Summary: In Christ we see the wonder of God’s glory and the perfect human depiction of His person
His glorious Son Reading Is 9:6-7; Mt.17:1-9
Heb 1:3a the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person
We can but lightly touch on the majestic titles which a loving and adoring heart here heaps around the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. The theme might well engage a seraph’s tongue! Yet our hearts may glow with ardor of the same nature, if not of the same amount. And perhaps we may be conscious of elements of rapture which the sons of light may never know, because of his near kinship to us. “My heart overfloweth with a goodly matter: I speak the things which I have made touching the King.” FB Meyer
As we have seen God is fundamentally different from us - so there is a barrier to communication. He revealed a certain amount of Himself in OT days through nature, the prophets etc, but this revelation was always incomplete. The wonder is that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ to communicate with us properly. In Christ we can relate to Him in a physical form and has faced the same difficulties and temptations of life. Hebrews has much to say about Christ’s humanity, but for the moment it concentrates on His deity to give us a glimpse of the dignity and exalted rank of the Son of God. We need to see Christ as He really is, so that His glory fills us with a wonder that thrills our souls, motivates us to worship and service.
Last time we saw that Jesus was the creator all things, but v2 tells us that He is also the Heir of all things. He is not only the Creator, but also the very reason for creation. Col.1:16 by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. This universe exists to please Him for He is its rightful owner.
The brightness of His glory
Glory is a word that we use easily, but not one that we find easy to explain. The dictionary tells me that it means: Praise, honour, admiration, or distinction, accorded by common consent to a person or thing; high reputation; honourable fame; renown, magnificence.
The definitions are struggling to define something that sets people apart from the norm to make others look up to or respect them. The Queen in her royal robes and magnificent golden coach.
In the Bible the word glory is applied to the sun and stars, and to the dazzling splendour or majesty in which God is enthroned. 2Th 1:9 2Pe 1:17 Re 15:8 21:11,23. God is pictured in splendour and majesty - a being of light and of infinite perfection. It is used of the nature and acts of God and His attributes and power as revealed through creation, as well as the perfection of His character - especially His righteousness, excellence, perfection. It is also used to describe the splendour and brightness of heaven. It emphasises His beauty, majesty, splendour, honour and dignity which we should acknowledge in our prayers and lives.
1 Timothy 6:16 dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see.
Isa 42:8 I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another
God’s glory was shown in the cloud which indicated His presence in the tabernacle and temple. Ex.40:34 34
Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
1 Kings 8:10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork, Ps 19:1, but Ezekiel saw the glory of God expressed in a human form. (Ezek 1:26) It is Christ alone who is the brightness of His glory
In the OT the glory prevented people entering the tabernacle or temple, but although Christ’s glory is of the same degree it is inviting and welcoming, not forbidding.
Calvin - as to the essence of God, so immense is the brightness that it dazzles our eyes, except it shines on us in Christ. …Without Christ there is no light, but only darkness; for as God is the only true light by which it behoves us all to be illuminated. We are reminded that God is truly and really known only in Christ; for he is not his obscure or shadowy image, but his impress which resembles him, as money the impress of the die with which it is stamped.