Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where's the Glory?

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3) 

         In case you are wondering what the antecedent for the “Who” is, you have only to look back one verse: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He, says the writer of Hebrews, is the brightness of God’s glory. In other words, He is to God what its rays are to the sun. The part that radiates, or extends out, to us. Expanding the definition further, Christ is identified as being the “express image”—the exact image—of God’s person. Whew, that’s heavy! God is a Person, and His bodily image was visible on this earth for thirty-three years. You and I may have been made in the image of God (Gen. 9:6); but we are not His express image. And to claim such distinction, in some kind of “New Age” self-affirmation, is to show more resemblance to Lucifer than Christ (Isa. 14:12-15). Jesus Christ was (and is) the only visual, human expression of God that this world has (or will ever have) known. 

         But we’re not through with the heavy stuff yet. The verse, still speaking of the Son, goes on to say that His Word is what’s holding this whole thing together (“…upholding all things by the word of his power…”). And the same claim is made in John, chapter one. The verse then finishes by letting us know that after Jesus had finished the supreme task of purging away our sins by the Blood of his sacrifice, He “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” He, who is the brightness of God’s glory is now again with the Father.

         Alas, then, have we lost the Glory? Where is the Brightness now? Is it lost to our eyes till we see Him face to face? “Oh, no!” says the apostle Peter, in the last few verses of the first chapter of his second Epistle. On the contrary, we have “a light that shineth in a dark place.” In fact, “a more sure word…” I didn’t say that; he did. But I, for one, am not surprised since like God, the Father and God, the Son, the Word of God “liveth and abideth forever” (I Pet. 1:23). There’s the Glory!

       Is it any wonder then that I rise each morning with a sense of expectation? I believe, with all my mind and heart and soul that when I am poring over the pages of Holy Writ, I am gazing upon the face of God.

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