The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3)
One of the aims of the book of Hebrews is to ensure we have a big and accurate view of Jesus. All through the book we are told how Jesus is bigger and better than we can possibly imagine. It’s all too easy to have a small and domesticated view of Jesus. If you search for Jesus on Amazon, for instance, you’ll get directed to a stick-on, bobble-head figure of Jesus!
Hebrews certainly doesn’t give us a bobble-head Jesus, and if we want to have an accurate picture of Jesus, chapter one is a good place to start.
In verse 3, we are told that Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory”. Jesus is like a mirror that reflects the glory of God the Father. If you have ever been dazzled on a sunny day by the sunlight reflected in a mirror, you’ll know what this is like. When we look at Jesus we are dazzled by the glory of God made known to us. Jesus is the glory of God made visible.
The verse also goes on to talk about Jesus as “the exact representation of [God’s] being.” ‘Exact representation’ is a word in Greek from which we get the English word ‘character’. It means an engraving or carving, usually made on a coin. The idea is that Jesus precisely reproduces what God is like in a form we can understand. God himself is so immense he would blow our minds; Jesus makes God visible and knowable, but clearly and accurately.
Jesus dazzles us with glory and displays the character of God. Let’s gaze on the true and real Jesus today, not a bobble-headed imitation!