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by Dan Kidd
Esteemed Old Testament scholar, Walter Kaiser, once quipped, "I love the New Testament--it reminds me of the Old." And with good reason. It's undeniable that the Hebrew Bible is the foundation upon which the New Testament was completed. It's astonishingly rare for New Testament writers to describe Jesus without using images, motifs, or quoting outright from the Hebrew Scriptures. This is because Jesus was the resolution of every longing, fear, hope, question, and problem throughout the Israelites'--and in fact humanity's--history. Everything that had been points to Christ. Everything that will be points to him.
The opening chapters of Hebrews masterfully illustrate this truth. The first sentence declares the Lord's persistent presence and revelation throughout history, culminated in the recent days where the Son had taken his appointed throne as the King of everything; the very same One "through whom he also made the universe." Who exactly is the Jesus? "The radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being." And what are the consequences of Jesus? By his powerful word, he sustains all things; he's purified every sin and now sits in his rightful place, at the Majesty's right hand.
With an introduction so rich as this we may wonder, what more is there to say than this? Perhaps we follow the lead of the author as they join the ancient-yet-timeless chorus in singing worship songs from the Psalter. We too can sing the melodies from Psalm 2 of Christ's sonship, of the angels who worship him from Psalm 104, and crescendo in Psalm 45 with our proclamations that the Lord brings justice with his Kingdom! And still more to sing about in Psalm 102, Christ at the beginning of creation; Jesus imperishable and steadfast then and now. This introductory chapter of Hebrews models for us the first and fitting response to the world-changing, death-defeating, Kingdom-bringing Messiah: worship!
This week, this Holy Week, as we marvel at the mysteries and miracles of the cross, we too can join into the worship of King Jesus--worthy of all honor, glory, and praise.
Praying the Psalms - Join the author of Hebrews in praising the Lord through worship and psalms. Choose a psalm or two. Read through the psalm once, and then read (or sing) the psalm aloud as your prayer to the Lord. As you pray, use these verses to guide you into more praise of the Lord, or into quiet meditation over the verses. Some psalms to consider: Psalm 63:1-8; Psalm 29; Psalm 20: 5-9; Psalm 23