Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Hebrews 1:3 (CSB): “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
If the Word of God was like a mountain range, the verse I have chosen for today would be one of its peaks. Hebrews 1:3 is breathtaking and worth the time to reflect upon it and enjoy it. Let’s take a few minutes to briefly consider its truth claims.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory…”
Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory.” What does that mean?
Well, if you go outside each day before the sun comes up like I do, you enjoy the moments when the sun begins to wake up the dawn. The eastern sky begins to light up before the sun makes its grand entrance.
When you look at the sun as it peeks over the horizon, before it becomes much too bright to observe with the human eye, what do you see? Do you literally see the sun? No, of course not. You see the rays of sunlight that are about 8 minutes old. Those rays of light originated with the sun but had been traveling at the speed of light for 8 minutes before they got to you.
So, when you look at the sun, you don’t really see the sun. Instead, you see the rays of light that came from the sun.
That’s the picture that is painted when we read Hebrews 1:3. God is the sun and Jesus is the rays that come from the sun. Jesus is the One who makes God visible. He is the One who makes God knowable. If it weren’t for Jesus, our knowledge and experience of God would be horribly deficient. But, because of Jesus, we can know and experience God the Father.
John 1:18 (CSB): “No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.”
So, do you want to know, experience, and enjoy God the Father? I sure hope you do. That’s the essence of what it means to be saved (John 17:3). Well, if you want to enjoy God, focus on Jesus. Read the Bible and spend time in prayer so that you can know, experience, and enjoy Him. As you do, you’ll get to know the Father (John 14:9).
“The Son is … the exact expression of his nature…”
The Greek words used for “exact expression of his nature” mean that Jesus is the perfect representative of God. He isn’t just a good picture of God; He is in His very essence the exact nature of God. He is God, yet in a different form.
While God is not material, Jesus provides for us a perfectly precise picture of who God is in a way that we can comprehend, especially as He took on flesh and lived among us.
“The Son is … sustaining all things by his powerful word…”
When we read Genesis 1-2, we come to understand the story of Creation. We hear God the Father speaking things into existence and we observe the Holy Spirit in Genesis 1:2 where we are told that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”
So, we observe God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. But where was Jesus? He isn’t mentioned in Genesis 1-2. Was Creation only the work of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit? No! Jesus was actively involved. Just listen to what the Apostle John said as the Holy Spirit moved him to write the following words as he calls Jesus “the Word.”
John 1:1–3 (CSB): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.”
John 1:1-3 puts a new light on Genesis 1, doesn’t it? When the Bible tells us, “and God said,” it may not mean that God spoke out loud. It may simply mean that Jesus, who is the Word of God that coveys and carries out His intentions, was the one who actively created the world. God willed it and Jesus did the work.
But, our verse for today doesn’t tell us that Jesus created all things. It tells us that He is “sustaining all things.” He keeps it going. Just listen as the Apostle Paul gives a hearty “Amen!” to the fact that Jesus is the One who keeps everything going, that keeps the laws of nature in operation.
Colossians 1:17 (CSB): “He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.”
So, Jesus created all things and He’s the One who keeps it all going.
“…After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
After Jesus created all things and as He sustains all things, His ultimate work was to make the payment for the sins of any and every person who will look to Him in faith. He came to earth, lived a perfect life according to God’s Law, died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, rose from the dead to conquer sin and the grave, and then ascended to Heaven.
Now, He sits at God’s powerful right hand in Heaven, continuing His work over Creation and over those who He has redeemed.
Notice that we read in our verse for today that Jesus “sat down.” But, friend, did you know that Jesus sometimes stands up to honor believers who are making their entrance into Heaven. He is so gracious and loving that He, the God over all Creation, stands to welcome His brothers and sisters who have trusted in Him as they enter their eternal home.
Acts 7:56–60 (CSB): “He said, ‘Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ They yelled at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and together rushed against him. They dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. And the witnesses laid their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ He knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ And after saying this, he fell asleep.”
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Lord Jesus, I am unworthy of my relationship with You.
You, the God over all.
You, the One who Created our universe.
You, who sustain it by Your powerful word.
You, who left Your throne in Heaven to make the payment to God for guilty sinners like me.
You, who stand ready to welcome me when it is my time to enter my Heavenly home.
Praise Your Name, Jesus! Amen.