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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

JESUS HOLDS THE SCEPTRE

Hebrews 1:5-9 For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son? And again, when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.

A "Sceptre" is a rod or staff held by a ruler as a symbol of imperial authority. It is given to one selected to have sovereignty over a kingdom. The lesson text tells us that Jesus was selected by God and was given the sceptre to signify total authority, that is, all power, over His kingdom, both in heaven and in earth (See Matt. 28:18). In this passage, God demonstrates the superiority of Jesus Christ over all people of the world as well as the angels of heaven. The verse previous to the lesson text tells us of the superiority of Jesus. It says that He, Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Jesus was superior because of his inheritance, that is, He was the Son of God. No other person on earth, and no other heavenly being, can claim to be the Son of God. The sonship of God was bestowed only on Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and the Savior of the world.

The prophetic word of God is found in the Psalm 2:7, and is quoted by the writer of Hebrews. Here God openly announces Jesus Christ as His Son. It reads, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. And what day is referred to in this passage? Luke, the writer of the Acts of the Apostles, quotes the same passage, and by inspiration tells us that the fulfillment of this prophesy was the day that Jesus conquered death and arose from the grave, assuring the world of a universal resurrection. From His birth, as referred to in verse 6 of the lesson text, to His ascension back to the Father's right hand, all beings, both of earth and heaven, are commanded to worship Him. The apostle Peter declared this truth when he wrote this of Jesus: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him (1 Peter 3:22). Indeed, all authority was given by God to His Son, Jesus Christ.

Quoting Psalm 104:4, the Hebrew writer tells us the mission of angels. They are His spirits, and His ministers; they served on numerous occasions as God's messengers, to deliver His word to various individuals and groups of people. Angels had no authority to act on their own; rather they obediently reacted to the commands given to them by God. Angels were to serve God as His messengers, but God also gave them another responsibility. With the coming of Christ into the world, either the first time as the Savior of mankind or the second time as the Righteous Judge, or whether it is His ascension back into heaven, the Hebrew writer says: And let all the angels of God worship Him. All people of the earth, as well as all heavenly beings are required to worship, and serve, Jesus Christ, because, by His heritage, He is the only Son of God, the heir to God's kingdom on earth and in heaven.

Quoting the meaning of Psalm 45:6, the last two verses of the lesson text reads, But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Jesus rules the kingdom of God today from His eternal throne in heaven. He, Himself, is divine, and was given the sceptre, by God, as a symbol of His authority. It is a sceptre of righteousness. We know the rule of Jesus Christ will be one of justice, because the Hebrew writer continues to say that thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity. It is because of His holiness and righteousness, and because He is indeed, the Son of God, that God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.

The anointing of Jesus as King, is above all human prophets, priests, and kings; it is above all saints within the church of Christ, whether they be apostles or disciples of Christ, preachers, inspired writers of the New Testament, or any other teacher of the will of God. These verses, without question, tell us that, by the authority of God, Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Savior of the world, our Creator, our Redeemer, and our King. No other is worthy. Jesus, and Jesus alone, holds the sceptre of the kingdom of God.