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NASB: 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.
Amplified: He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.
ESV: He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Expanded: The Son ·reflects [or radiates; shines forth] the glory of God [John 1:14] and shows exactly what God is like [ is the exact representation/imprint/stamp of his being/essence/nature]. He holds everything together [sustains/upholds all things] with his powerful word. When the Son made people clean from their [provided purification/cleansing for] sins [9:14], he sat down at the right side [hand; the most honored position beside a king; Ps. 110:1] of God, the Great One in heaven [the Majesty/Preeminence in the highest places; a Jewish way to avoid saying the divine name of God].
J. B. Phillips: God, who gave our forefathers many different glimpses of the truth in the words of the prophets, has now, at the end of the present age, given us the truth in the Son. Through the Son God made the whole universe, and to the Son he has ordained that all creation shall ultimately belong. This Son, radiance of the glory of God, flawless expression of the nature of God, himself the upholding principle of all that is, effected in person the reconciliation between God and man and then took his seat at the right hand of the majesty on high.
Wuest: Who, being the out-raying [effulgence] of His glory and the exact reproduction of His essence, and sustaining, guiding, and propelling all things by the word of His power, having made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Young’s Literal: who being the brightness of the glory, and the impress of His subsistence, bearing up also the all things by the saying of his might — through himself having made a cleansing of our sins, sat down at the right hand of the greatness in the highest.
Greek Scholar Kenneth Wuest writes: “The word substance deserves careful treatment. In Greek, it is hupostasis, made up of stasis “to stand,” and hupo “under,” meaning “that which stands under, a foundation.” It speaks of the ground on which one builds a hope. Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament report its use as a legal term. They say that it stands for “the whole body of documents bearing on the ownership of a person’s property, deposited in archives, and forming the evidence of ownership.” They suggest the translation, “Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.” The Holy Spirit energized act of faith which a believer exercises in the Lord Jesus is the title-deed which God puts in his hand, guaranteeing to him the possession of the thing for which he trusted Him. Thus, he would have assurance. Theologian Marvin Vincent translates, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” He says that “It is the firm grasp of faith on unseen fact.”
Pastor Charles Spurgeon writes: “Whatever God is, Christ is. The very likeness of God, the very Godhead of Godhead, the very Deity of Deity, is in Christ Jesus. Dr. John Owen, who loves to explain the spiritual meaning in the Letter to the Hebrews by the types in the Old Testament, explains the brightness of the Father’s glory by a reference to the Shekinah over the mercy seat, which was the only visible token of the presence of God there. An extraordinary brightness is said to have shone forth from between the cherubim. Now, Christ is God manifesting Himself in His brightness. But, on his forehead, the high priest wore a golden plate, upon which was deeply engraved, in Hebrew letters, the inscription, “Holiness to [or of] Yahweh.” Dr. Owen thinks there is a reference, in this “representation of his essence”—this cut-out inscription of God, as it were—to that which was on the forehead of the high priest, and which represented the glorious wholeness or holiness of Yahweh, which is His great glory. You see how glorious was His original—the “representation” of His Father’s person. How lowly did He become to purge away our sins, and that by Himself, too, using His own body to be the means, by His sufferings, of taking away our guilt. Not by proxy did He serve us, but by Himself. Oh, this is wondrous love!”
Pastor Vernon C. Grounds provides two wonderful illustrations for Hebrews 1:3 : “A Navy pilot was describing his complex helicopter to his parents one day. He told them that a small hexagonal nut held the main rotor to the mast of the helicopter. “Guess what we call that nut?” he asked his mother. She could only shrug her shoulders. With a smile, the pilot answered his own question: “It’s called a Jesus nut.” That may sound irreverent, but here’s an explanation. If that small piece of metal ever came off, the helicopter would not be able to stay in the air but would come crashing to the ground. So it’s understandable why pilots in the Vietnam War gave that little part the name “Jesus nut.” The writer to the Hebrews said that Jesus, who made the world, upholds “all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Because of Him, we inhabit a created cosmos, not a chaotic accident. He who made all reality keeps it from collapsing. We also need Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin and as Lord of our everyday lives. He is the One who can lift us above the degrading forces of evil in our world. If you feel as if your life is crashing down around you, remember that it’s Jesus who holds all things together—even your life. “Why don’t the stars fall down?” A child may ask that question, but so does an astronomer. And they both get essentially the same answer: A mysterious power or energy upholds everything and prevents our cosmos from collapsing into chaos. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that it is Jesus who upholds all things by the word of His power. He is the source of all the energy there is, whether the explosive potential packed inside an atom or the steaming kettle on the kitchen stove. That energy is not simply a mindless force. No, God is the personal power who created everything out of nothing, including the stars.”
When life’s problems are baffling, when you face some impossibility, call upon the wonder-working God who upholds all things. And remember that with our almighty God, nothing is impossible.
Maybe, like me, you’ve been on an airplane as it flew through a thunderstorm. All around you, you see and hear the storm’s beating rain and the wind whipping against the cabin wall. Looks of worry and panic cloud passengers’ faces as we wonder when will we get to the other side of the storm. We long to see the sun, and as soon as the plane has landed, we quickly form a line to get off. On such a turbulent flight we can dramatically experience the light and peace after a storm almost instantly. Peace replaces anxiety in just a moment as we break through a cloud and see the sun and its radiance just on the other side of the storm. As God’s children we do not need to wait until our personal storms have passed in order to see and experience the radiance, the substance, the light and peace of the Son—the Upholder of All Things. The Word of God, His truth, not only sustains us in the storms of life, but opens our eyes to see the Son, the exact representation of His nature, the radiance of God’s glory, while we are soaring through them.
Lord Jesus, Upholder of All Things, I want to know You and Your will. I’m willing to be willing to surrender to Your will. No matter what storms of life I may face, I will keep my eyes on the brightness of Jesus Christ, Your Son—the radiance of your glory! Help me to look to You and to trust in You today. There is great joy to be found in living with my eyes fixed on You. Help me to do that so that my life will be radiant with Your joy. May others be drawn to You because of the radiance and joy You have put in my heart. In Your mighty Name Above All Names—Upholder of All Things, we pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Hebrews 1:3 pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on Hebrews 1:3 pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is_________, I will_____________.”
Look Out—as you meditate on Hebrews 1:3 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post, you’ll love this page — Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent
* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ
How this book came to be…
Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, “This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista!
My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ …available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link.
Combining the beauty of Krista’s artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics.
Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:
Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.
Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”
Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)