‘‘Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…’’ Heb. 1:3
Additional reading: 2Cor. 4:4; Col. 1: 15 – 16
Having done a little study on the character of God, we shall be looking at the character of Jesus Christ in the next few days.
The author of the book of Hebrews (though unknown but I am persuaded is Apostle Paul) made a remarkable statement at the very beginning of Hebrews chapter three: ‘‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the universe.’’ (Vv. 1 – 2 NIV).
Please note these points: (1.) God spoke to the forefathers of the Jews through the prophets in time past. (2.) But in these last days, God spoke to His people not through the prophets but through His Son. (3.) God appointed the Son to be heir of all things. (4.) Through the Son the universe was created.
Again, in these last days, God has spoken through His Son, whom He appointed to be heir [kleronomos: a sharer by lot, i.e. an inheritor, a possessor] of all things… An heir is a legal inheritor of something, i.e. somebody who holds the right to receive a property, position, or title of somebody else when that person dies. Jesus Christ is God’s heir, thus, He has the right to receive, have or take possession of all that belongs to God, take on God’s position and title. In the case of human life, these are possible only when the predecessor has died. But because Jesus Himself is God, He did not have to wait for God to die before taking up God’s title, position, etc. And in any case, God will never die! Against the backdrop of the definition or meaning of heir, the bible said the obvious: ‘‘…and through whom he made the universe…’’
Jesus Christ was God’s direct representative on earth, for this reason, He spoke as the Father would in fullness of authority. ‘‘Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image [charakter: a graver (the tool or the person, i.e. (by implication) engraving ([‘‘character’’], the figure stamped, i.e. an exact copy or figure [figure] representation):- express image] of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…’’ Jesus is simply God’s exact copy possessing the fullness of God’s character.
‘‘He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word.’’ (GNB). ‘‘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.’’ (ESV). ‘‘The Son shows the glory of God. He is a perfect copy of God’s nature, and he upholds everything together by his powerful command.’’ (ERV). ‘‘Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words! (MSG).
Let’s highlight more biblical witnesses using Jesus’ words to confirm these:
1. ‘‘My Father has given me everything. No one knows the Son—only the Father knows the Son. And no one knows the Father—only the Son knows the Father. And the only people who will know about the Father are those the Son chooses to tell.’’ Matt. 11:27 ERV
2. ‘‘So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.’’ Matt. 28:19 ERV.
3. ‘‘Before the world began, the Word was there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.’’ Jn. 1:1 – 2 ERV
4. ‘‘Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is always working, and I too must work.’ ’’ Jn. 5:17 GNB
5. ‘‘So that all will honor the Son in the same as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.’’ Jn. 5:23 GNB
6. ‘‘‘I am telling you the truth,’’ Jesus replied. ‘‘Before Abraham was born, ‘I Am’‘’ Jn. 8:58 GNB
7. ‘‘…and I am one with the Father.’’ Jn. 10:30 CEV
8. ‘‘Jesus replied: Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father?’’ Jn. 14:9 CEV.
9. ‘‘Jesus replied: If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and will come to them and live in them.’’ Jn. 14:23 CEV
10. ‘‘Everything which the Father has is mine: that is why I say, He will take of what is mine and will make it clear to you.’’ Jn. 16:15 BBE
11. ‘‘All mine are yours, and yours are mine and I have glory in them. Jn. 17:10 BBE
12. ‘‘May they all be one! Even as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so let them be in us, so that all men may come to have faith that you sent me.’’ Jn. 17:21 BBE
With all of the above, I need not explain further that Jesus Christ is the express image of God.
Meditation: Jesus Christ and God are one and the same!
Prayer: As You are one, make me one with You.
Question: What evidence do you have that Jesus Christ is God in every way?