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Jesus the Messiah: the Radiance of God's Glory


By Benjamin H. Liles

          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 ~ Hebrews 1:3, Holman Christian Standard

          But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. ~ Hebrews 10:12

          Several different versions say it this way, as to what Christ did on our behalf at the cross, "When he cleansed us," and "When he by himself purged our sins." What kind of man does this? I know I have said of Christ that He was known in scripture as "A man of sorrows," but He's more than that too. 

          He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He's the perfect man. It makes me think back to when God blessed Abraham so much that He gave to him a son in his old age. He tells Abraham, "Go to a place I will show you. There you will offer up your son." Powerful stuff.

          Abraham didn't even get to where his hand shed blood. Instead, we're told, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me" (Genesis 22:12).

           If anything, and I do believe this, God was showing Abraham what He was going to do on our behalf. Except in this case, God was sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to take away our sins. Can you imagine His grief having to do that so we could have access to Him? And yet it is us who slap Him in the face still, even in His righteous love for us.

          There's little wonder why Paul writes at the beginning of Romans, "For having known God, they glorified Him not as God, or were thankful; but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish heart was darkened" (1:21). The wonderful part is that should we be thankful for what God did for us on our part, we would have hearts that are in the light and not in darkness.

          We would glorify God as He is: God. It would make our thoughts of Him effective. So, I would suffice it to say that the writers of Hebrews is penning the words this way, "The Son reflects the glory of God and shows exactly what God is like. He with his powerful word.

          When the Son made people clean from their sins, he sat down at the right side of God, the Great One in heaven" (Hebrews 1:3, Expanded Bible). It is why the Church in modeling the Messiah to the world need also the radiance of God's glory.

          Jesus said, of those who belong to Him, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lamp stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16).

          Therefore it is this reason when we have the glory and the richness and fullness of His Spirit that we radiate His glory and light to the rest of humanity. There is a hope. It is found in Jesus. There is still time to come to know Him, repent of sins, and to live a full and holy life devoted to only Him.

          Father, I know how imperfect I am. I do things constantly wrong. Yet Your grace and mercy show me where I can help others too. Help be my guide, my lamp, to show others the way to You. Just as people witnessed Your power on and through the Messiah, You also still work through human agents to show Your glory and presence to a world in desperate need of You. I want to always be at my best for You, but even then, like You told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9, Berean Study). I need you and Your power on and in my life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.