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.
How do you get to know someone? These days, we might be prone to give an answer akin to, "Well, we hang out." A seemingly antiquated answer would be the familiar response of, "I would spend time with them." But if we parse those thoughts a bit, what we actually do to get to know someone is to listen carefully as they speak, and watch carefully how they behave. We would know them through their conversations and their actions. Hanging out or spending time or "doing life together" always involves this double observation of words and deeds.
It is precisely this truth that begins the sermon that is the Book of Hebrews. God wants to be known. He is neither hidden nor silent. And he knows us so well that he gives us exactly what we need to know him. He acts in observable, powerful, memorable ways and he speaks in a language we can understand.
But here's the remarkable thing about God's communication. His actions and His words are always consistent. Unlike you and me, God's words and deeds are never at odds with one another. God's works and God's words are eternally true and eternally inseparable.
God spoke creation, and that tells of His glory. God acted to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. God spoke His law to Moses, and acted to make His name known among the nations. God gave His message to His prophets that they would tell of the wonders of His love. The book of Hebrews starts by reminding us of these truths.
And then, right there at the beginning of the sermon, we learn something breathtaking. From eternity past for eternity to come, the central truth of God's communication to all of humanity is Jesus Christ. Everything that God had said and done before was preparing for the clear, resounding word and deed message that Christ is the agent of creation and the Lord of creation. Hebrews tells us that Christ is the center point of history, the consummation of God's speaking and acting, and the way that we know God most fully.
What does that mean for you and me today, when we seek to know God and our inboxes are filled with newsfeeds about black holes and warps of the time/space continuum? When we hear of wars and rumors of wars, of cyclones and cyber attacks, of splitting atoms and splicing DNA?
It means come to Jesus. Rest in Him, because knowing Jesus is how we get to know God best. And we understand the creation much, much better when we know the Creator.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1: 15-20