Rainbow Christian Fellowship
Christ is the only representation of God
The Apostle starts, here, in one unique way which should press an alarm in the ears of the readers, as he comes from the history which should create an expectation of something interesting he is bringing. By that I mean the revelation has been progressing, God revealing himself to us in the past on that alter where they go for offering and through the prophets, the angels, then he goes deeper, but now he has revealed himself in Jesus, he is the supreme revelation, and now there is no further revelation to expect - there is none other and there will never be another; for the fullness of time has come.
This is the truth about our lord Jesus, the one who is at the centre of the universe, the most unique person in the whole history of the universe. He says Jesus is the turning point; he is the spectrum and is the centre of the whole history. He is better than angels, priest, prophets, kings, so we need to keep our eyes to him. “Who being the brightness of his glory......of his person...”
I want you to see the two illustrations that are employed to show a wonder of the truth concerning Christ. He is using them to help us understand this great truth that is so greater than human words, because they are not a complete picture, but the phrase points to the eternal being of Christ.
- Brightness = meaning the “slashing fourth” which signifies the sending forth of righteousness. So the writer is saying here, listen brethren... Jesus is the visible image of the glory of the invisible mighty and eternal God (Jn. 1:17-18).
- Most of the scholars explain this with a sun and rays, they are inseparable; sun rays is that by which the sun becomes visible but are not the sun itself, they are distinct, they each have a distinct character. You cannot have a sun without its rays and no rays without the sun. And just to carry it in a theological context as you well know the brightness of the sun is the same nature as the sun. It is as old as the sun. Never was the sun without its brightness and the brightness cannot be separated from the sun and so it is with Christ and the Father. The sun and rays are together as long as the other, the rays are of the very same substance as the sun and the rays originate with the sun, which means there is a perfect unity of the two.
- By this, the writer is showing this perfect unity between Jesus the Son and the Father, perfect coexistence between them. There was never a time when the Father was not the Father and there was never a time when the Son was not the Son. They are both coeternal, and coequal - the other has never been without the presence of the other. The sun is not brightness and the brightness is not the sun, and in the very same way, the writer says the Jesus and the Father are inseparable, but they are also distinct, the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father, but they are perfectly united, the Father does nothing without the Son and the Son does nothing without the Father.
- And Jesus is described here as the brightness of His glory (God’s glory). When you are talking about glory, you talk of excellence, brilliance. Remember in the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant that represented the presence of the Lord was referred to as “His glory”. The glory signifies “that which is well spoken of”, and that is why many people want great things to be said about them, because it is to their glory.
- So what is being said here about Christ? Is that he is the brightness of his Father’s glory , the glory, the splendour, the honour, holiness and righteousness seen in the Father is also to be seen in the Son Jesus. And it is only in the light of Jesus that anyone can ever see the glory of the Father that is why he says by himself “no one has seen the father except the one who is from him’. John 1:18 says “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known” and the apostle “no one has seen except the one who is in the bosom of the father”.
- The wisdom of God, His love, His majesty, His grace, His compassion, and riches of the Father are only revealed to us in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, and no one would know anything about these attributes of God apart from Jesus, his supreme revelation. When He spoke, He spoke as God, when He healed, He healed as God, when He taught, He taught as God.
- The Son, not only is the brightness, but the expressed image of God’s person or exact imprint. Same metaphor used to convey the truth about the person of Jesus. What he is conveying here is the character. The same word used for a sculpture, a stamp or print is used here as the exact character of the producer, to say this is my product, I seal it, and it’s the reproduction, just as in a signature or coin maker.
- He is the exact appearance of what proceeds from the nature of God father, and the very same substance. He does not have the attributes only but he is God himself. What did Thomas say – Jn. 20:28 “My Lord and my God” or Jn. 14:6 “Jesus answered, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him”
To uphold all things = it means to support something that is in constant motion. It is taking us back to the beginning, that The One by whom the world was created is The One who is carrying them forward to their ultimate end. He governs, guides and supports that which He created, He sustains it in absolute unity to its completion, and He orders and further His purposes by the word of His power.
That is what he first says....that he is coeternal with God the father, united with the father; he is God himself and governs it by power. And no one and nothing would be able to live if Christ were to cease to live. For “in him we are” and even in Col. 1:19 tells us that in Christ, really, all of God is visible 1:19 "For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell and verse 16 tells us that; By Him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth. Without losing what He was, He became what He was not in order to be both, for the sake of the atonement.
Better than priests, angels, and sacrifices. So if you are united with this Christ in salvation, you are eternally safe and eternally secure, because He is the best.
Rev. M. Mdonga