Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NTDS (75): The Radiance of God’s Glory

Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. NIV

There are few verses in the Bible that contain more theological depth than Hebrews 1:3. Countless hours could be spent on this one verse, but I want to look at four truths that are essential to understand who our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, really is.It is helpful in this case to use the KJV to really grab hold of the beauty of this verse. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,” KJV

The first wonderful truth in this verse is contained in the word being. It is the word oon in Greek. The Greek scholar, AT Robertson says this about the word, “ Absolute and timeless existence.”  When people try to convince you that the Bible does not teach that Jesus is God, this one word describing Jesus, destroys that notion. It is equivalent to the word Yahweh or I AM ( the always exis tent one)in Hebrew. It proves that Jesus was not created, He always existed, and therefore He is God!

The next truth we see is that Jesus is the radiance or brightness of God’s glory. The word used for brightness can either mean reflective or original light. In the case of Jesus, both are true! John 12:44-46,
 “Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

John 14:9, “Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

The brightness of His glory was revealed to Peter, James and John at the mount of transfiguration, recorded in Matt 17. Matt 17:2, “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”  This was physical evidence that what this verse tell us about Jesus is 100% true! These men were eyewitnesses to the “brightness of His glory.”

The third great truth listed here is, that Jesus was an exact representation of God the Father. When you look at Jesus, you see God. Everything recorded in the Scriptures about Jesus, gives you a picture of who God is. As we look closely, we can see all of God’s nature and characteristics in Jesus and we can be sure it is an accurate rendering.

The last truth to grasp in this verse, is that Jesus is the one who holds everything together. Verse two of this chapter tells us that Jesus was the one through whom the universe was made. He is also the one who sustains His creation. The word for “sustains” can be translated uphold, carry or bear. That means that His creation will stand for as long as He wills it to.

We are told that He sustains creation by the power of His word. Just as he began creation by His word, he keeps it going by His word. It is by His word that all the physical laws of the universe that we observe, continue to operate properly. A cursory look at our universe would tell us that it had to be uniquely designed. One degree difference of earth’s tilt and we would be out of existence. A few miles closer to the sun and we would be ashes, a few miles further and we would be frozen. But by the power of His word, His creation stands. If at any time He chose to end the existence of the universe, He could do it by speaking a word. His word is all-powerful!

Oh the majesty and glory of our Lord Jesus! This verse alone, revealing these four great truths, should be enough to bring us to our knees in worship to Him. Those who lived with Him two thousand years ago, saw the perfect light of God. We see that same light through His word. His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Ps 119:105). It leads us into relationship with Him. I pray you are fully surrendered Him!

God bless you


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