The Radiance of the Glory of God (Hebrews 1:3) - Radical

The Radiance of the Glory of God (Hebrews 1:3)

He’s 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.
– Hebrews 1:3

Yes. One of the most beautiful, glorious, awesome, majestic descriptions of Jesus in one sentence, in all the Bible. I’m just going to read it one more time. He is talking about Jesus, “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.” There’s so much there.

Hebrews 1:3 teaches us how God upholds all things by his Word.

He’s the radiance. He’s the reflection, the shining reflection of the glory of God. All the attributes of God radiate in Jesus, his love, his justice, his mercy, his goodness, his truth, his beauty, his power. They all radiate in Jesus. He’s the exact imprint of his nature. This is the Trinitarian nature of God. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus is God. He’s not part God. He is fully God. He’s the exact imprint of the nature of God. Jesus is no mere man. Yes, he’s fully man and he is fully God and he upholds the universe. The universe though not just the world, but the universe with all of its galaxies, and all of its stars, and all of its planets, and constellations and all the things we can see now in our greatest telescopes. He upholds it all. How? By the Word of his power.

Is that not awesome language? Not just by his power, like yes, by his power, but by the Word of his power. Takes us all the way back to Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and the earth by doing what? By speaking, he spoke His Word and the universe came into being. Everything created by the Word of God and not just created, Hebrews 1:3, upheld right now, you and I and everything we see around us, they’re all upheld by the Word of Jesus, who is God by the Word of his power.

Hebrews 1:3 shows us the majesty of the person of Christ.

So let’s just pray today in light of Hebrews 1:3 and praise Jesus. I’m not even going to ask for things today. Not that it’s wrong to ask for things. I can think of so many things to ask for based on this verse, but there’s times in prayer when we just need to praise, adore, worship Jesus, God for who he is. So let’s do that right now. Jesus, there is no one like you. You’re fully God, fully man. You’re the radiance of the glory of God. We worship you. Lord, we love you. We praise you. God, we honor you. We exalt you. We bow before you.

Lord, we delight in you as the radiant reflection, all of the glory of God, all the beauty, all the majesty, the wonder of God radiating from you. Oh, we feel like the Mary of Bethany at your feet right now just praising you for how wonderful, awesome, how beyond words, holy, holy, holy are you. There’s no one like you. You’re the exact imprint of the nature of God. You are the Word made flesh, and we praise you as our upholder, as the upholder, the sustainer of the whole universe, everything around us. Everything in us upheld right now by the Word of your power.

We are not self-sustaining. We don’t have breath if you don’t give us breath. Our bodies don’t stay together. They don’t work unless you keep them together, unless you cause them to work. The sun doesn’t rise today unless you do it. The moon, stars won’t come out at night unless you do it. Nothing will happen in this universe today, apart from your authority as the upholder of the universe by the Word of your power. There is no one like you. We worship you and we pray. So this is the closest we’ll get to petition intercession in this prayer of adoration.

Exalting the Name of Jesus Among All Peoples

But we want your name to be hallowed in all the earth. We want the name of Jesus to be exalted in all the earth among all the peoples, among all the language, among all the tribes. Oh Jesus, you deserve all their glory. No other Gods deserve glory. You deserve all the glory. So help us to live today, help us to rise out of this prayer of adoration and live today to point people to you, to share you, to reflect you, even as we think about the reality that you, Lord Jesus, are in us, who have believed in you, Christ, in you, the hope of glory, the radiance of the glory of God, an exact imprint of his nature, the one who upholds the universe by the Word of your power.

You are in us, oh God, that reality blows us away. So help us to live in adoration of you today. In Jesus’ name we pray, in the name of the one who Hebrews 1:3 describes. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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