Day 310: The Supremacy of Christ

Psalms 38-40; Hebrews 1

Every person on earth, whether rich or poor, Eastern or Western, male or female, red, yellow, black or white… shares the same problem: sin.

There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

Likewise, there is one solution to this worldwide epidemic…Christ.

Which brings us to my favorite book in the New Testament (apart from the Gospels), Hebrews. Hebrews was written before the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 to Jewish Christians who were suffering persecution. The author of the book remains a mystery to this day. His purpose for writing was to exhort Christians to persevere in their faith despite persecution. He argues eloquently for the Supremacy of Christ above the Mosaic law and old sacrificial system. I love Hebrews!

The author of Hebrews begins his letter by using Old Testament Psalms to prove the divinity of Christ and his supremacy over the angels.

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, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs (Hebrews 1:3-4).

Our Jesus, the one who died so we could live, upholds the universe by the word of his power! The thought is too wonderful to fully grasp.

I look forward to the next two weeks of reading through Hebrews as the author teaches so skillfully… that Christ is the final fulfillment and reigns supreme over ALL the Old Testament law and sacrificial system…

In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.

I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart (Psalm 40:6; 8).

Day 259: The Lord of angel-armies

Daniel 10-12; 2 Corinthians 2

In today’s reading, it’s as if a curtain is parted between the physical and spiritual realms. And through this sliver of an opening, we see things too wonderful for us to comprehend! Daniel’s eyes were opened so that he could see fully into this spiritual world and he was so terrified, he couldn’t speak!

Surely, we underestimate the struggle for power that takes place in the spiritual realms. But Daniel 10 reminds us of the mighty warrior-angels who fight for God’s glory and people continuously!

In Chapter 11-12 we read the message revealed to Daniel by the angel… a most extraordinary description of the future. Amazingly, historians can confirm that every detail of Daniel 11:2-35 has been fulfilled (11:35 -12:13 looks further into the future). This is jaw-droppingly extraordinary…so extraordinary that some liberal scholars believe these verses could only have been written “after-the-fact!”

Now hear this…if you were Daniel listening to the angel account for the next hundreds of years of kings and conflicts, what would you think? I know what I would think…God is in absolute control! He has a plan, and He has appointed the time for the end – when all suffering will cease!

But we are not there yet…

We live in a time of great suffering and anguish…a time of natural disasters, world tyrants, persecution, fleeing refugees, disease, and emotional turmoil. Yet, in all these circumstances God can be glorified especially as the world sees the church act sacrificially to help those in need.

This is where the physical and spiritual realms collide in our world. Satan schemes to cause conflict and disunity among God’s people to destroy our witness in this world!

Paul refers to Satan’s work in today’s reading from 2 Corinthians 2:5-11… An excellent summary of this passage is found in the ESV Study Bible:

“The majority in Corinth had expressed their repentance by punishing the leader of the rebellion against Paul. Paul now calls them to follow his own Christlike example toward them by extending mercy to the offender, lest Satan have his way once again in the church” (ESV Study Bible, Crossway).

Satan seeks to tear apart the church. Every church split is a victory for Satan. Every person who calls the church hypocritical is a victory for Satan. The spiritual realm is alight with the battle for God’s glory on earth. Angels are not cute little keepsakes – they are warriors – fighting the demons of the air for God’s name’s sake!

We, too, are called into this battle for God’s glory! For whom do you fight? We fight for the sure victor…we fight for the Lord of angel-armies, the Lord of hosts!

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).