Jesus is the Radiant Image of God

Scriptures: Hebrews 1:3
by Jacob Abshire on February 19, 2016

There is no brighter picture of God than Jesus.

As the heir of all things, Jesus is rightful ruler and owner of all things made. This includes the very space in the distant span of the universe we have yet to see, all the way to the smallest molecule we have yet to understand. He even owns the laws by which all things work and the elements in which they exist. Everything belongs to Jesus and was made through Him (Heb. 1:2; Jn. 1:1-3). This is because Jesus is God.

All things that were made were created to bring glory to God (Ps. 19:1-4). Who we are should bring Him glory (Is. 43:7). What we do should bring Him glory (1 Pet. 4:10-11). How we do what we do should bring Him glory (1 Cor. 10:31). He deserves the glory. And yet, the writer of Hebrews says He already has it.

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3).

As the sun radiates its light, God radiates His glory. We don’t look and see the sun. We look and see the light of the sun. Likewise, we don’t look and see God, we look and see the light of God. This is Jesus. He is the precise, accurate, meticulous representation of God’s essence. To see Jesus is to see God (Jn. 14:9). To see Him more clearly, here are three aspects of Jesus pulled from this passage.

First, Jesus is the glory of God. In terms of His divine nature, the Son is the light that “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” according to John 1:5. White is what we see when all colors of our spectrum are combined. God’s glory is like all of God’s perfect attributes combined. Then, we would see Jesus. He is God’s perfect nature displayed.

Second, Jesus is the image of God. The idea here in the ancient mind is the impression of a die or graver. It is like God pressed Himself against the world and Jesus was the mark. He is like the signet on a coin or a stamp on a letter. He is God’s accurate self-portrait for man to see, “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). No one can see God, but Jesus makes Him visible (Jn. 1:18). This is why Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9).

Third, Jesus is the power of God. The universe is upheld by His power. Jesus sustains its weight and maintains its coherence and development. You might say that He made it and keeps it running. “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together,” wrote Paul (Col. 1:17). Hypothetically, if Jesus sneezed, the entire cosmos would fly off the handle, assuming it didn’t first explode. Everything, and I mean everything, is sustained by Him.

Jesus is the Superior Middleman, higher than any prophet who spoke for God. There is no one who could be higher when speaking for God than God Himself. He speaks perfectly through His Son. Behold Jesus. He is God.

This article was adapted from the study guide, Jesus: The Superior One, written by Jacob Abshire, Laura Jackson, Curtis Riddle, and Katie Van Dyke, and based on sermons by Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church.

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