The key word in the book of Hebrews is “better” (1:4; 6:9; 7:7, 19, 22; 8:6; 9:23; 10:34; 11:16, 35, 40; 12:24). One purpose of this book is to show use that Christ is “better” than all who came before him. He is better than the prophets, better than the angels, better than Moses, better than Joshua, and better than Aaron. He is Surety of a better covenant, established upon better promises, giving a better hope. Christ our Savior is better than the tabernacle, the altar, and the mercy-seat. He is a better Sacrifice, offering better blood, giving us a better access to and better standing before the holy Lord God. In all things Christ is better than all others. He is infinitely better. He is the best!

Christ is better than the prophets (1:1-4). ― Each of the prophets gave us a partial revelation of God and his purpose. Reading the prophets and studying their messages, we leave each one thinking (as they intended), “This is not the final word. There is more to be revealed.” Christ is the perfect, complete, full, and final revelation of God.

·       The prophets were mere messengers. Christ is the Message.

·       The prophets were mere men. Christ is the Creator, Ruler, Redeemer, and Savior of men.

·       The prophets were sinners in need of atonement. Christ is atonement. By his one sacrifice, “he purged our sins” and “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” because his work was finished and accepted.

Christ is better than the angels (1:4-2:18). ― The angels are creatures of God. He is the Son of God (v. 5). The angels were commanded of God to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, his incarnate Son, as God in his humiliation as he came into the world (v. 6). God never commanded an angel to sit with him on his throne, but he said to his Son, when he had finished his work of redemption as our Substitute, “Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (vv. 7-13). Christ is one with the Father, in every way his equal. But the angels are “all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (v. 14).

Christ is better than Moses (3:1-19). ― Moses, of course, represents the law of God. He was a servant in the house. Christ is Builder and the Master of the house. God’s elect, his church and kingdom are his house. In this house Moses was a servant for a season. But Moses could not bring the children of Israel into the land of promise because he represented the law, and the law cannot save. It cannot give rest. Moses had to die in the wilderness. Joshua was raised up to take his place and to lead Israel into Canaan, into the land of rest. But Joshua, too, was but a man typical of Christ.

Don Fortner

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