JESUS, THE RADIANCE OF GOD'S GLORY - PART 1
SATURDAY 25 DECEMBER 2021
The author of the book of Hebrews started by enlightening the eyes of our understanding regarding Christ, the Son of the living God, whom God appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. To all Christians, emphasizing the Deity of Christ in writing and in speech is crucial in transmitting the connotation of His description to readers or audience in a way they can visualize divinity, particularly in the absence of Christ in human form on earth.
Reference: Hebrews 1:3 New International Version (NIV) "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
There are four important revealed truths or disclosures about Christ in the above Scripture. The first is that the Lord Jesus is the radiance of God's glory. Radiance in Greek rendering means: sparkle, brilliance, shine, glare, brightness, effulgence, flash, gleam, glimmer. When it comes to the brightness of the Godhead, Christ Himself is the expression or measure of the quality of radiation emitted by God's glory at any point in time.
Now watch this: When the Bible refers to the radiant face of Moses, as he came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, it is pointing to Christ, the radiance of God's glory who would later come to perfectly fulfil the law given by Moses. Although Moses was not aware that his face was radiant after speaking with the Lord, Christ was made manifest in his countenance, signalling what is yet to come (see Exodus 34:29-35 NIV). Remember Hebrews 10:1 noted that the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves (NIV). Moreover, Moses divinely experienced a measure of Christ through communication with Deity, not the fullness.
The second disclosure is that Christ is the exact representation of Deity. Christ is the astonishing revelation of God the Father. He expresses the very character of God, as the exact impression and imprint of divine nature and being. Christ is the very image of His substance and exact likeness of His being, meaning that Christ is like God in every way because they are one and the same. He is the figure of His foundation and the impress of His subsistence. He embodies the manifest presence of God. Colossians 2:9 says, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form"(NIV). That is, Jesus Christ is God made manifest in human flesh. Colossians 1:15 (NLT) also says, "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation."
The third disclosure is that Christ sustains all things by His powerful word. "All things" here implies all of creation, including the universe. Colossians 1:16-17 says, "For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see - such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together" (NLT). And I will share more in part 2.
The fourth disclosure is that after Christ had finished providing the sacrifice for sins, He took His honoured place high in the heavens right alongside God, far higher than any angel in rank and rule. In sum, the Scripture says, "Christ was raised by God from the dead and seated at God's right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God put everything under His feet and made Him head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:20-23).
The Lord Jesus introduced grace and truth because He mediates a better covenant, which means there are much more realities to be gained in Christ. John 1:17 (NIV) reads, "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." If you read Hebrews chapter one further, you'll observe many other attributes ascribed to Jesus, the Son of the living God. For instance, based on the supremacy of Christ, Hebrews 1:4 noted that Christ is so much better than the angels because He obtained by inheritance, a more excellent name than they. For this reason, all angels worship Him. Stay tuned for part 2 of this topic. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful celebration. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - John 1:14-18; John 10:30; Philippians 2:5-6; 1 John 5:20.
Exuberant Declaration: The Son of God has been made manifest in bodily form and has given me understanding, so that I may know Him who is the true living God. Christ is the true God; In Him is eternal life. He resides in me and I live, move and express my being in Him. Hallelujah!