Jesus, the exact representation of His nature
Hebrews 1 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
God’s Final Word in His Son
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
5 For to which of the angels did He ever say,
“You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again,
“I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”?
6 And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says,
“And let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says,
“Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.”
8 But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”
10 And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, 12 And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.”
13 But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
Today’s text begins saying: God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. Many people will use the words that Jesus is the exact representation of God’s nature to limit the nature of God rather than to see the fullness of His nature in Christ. They will point to the way Jesus lived, to His nature of love and compassion, to His nature of meekness, mercy and grace. They will point to Jesus willingness to associate with the outcasts and sinners and they will say that all of those are the exact representation of the nature God. Of course they are right. Jesus says: “I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30) In John 5:19-20 He says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing.” In John 12:49 He says: “I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.” So Jesus then was not only the representation of God’s nature, He was and is also the representative of God’s nature. Everything He said and did revealed the nature of God. The representation of God’s nature of compassion, love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and acceptance are all evident in the life of Christ.
A partial truth though can be as deceptive as a lie. If Jesus is the exact representation of the nature of God, then we also need to look at all that Jesus said and even more than how He lived, we need to acknowledge why He came and how and why He died. John 3:16 says: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Look though at the fullness of God’s nature revealed in Christ. Verses 17-21 say: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.And this is the condemnation,that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.Foreveryone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have beendone in God.” The love of God spoken of in verse 16 was not simply a feeling or an emotion. It was more than a decision. The love of God was demonstrated or represented by Jesus agonizing death on the cross. Grace was not given by a thought or an edict of God. God’s nature of grace, the exact representation of grace is the death of Jesus on the cross, where He who had no sin, paid the price for our sin.
We also see in these verses that Jesus represented God as light in the darkness. 1 John 1:5 says: God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. Look though at what verses 6-10 continue to say about the light of God, the light that Jesus represented. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. In John 8:12, Jesus says: "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." So, the representation of the light of God in Christ is made so that we would choose light rather than darkness. According to Jesus words, those who love and choose darkness rather than light will be condemned. Along with mercy and grace, God’s nature also includes justice and righteousness. These do not contradict each other, but rather are part of the exact nature of God. See, it is not Jesus or God who condemns, but rather it is in choosing darkness rather than light that some are condemned. Condemnation is not part of the nature of God, but those who choose to live contrary to His nature of light, also choose condemnation for themselves.
Look also at the context of the declaration that Jesus is the exact representation of the nature of God. The text says: But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.” But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet”? The nature of God and Jesus is also that He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He rules the heavens and the earth. The time that Jesus lived on earth as a man is indeed part of the exact representation of the nature of God. But, Jesus was before the foundation of the world and He will be even after the end of this age. Revelation 1:8 says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,”says the Lord God,“who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” To know the exact nature of God in Christ, we must know Him who is: “The Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Revelation 22:13) We must know the eternal infinite nature of God. We must know I AM.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; that You spoke and are speaking and will speak to reveal Your exact nature. May we see and be the answer to Your prayer in John 17:20-23 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.And the glory which You gave Me I have given them,that they may be one just as We are one:I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” May we become one with the full and exact nature of God revealed in Christ. Amen.