Our greatest need is to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and dwell in his holy presence.
In the presence of the Son of God all the glories of the old covenant fade into utter insignificance. The superiority of Christianity over Judaism and all other religions is the super abounding excellency of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Hold before Him any person or object and they all fade away. Even the glories of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration fades from view as Jesus was transfigured in an infinitely greater glory.
When we compare Jesus with the prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, the Levitical priesthood, patriarchs, etc., each in turn fades away and we behold the glory of Jesus Christ alone. There is none to compare with Christ. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews gives seven wondrous glories of Jesus in the opening verses of chapter one.
Jesus Christ is the very Son of God. What greater glory can there be than that! God the Father on three occasions broke through time space and declared, “This is My beloved Son.” The Father never said that to an angel. It is through the living Son that God, entering into the heart and dwelling there, will speak to us.
Jesus Christ was “appointed heir of all things” (Heb. 1:2). It is a testimony of His “dignity and dominion.” In everyday life the heir is the successor to his father in all that his father has. In the relationships within the Trinity, the supreme sovereignty of the Father is by no means infringed upon the sovereignty of the Son, or visa versa. By the title “heir of all things” Jesus is the possessor and disposer of all things in His creation (Matt. 25:31-32; Rev. 22:1; Rom. 8:16-17).
Jesus Christ is the Creator and Sustainer for “through whom also He created the world” (v. 2 NET). Only God can create. Christ was appointed heir of all things in the beginning because He was their Creator (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16). “All things were created by Him and for Him.”
Jesus Christ is the “radiance” of God’s glory because He is God (v. 3). He is in no manner inferior to the Father, but in every way His equal. The “brightness of His glory" refers to the Shekinah glory of God that dwelled in the tabernacle and the temple (Ex. 40:34-38; 1 Kings 8:10). Whatever excellency was in the Father, the same likewise was in the Son, and that in the most transparent manner. Jesus Christ is the irradiation of God’s glory. Christ is to the Father what the rays of the sun are to the sun. He is the radiance of God’s glory. It is therefore impossible to separate Christ’s glory from the nature of God. Apart from Christ, sinful man could not perceive the brightness of God’s “glory.” Without Jesus Christ we are in the dark, utterly in the dark concerning God. It is in Christ that God is revealed (Jn. 17:5).
Jesus Christ is the “exact representation” of God’s nature (v. 3). The “exact representation” signifies to engrave and is the noun form of that which is engraved like the stamp on a coin that is minted. Jesus Christ being God perfectly expresses God. All that God is, in His nature and being, is expressed and manifested, absolutely and perfectly by God incarnate. Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” He has explained Him (John 1:14, 18; Col. 2:9). In the person of Jesus Christ the Invisible became visible. If you want to know what God is like take a long hard look at Him in His Son, Jesus Christ. When you see Christ you see the glory of God. Literally, Jesus is “the exact representation of the very substance of God.” It is the impress of the divine essence possessed by absolute Deity. He is the perfect reflection of God because He is God.
Jesus Christ “upholds all things by the word of His power” (v. 3). This is a divine work. In the original “uphold” means “to carry or support.” “The whole universe hangs on His arm; His unsearchable wisdom and boundless power are manifested in governing and directing their complicated movements of animate and inanimate, rational and irrational beings, to the attainment of His own great and holy purposes; and He does this by the word of His power, or by His powerful word. All this is done without effort or difficulty. He speaks, and it is done; He commends, and it stands fast,” wrote John Brown. He guides this universe to its divinely ordained destiny. The Lord Jesus, “by the word of His power,” sustains the universe and maintains its coherence in all its parts.
The very person of the God-head who appeared on the earth, as servant is the sustainer of the universe. “He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.” (Col. 1:17 NET). The winds and the waves obeyed Him! Sickness, death and demons fled before Him.
Jesus Christ “made purification of sins” (v. 3). Only God can deal with our sins. This is even greater glory than being the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. What a loving God—He purged us of all our sins! “Purged,” literally is, “having purged.” The work is finished. This was a single definite, once-for-all act. The blood of the sacrificial animals could not lift up and take away our sins, but the blood of the Lamb of God did (Heb. 10:4).
Jesus Christ was the high priest and the atoning sacrifice that was offered up for our sins. Our great high priest says to us, “You are clean from all your sins this day before God.” “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NET). All of our sins are taken away. He is the perfect sacrifice of infinite dignity because He is the Son of God.
When Jesus Christ “had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of Majesty on high,” and the Father gave Him the name that is above every name (v. 3; Phil. 2:11). Jesus, who is also prophet and priest, reigns as King in the place of highest honor in heaven. He sat down because His work of atonement was finished. The evidence that all sins of the believer have been put away permanently is that Jesus is seated in glory. “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” The position of the highest honor and glory belongs to Jesus Christ forever and ever. This is the greatest proof that He finished the work of redemption and “purification of sins.” God exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name. Jesus Christ received the most elevated exaltation when He arrived back into heaven. Let us exalt Him in our hearts to the praise of His glory, too. It is then that we draw with confidence upon Him to do a divine and supernatural work in and through us. Let us not be careless of having an intimate personal relationship with God in Christ.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006