I would like to set a scene. We find four people at the foot of the cross. The first three are not followers of Jesus: a Roman soldier, a Pharisee, and a widow. The fourth is a disciple of Jesus. We are going to look at the perspectives of each of these. They each will be different and representative of their place in life.
To the Roman soldier, what words would he have describing Jesus? A trouble maker. Spiritual opposition to the Roman Emperor worship. A rebel.
To the Pharisee, what would his perspective been? A threat. Heretic. Blasphemer.
What would the elderly widow say? A kind man. Not worthy of crucifixion.
Now we look at the disciple, they might say that Jesus is Lord. Savior. God’s son.
It is interesting to see how each person might have their own perspective, but it is also dangerous. We live in a world that has many more than four perspectives. We have to make sure that we live our lives from the right perspective. Today we are going to make a case for the correct perspective of Jesus.
What the writer of Hebrews is saying here is that the God of the Old Testament (which is all they would have had) has revealed himself to all sorts of people in all sorts of ways. But we then find that God spoke to people in His son. That everything now comes to us through Jesus. When we see Jesus, we aren’t just seeing some historical figure, but we see an heir of God that all things in the universe is made.
Everything that is God, his essence, is wrapped up in the word “glory”. That God’s glory is then wrapped up in Jesus. Just as a light it turned on in a room and everything is revealed by the light, so to is Jesus exposing everything around him in God’s glory. Once Jesus came to earth, God no longer would reveal himself outside of Jesus. Everything is connected to him, and through him are we given a way to come to the Father. When Jesus died, he did so for the purification of our sins.
Remember that in the first verse of John that in the beginning the Word was with God and the Word was God. At this point the Word was not revealed. John now begins to describe that the Word is Jesus, and that it is through our belief in him that would allow us to be children of God. That he is God’s salvation. God is giving us life. That Jesus came to live among us. That his glory (God’s glory) can be seen. As the revelation of God’s love, he can then take upon himself our sin. That Jesus is was full of God’s grace and truth.
Until Jesus came, God gave grace into the world. The story can always be told of God’s grace. But when Jesus came, we see grace upon grace. Jesus puts more grace upon the grace that already exists. How many gifts would pile up before you say, “Wait, no more gifts!” Think of as a child, where each gift brings more and more excitement. In the same way, we are excited as God gives grace upon grace in Jesus.
So as we look at the worldly perspective, we have to be sure about God’s perspective. That grace is given only through our faith in Jesus Christ. That is the only way. Because no one has ever seen God, but God is made known to us through Jesus.
1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 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. (ESV)
3 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, (ESV)
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (ESV)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (ESV)