To his (the inspired writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews) audience, what he is presenting sounds like God had transitioned from what He used to do, to something else as introduced by His Son. The idea in the mind of these people would have been that the writer was trying to call them out from their Old ways into this newly introduced way of serving and living for God. Is he trying to make us dump Judaism and move with this new wave of God? Another school of thought is that, the writer presented that we are in the “Last Days” and God is still speaking by His Son and this writer is proposing a followership for this said Son of God.
There is a complete difference between the Old Testament, where sacrifices were offered, blood presented in the tabernacle, coupled with the different offerings associated with the Israelites and their relationship with God; and the New Testament where God finally presents His Son as the One that would finally go into the Holiest of All by Himself and without the blood of an animal. Yet presented Himself where He was slaughtered and His blood used for the taking away of the Sin of humanity once and for all. This Son can then conclude as He bled on the tree that the work whereunto He was sent to accomplish has come to that completed end; He said, “It is finished”.
In other words, there was no need for the blood of bulls, ashes of an heifer and the many rituals and offerings offered in the Old Testament because all pointed to the coming of this Son of God – who knew that the plan of the Almighty God as predetermined was to find a lasting solution to the Sin of Man which he committed in the Garden of Eden. No more killing of animals for the atonement of our sins; the High Priest no longer has to risk his life as he presented and poured the blood in the Holiest of All; no more yearly return to the tabernacle and the many rituals practised in the Old Covenant. This Son of God did it ALL.
His days on Earth were the transition period as He was presented when John the Baptizer introduced the Lamb that is going to take away the Sin of the World; and while He got baptized, the Heaven opened and a voice came introducing the Son of God to all that would care to listen. The days were days of transition when he walked through the streets of Galilee, the streets of Samaria, the streets of Jerusalem preaching about this New Covenant and dispensation coming in the future. The sick were healed, the lame walked, the lepers were received back as part of the society, the dead were raised and the lunatic were cleansed with the intention of getting the attention of the World that indeed a TRANSITION was taking place.
Just like the audience presented in this Epistle to the Hebrews, we are locked down today in the Body of Christ by the miracles, the signs, the wonders and the many things we think we can get from God not knowing and understanding that the signs were pointing to the message of the New Covenant; also not knowing that God was in a TRANSITION period. Many of Jesus’ followers followed Him because of what they saw and ate; they never for once felt that Jesus had a mission and the mission was to come to planet Earth to become a ransom for humanity in the quest of bringing US back to our maker through the Gospel.
The enemy had asked for a ransom before the slaves of unrighteousness were to be released from the slave market; the blood of animals was no more the required sacrifice, neither were the ashes from the Heifer enough. God had to step down in the likeness of sinful flesh to destroy this Sin so that there can be a transference of Masters. The Bible puts it clearly when it said that the Son of God became flesh and dwelt amongst humanity, full of Grace and Truth. In order to fulfill all the request of our former Slave-Master, He had to present Himself and His Blood in exchange for the souls of men. He used His own BLOOD.
He was therefore described as the ineffable BRIGHTNESS of God. Brightness signifies radiance or a shining forth – just like the Sun is seen by its brightness and radiance shinning forth on earth, Jesus is the brightness of God. The Sun cannot be separated from its brightness yet both are distinct from one another, so also Jesus is the brightness and the radiance of God: He is God. He is the manifestation of God, knowing that the brightness of the Sun is as old as the Sun; Jesus also is as old as God and of the same NATURE.
The disciples also had to be convinced about the transitional period when Jesus took them to the Mountain of Transfiguration: Jesus took Peter, James and John to the mount and immediately Moses and Elijah appeared representing the voice of God in the PAST. Moses and Elijah transfigured while Jesus remained shining and a voice from God endorsed His sonship. Peter kept that experience and educated his readers in his Second Epistle about the fact that Jesus was the Son of God as an eyewitness.
Every time Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, opened the blind eyes and the many miracles He did, the people were reminded about God and His Glory expressed through Christ Jesus.
This Son of God was also described as the express image of the Father – which means the character of God, it gives a picture of engraving a thing; it could also be described as the precise copy of God, the mark of God or more so, the complete representation of God. Jesus said, when you see Me you have seen the Father. You couldn’t separate Jesus from God. His influence is such that through His word, He upholds all things (all inclusive).
The writer completes his introduction by saying that the Son (Jesus) perfectly mirrors God, and is STAMPED with the complete NATURE of God upholding everything by what He says. In essence, to KNOW God is to KNOW Jesus and to know Jesus is to understand the transition and the post transition period of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Apostle Paul puts it this way, “For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form giving complete expression of the divine nature.”
When the TRANSITION was over, He sat down at the right hand of Majesty forever more. Remember the High Priest didn’t have a chair to sit on in the tabernacle because he had to do the sacrifice over and over again as the duties required. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God because He had completed His own duty. The right hand is a place of honor, a place of ruling, a place of rest and also a place of intercession.
The audience will suspect by this introduction, that the writer is telling them in so many words that Judaism has ceased being the way when it comes to the association and worship of the Father. Some will accept and change, some will be convinced but because of the persecution, they will not change; while some will not be convinced because they do not want to change from their old ways to this new way. It’s a call to forsake the old ways and embrace the new way.
C.H Spurgeon said, “I believe in this infallible Book, and in the infallible God; and I ask any of you, who are troubled, and worried, and tossed to and fro because of what some heretic or skeptic has said, to “walk in the light of the Lord,” and to be perfectly satisfied as to the revelation He has given us in His Word.”