I had forgotten how incredibly dense the first few verses are: there is so much to learn and wonder at.
1Long ago, at many times and(A) in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but(B) in these last days(C) he has spoken to us by(D) his Son, whom he appointed(E) the heir of all things,(F) through whom also he created(G) the world. 3He is the radiance of the glory of God and(H) the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.(I) After making purification for sins,(J) he sat down(K) at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name(L) he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
We see that Jesus
– is appointed the heir of all things
– was the Person through Whom God created the world
– radiates God’s glory
– is the exact imprint of His nature
– upholds the universe by His Word
– made purification for sins
– is seated in honour
Random thoughts occurring:
This reminds me a lot of Colossians (without looking up the verses – but all from Chapter 1 of Colossians, through which I am working slowly with the Hellenists) – Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the world created through Him, all things reconciled to Himself by His blood (there’s a long string of genitives in the Gk – note to self).
In terms of time, Jesus is is active in the past, present and future. God created the world through Him. Jesus is the heir of all things, and now he upholds the universe.
Surprised is not really quite the right word, but it is the best that I can think of with this rather foggy brain: in some ways it is a bit of a shock/surprise to realise that Jesus upholds the universe (and thus continues to uphold the universe). There’s a risk, I suppose, that if I think of Romans 8 (creation groaning, awaiting the revelation of the sons of God – again – quoting from memory, which is never the most reliable way of doing it) I’m inclined to think that God created the world, gave it over (Romans 1) to the effects of mankind’s rejection of God’s rule, and that’s that (while God is still sovereign, and in control over all that happens in this world). V3b reminds me that he continues to uphold the universe (to be fair, this is the logical extension of God’s sovereignty – really just my ropey skills of logic which make this seem a little surprising) reminds me also that he upholds it while people continue to sin. This then makes me think of God’s greater plan for His glory – insofar as this creation will continue until just the right moment.
That’s really not terribly well expressed at all, but at least now I have written it down I can play around with it a little.