A few weeks back, one of the Mass readings was from Hebrews chapter 1. For some reason it interested me, and I looked it up in order to read it in context. After chapter 1, I continued to chapter 2 and soon had become engrossed and read the entire Letter to the Hebrews. It’s interesting to read a whole book of scripture in one sitting, rather than a chapter a day as I usually do.
In so doing, certain things stood out for me which I had not noticed before. Three main points in particular:
- Jesus is the Son of God but he’s also God.
- Disbelief and disobedience are the same thing. We get punished for disbelief just as for disobedience.
- Jesus saves us by (1) offering himself in sacrifice as both priest and victim; and (2) continually making intercession for us.
Regarding the first, in chapter 1 we read, “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power” (another translations reads, “upholding the universe by his word of power”.) 1:3.
Jesus “has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by some one, but the builder of all things is God.” 3:3-4. Logically, this seems to equate Jesus with “the builder”, which is equated with God.
He is God but took on our nature, to save us from our sins: “14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. 16 For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people.” 2:14-17.