The book of Hebrews is fascinating to me over the past few months. When I first read through it, there was quite a bit I didn’t understand. Now, I understand a little bit of it. One thing that makes it an interesting study is how deep the writer goes. I got turned on to Hebrews when I saw a Judah Smith sermon called Jesus Is A Better Mountain. This message got me reading the book of Hebrews through a different lens. I now see Hebrews simply as, “Jesus Is ______.” The writer goes through 13 chapters explaining who Jesus is. And that is why I love this book.
Chapter one of Hebrews led me to this understanding: Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory. Here are some notes I shared with some friends on how Jesus being the radiance of God’s glory has practical implications on our lives.
First, let’s look at God’s passion. Then, let’s look at Jesus being the radiance. Then the way that plays into our lives. And finally, the practical way to live this out.
1. God Is For God’s glory (Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.”)
2. God Created The World For His Glory (Psalm 8:1. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. You have set your glory in the heavens. Col. 1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.)
3. God created me for His glory. (Is 43:6-7 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth– everyone who is called by name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.’)
4. God sent Jesus to reveal His glory. (Is 42:1-4 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.)
JESUS IS THE RADIANCE
1In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
Jesus is the brightness. The fullness. The amazing display of the glory of God. Jesus is the radiance.
So we find Jesus is God’s greatest passion, because He is not just the glory of God, but the very radiance of God’s glory. And the passion of Jesus led Him to the cross. The cross is the place where Jesus passion for God’s glory to be revealed to and through creation.
At the cross, Jesus made purification for sins. In this, Jesus made God look very glorious by revealing
1. His love for God as He submitted to the point of death.
2. His love for God’s creation as He gave Himself for us on the cross.
So the cross is the place where Jesus prayer in John 12:27-28 is answered. 27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
God is passionate about His own glory. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God, and the cross is the blazing center of the radiance of the glory of God. (This thought is inspired by John Piper.)
Now, at the cross, something beautiful, majestic, glorious, and almost unbelievable happens. Paul says it like this:
“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:25-27
The cross is the moment where God doesn’t just save us, He changes us. It’s there where you accept Jesus, that Jesus moves into you, and suddenly the radiance of the glory of God now resides in you. Christ in You. Jesus, the radiance of God’s glory.
You’re radiant. You’re beautiful. You house the glory of the universe. Christ Jesus, the radiance of the glory of God, in you. You reveal Him. You are radiant. You’re radiant.
Jesus path in the book of Hebrews to becoming the radiance of the glory of God looked like this.
1. God raised us up with Christ, and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:6. Before you start, realize you’re seated with Christ. Let yourself rest in Him.
2. You have an anointing from the Holy One. 1 Jn 2:20. God has given you anointing. Rest in His anointing. Know that it comes from Him. Live from the anointing, not for the anointing.
3. Know and reveal Him through the sacrifices of love. Romans 12:1-2 Knowing and revealing comes from living in view of God’s mercies. The sacrifices of love are pure spiritual worship.
4. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. Psalm 145:16 As you continue to follow Jesus, He will satisfy you.