Exact Representation

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. It looks like my flu could be in its last stages. Let’s hope so. I did manage to rest through the night but some Nyquil could have had something to do with that. As for the other area, it’s a work in progress, but I’ve not been one to give up on something worthwhile easily. I ask for your continued prayers.

For now, we continue our Trinitarian commentary with a look at Hebrews 1:3. Let’s go to the text:

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.

Early Christian apologists explained the relationship to the Father and the Son as to the sun and its light. What the sun gives off is what it is. The same can be said here as the Son is the radiance of the glory of the Father. God’s glory is shone through the Son and we know who the Father is by knowledge of the Son.

Most interesting for our purposes however is the idea that the Son is the exact representation of the being of the Father. The word used in the Greek for the exact representation is charakter. It is meant to give the idea of an engraving or stamping that is taking place. If you put a stamp down on wax, for instance, you could leave the charakter. It would be an exact representation of the stamp.

Jesus is just that to the Father. If the Father were to leave an impression of his very nature in a stamp, that would be seen as the Son. The Son does not just act like the Father in some ways nor does he just have the communicable attributes that we have. The Son is the exact representation. If it is an aspect of the nature of the Father, then you can be sure it will show up in the nature of the Son.

The Son also sustains all things by his powerful Word. It is because of the Son that you are now and it is because of the Son that I am able to type out this message. This is also on parallel with the Wisdom literature where it is by God’s Wisdom that the universe is held together.

We next have mention of the work of the Son in redemption. Jesus is the one who came and made redemption for us so that we could be free from the grip of sin and death. Notice however what he did when he was done. He sat down. Those words should be cause of excitement for everyone who is a Christian. It means Jesus’s works were done. This is a play we’ll see throughout this book as the author seeks to show Jesus is superior to the Old Covenant. In that covenant, the priest did not sit down. He always had work to do and after atonement was made one year, he would have to make it the next. Jesus, however, sat down. His work of purification was done for all time.

There is also the distinction between him and the Father in that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Jesus is not the Father, but the writer has no problem saying that Jesus is one who bears the exact same nature of the one he is with. Once again, we see the message of John 1:1 being brought out.

We shall continue our look at Hebrews 1 tomorrow.

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