because Jesus is the purpose giver for ALL THINGS! He is the heir of all things and he created all things!
I love what one pastor says that the emphasis here isn’t on Jesus the beginning of things, Jesus being a creator, but the ending of things, Jesus being the heir!
I love investing. One of the things that I was convicted of long ago is that I don’t want my children to start off financially, spiritually, or academically where I did. So I literally have restructured my entire life so that everything that I create, do and maintain is for the expressed purpose of benefitting them. It is FOR THEM! They are the chief end of my efforts. Now my investment strategy is to operate according to God’s principles because I know that the best thing I can do is practice godliness in my financial decisions, displaying godly character and teaching godliness to them.
So how you’re going to do something is going to be dictated by who is going to inherit it! Do you realize Jesus is going to inherit the work of your hands? He is the heir and creator so He sets the purpose!
TR: Not only is Jesus the messenger of the speech and purpose of God…He is the magnificence of God...

The Magnificence: God’s Vision

Hebrews 1:3 ESV
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews 1:
Hebrews 1:3a ESV
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
He is the radiance of God’s glory...
Jesus is God’s glory shielded just enough so we can behold it...
I remember looking at the solar eclipse not too long ago. I remember how it felt and that I needed a special lens in order to look directly at the sun as the moon passed in front of it. To behold it directly, without the glasses it would have damaged your eyes, yet the lens provided just enough shielding so that you can behold it’s magnificence. And as it occurred, I felt my heart drop as I felt that power of it. The temperature dropped, the cicadas started screeching and for that powerful moment, I felt just how small I was.
Jesus is that radiance. Through taking on flesh people could behold Him, see His impact and feel the glory of God. What a sight that must have been!
What did this glory look like??? We often take glory as shattering power! Yet, when God chose to display His glory did it come across as consuming power?! No, it instead was the glory shown as suffering love!
God’s glory displayed was “I’m willing to suffer for those that I love”!
See when you behold Jesus you know exactly what God is like. He is the exact imprint of His nature.
The Letter to the Hebrews The End of Fragments (Hebrews 1:1–3)

He revealed God by being himself. It is not so much what he said and did that shows us what God is like; it is what he was.

The idea carried here is of a king sealing the wax with his signet ring. The impression the ring makes is an exact representation of the ring itself.
The Greek word here is where we get the English word “character”. Jesus, displays that exact character and nature of God.
I think this is so appropriate for today because with our interactions we are definitely characters in our own plays. With our social media accounts, text messages, surface level interactions, we promote a character, a representation of ourselves. Is it an exact imprint of our nature? Whether we like it or not I believe it is. We are constantly photographing ourselves like our own paparazzi, filming ourselves, presenting ourselves to this world. What character are you acting out though?
The Hebrew people were taught that the Messiah would be “Immanuel”, God with us. Jesus is exactly that!
Listen, I want you to think of the raw dedication that God has to displaying who He is to you that He took upon flesh to show you His nature.
It’s interesting how God created us and that no matter were you are there are some values that are consistent. for instance, if I sent you a text on your birthday you might think “wow, that’s thoughtful”. Yet, if I called and you heard my voice while I sang you happy birthday, that without question would mean a little more. But what about if I showed up to your celebration? That would mean the most. Well Jesus is the type that shows up!
The writer of Hebrews wanted to make it clear. Jesus is not only a displayer of the power of God but He is a sustainer of that which has been created with that power.
Jesus is interactive with His creation. He didn’t create you then walk away. He sustains you…and all that is in this universe. Jesus holds it all together.
There were and are many times in my life when I have felt alone and abandoned. Looking back on those times now I can see how even then, Jesus was holding it all together. Folks, my life is a testament to God driving many pains and sufferings toward His desired end!
L
TR: Lastly, Jesus is majestic in what He has done and where He resides...
TR: Jesus has paved the way for us to approach the throne....

The Majesty

The Majesty: God’s Vindicator

Hebrews 1:4 ESV
having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Hebrews 1:3b ESV
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
The Letter to the Hebrews The End of Fragments (Hebrews 1:1–3)

To Jesus belongs the exaltation as mediator. He has taken his place on the right hand of glory; but the tremendous thought of the writer to the Hebrews is that he is there not as our judge but as one who makes intercession for us, so that, when we enter into the presence of God, we go not to hear his justice prosecute us but to hear his love plead for us.

Jesus dealt with our leprous sin.
See lepers had religious, physical and social problems. They couldn’t approach God, they were suffering physically from the disease which cause severe skin damage and disfigurement. As a result they were rejected by society and didn’t have normal interactions. They suffered on all fronts. But what did Jesus do?
Matthew 8:1–3 ESV
When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Matthew 8:3 ESV
And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
When Jesus purifies us, He reaches into the innermost part of who we are and cleanses it. And as much as we try to defile it again it remains clean.
Increase intensity
See the believers problem is not that it is difficult for us to believe we are made clean but that we are kept that way!
Where the law would condemn, where your flesh would belittle and where the enemy would accuse you the one voice that rings louder than them all is the voice of Jesus!
The voice of Jesus, when you are standing before that altar in Heaven in anticipation of the voice of God and with the POWER OF THE ONE WHO CREATED AND SUSTAINS THE UNIVERSE ALL YOU HERE IS “CLEAN!!!”
Jesus is not seated at some Holiday Inn relaxing He is interceding for you right NOW!
He finished His job in redeeming you, once and for all. Now He is seated...
He is the voice, vision and vindicator of God!!! There were no mistakes with you because Jesus doesn’t make mistakes.
God has spoken to you, He’s visited you, and He sustains you!
Your mistakes are swallowed up in His majesty. Praise God!!!!!
Praise team come up
TAKE UP COMMUNION
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