“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”
Hebrews 1:1–2 draws a contrast for us between the ways that God spoke to His people under the old covenant and how He speaks to us today. In the past, God spoke by the prophets, but in “these last days” He has spoken by His Son. The prophets were not God’s final means of speaking; rather, they pointed forward to the means by which our Creator would give us His final Word until the consummation—the God-man Christ Jesus.
In his ministry, Jesus spoke to the people with powerful affirmation in his message. People were amazed when they heard Jesus expose the Word with authority they had never experienced. Yet, we should not read the contrast between Jesus and the old covenant prophets as an absolute one. That is, the ministries of Jesus and the prophets have a degree of correspondence. Not only did He speak to us the words of God, but He was and is the very Word of God made flesh (John 1:1–14). He not only teaches us the wise way in which to live, but He is the incarnation of God’s wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30).
Jesus in his prophetic message, he foretold about his death and resurrection. He also predicted the destruction to come to Jerusalem, and even described in detail the signs to come before his return to earth. Christ is also superior to the old covenant prophets in the sense that He is uniquely the subject and object of prophecy. The subject of prophecy is the prophet himself, the one who speaks the words that God has given him. But the old covenant prophets were not the objects of prophecy, at least not in the same sense as Jesus. Deuteronomy 18:15–22 revealed that God would send to His people another prophet “like” Moses. In one sense, each of the old covenant prophets was a fulfillment of this text. Each was like Moses in the sense that he spoke the words of the Lord to the people. Yet in another sense, none of the old covenant prophets were a prophet like Moses. Moses served a unique role in the administration of the old covenant because he was the mediator of that covenant, the one through whom the covenant was given and established. On the other hand, Jesus is the mediator of a new and better covenant that actually accomplishes the atonement necessary to secure the eternal inheritance of God’s people (Heb. 9:15). Therefore, Jesus is the main voice of God for all humanity in his prophetic role.
By Pastor Jorge Cardenas