Saturday, 11 August 2018
They will perish, but You remain;
And they will all grow old like a garment; Hebrews 1:11
The words here are found in Psalm 102:26 –
They will perish, but You will endure;
Yes, they will all grow old like a garment;
It has already been seen in just the few previous verses that the Son was there at the beginning, thus meaning he was there before the beginning in an eternal, timeless state. It has also been seen that the Son is the Creator. Additionally, it was seen in verse 3 that He is the Sustainer of the created order. Now, the eternality of the Son is highlighted with the words, “They will perish.” This is speaking of the heavens specifically, which are mentioned in the preceding verse. The events spoken of were prophesied by Isaiah –
“All the host of heaven shall be dissolved,
And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll;
All their host shall fall down
As the leaf falls from the vine,
And as fruit falling from a fig tree.” Isaiah 34:4
Isaiah continues to speak of such things in Isaiah 51:6. Peter speaks of these things in 2 Peter 3:12, and Revelation 21:1 says that they will surely come to pass as well –
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”
The author of Hebrews thus demonstrates that the Son is above and outside of His creation. As noted, he is specifically referring to the heavens here, but the heavens are tied to the earth in the other cited passages. If the first heaven and the first earth are to pass away, and if He was connected to them as a created being, He would not endure. And yet He will. The author then confirms the psalm by saying that unlike Him, these things “will all grow old like a garment.”
The heavens are described like a garment which, even if carefully cared for, will eventually decay, become moth-eaten, fray, break down in the weaving, etc. When this occurs, the garment needs to be replaced. This symbolism will continue on into the next verse. But so will the contrast of the Son. Everything created has potential to decay and be replaced; the Son is eternal, and has no potential to be replaced. As angels are a part of the creation (the continued subject which is being contrasted to the Son), and as the Son is the Creator, the angels – like all of creation – are dependent on the Son for their continued existence.
Life application: When we worship Jesus Christ, we are not worshiping a mere man. We are worshiping the Man who came from God. He united with His creation to redeem us; He did not leave behind His deity and simply become His creation in the process. He is and will always remain God in His divine nature.
Glorious God, the mystery of the Trinity is one which is rather difficult for us to grasp. If we talk about it long enough, we will always fall into error concerning the matter. And yet, it is what Your word teaches, in both testaments and quite clearly. Help us to accept the tenet because it is what Your word teaches, but help us to be careful in our attempts to explain it. In the end, what Your word teaches will be understood more fully in the ages to come. For now, we praise You – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! Amen.