"The 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." Heb. 1:3, NIV
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory - The glory of God is why He created the world and redeemed us from sin. [We look at this in more detail in our Theology I: The Study Of God course.] But God is a Spirit. We cannot see Him with our senses, although we may feel His presence at times. Jesus, as the Son of God, reveals to us the glory of God. Like the light beams from the sun show us the glory or greatness of the sun, so Jesus lets us see the greatness of God. We see Someone who loves us, cares for us, is willing to sacrifice for us. But we also see that we are not the center. Jesus did only the things which pleased the Father. The motive for Jesus, as our motive should be, is that God would get the glory and all would see His greatness.
and the exact representation of his being - Not only does Jesus radiate the glory and greatness of God, but also He is the exact picture of what God is really like. To look at Jesus is to look at God. Or as Jesus Himself said, "He who has seen Me, has seen the Father." Jesus is not similar to the Father. He doesn't give us an idea of what the Father is like. He is the mirror image of God. It is exact in all its details. A study of the life of Jesus is a study of what God is like. Sometimes when we look at the Old Testament - without understanding the context - we can get a twisted idea of what God is like. Some even go so far as to say the God of the Old Testament is a different God than the God of the New Testament. Not so. They are the same and in Jesus the picture becomes clear.
sustaining all things by his powerful word - This world - physical and spiritual - is not self-sustaining. It is like looking at a computer. We see the screen and have an idea how some programs work. A few of us may understand the mechanics of how it works. But disconnect it from the power source and it is just a useless mass of plastic and metal. Even so, if the world is disconnected from Jesus, everything is pointless and powerless. Much more than that as well. Without Jesus' sustaining word everything ceases not only to function, but also to exist. He is the center around which all things turn.
The Word of God is the declaration of how things work. The more we move from understanding and obedience to the Bible, the more we move into chaos whether in our personal lives, business lives, national lives or anything else. Atheists and evolutionists are actually promoting death. The further they move society from God, the more it breaks down. In spite of it all, Jesus never leaves the scene. If He did, only God would exist, all else would cease to exist.
How does Jesus sustain the universe from the farthest galaxies to the hairs on our head? By the Word of His mouth. By His Word He spoke the worlds in existence and by His Word He maintains them. Not only does Jesus speak the Word, but also He is the Word.
After he had provided purification for sins - The mission of the Son on earth was the reconcile us to God. That could only be done by removing the sin barrier between us. And that could only be removed when an innocent Man voluntarily died on behalf of guilty man. Because Jesus was also God, He was more valuable than all of creation so His death could bring redemption and restoration to all of creation. Jesus is the only One Who could purify us from our sins and so restore our relationship with God…and that is exactly what He did.
he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven - Having accomplished His mission, Jesus could sit down. Sitting down speaks of a place of rest. He declared, "It is finished." Now He rests from His work and enjoys the fruit of His labour - you and I.
Being at the right had of the Majesty shows authority and power. Rest does not mean inactivity. As we saw, He sustains the universe with His Word. He rules in the kingdoms of men for the benefit of His church. He laughs at those who dare to oppose Him and destroys them in His anger [Ps. 2]. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. We need to see and declare Him as such. Right now is the day of salvation. Right now King Jesus is offering amnesty for all our sins - because He paid the price for them with His own blood. He is not begging or pleading, He is generously offering peace with God to humanity who desires and deserves no peace. His terms? Unconditional Surrender. If we reject His offer, at death [or the Second Coming] we will face His eternal judgment.
Christ came to earth, was humiliated and subject to human authority. But now He rules earth [and the universe] from His throne in heaven. Nothing done on earth will ever effect His rule, authority or power. All those who rage against Him are ultimately impotent. They make great noises and try to hurt His representatives on earth, but Jesus rules over them and turns their "great" plans to His own purposes. In this is the hope and comfort of the Church.