The first chapter of Hebrews is all about the identity of Christ. The author seems to be aiming to clear up some misconceptions that have crept into this community of believers -- no, Jesus Christ is NOT an angel; no, Jesus Christ is NOT a prophet. He is God's Son. He "is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." (v. 3).
When you think about it, Hebrews 1 answers the most important question in the history of the world, the same question that Jesus pointedly asked his disciples. "Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15). There is nothing more important in this life, nothing, than how we answer this question. So who do YOU believe Jesus, the man who physically lived on this earth, was?
If you've read C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity then you probably know his brilliant take on our rather limited options -- we can only reasonably conclude that Jesus was liar, lord or lunatic. (If you haven't read Mere Christianity, please email me and I'd be extremely happy to send you a copy. I have about twenty extra sitting on my shelf.)
Lewis wrote, "let us not come away with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." Yet fifty years later it is still commonplace for people to sweep the divine claims of Jesus right under the rug. The wisdom of Jesus' teaching is compelling, but many are too prideful to entertain that Jesus is in fact God.
So who do we believe Jesus was or is? It's a vital, life-defining, eternity-determining question. But it is also imperative that our lives bear out our beliefs. Do you ever stop to think, how does my day to day life evidence my beliefs? What would someone watching me conclude that I believe? Do I treat Jesus like a prophet, an angel, a great moral teacher, a liar, a lunatic, or is He my Lord?
Hebrews is abundantly clear: Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, is sitting at the right hand of God. May our lives speak so clearly!