The Light of Creation: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 8)
Who being the radiance of the glory…
Many people ask the question of those of us who hold strongly to the Biblical account of creation (God creating in a literal period of six 24-hour days, then resting on the seventh, literal, 24-hour day), “If the sun and stars were not created until day 4, how was there light on the earlier days?” While there are many pseudo-scientific answers that have been presented to address this question, we need not go beyond the scriptural texts, for in this passage, God gives us the answer. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. He is the effulgent splendor of God’s glory—of his greatness—of his “weightiness! What a wonderful thought, God’s glory cannot be contained or cloaked in darkness, but it must be seen, and who is the one who reflects that glory down upon the newly created earth? Jesus the Christ! And he continues to shine God’s glory down upon us for all time. Thus, when God the Father pronounced, “Let there be light!”, it was God the Son who revealed and reflected that light down upon a watching world. In addition, we are told that in the new creation that there will be no sun and no darkness, but the glory of God will be with our light we will exist to praise him and to glory in him.
Yet, the first line of this verse should not simply be seen in terms of creation, but in terms of all redemptive history! The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), believers are redeemed to the glory of God (Philippians 2:11), and Christ is the means by which God pours out and demonstrates that glory to his created order. Beloved, that ought to cause your heart to skip! The reason that we know of the sun is because it radiates its light and heat to us. The reason that we know that a flame is hot is because of the heat that radiates out from the flame. Beloved, the reason that we know of the glory of God is because God chose to radiate that glory to us in Christ. What a wonderful hope and promise, what a wonderful privilege given to him, and ought we not honor him appropriately? Ought we not pour out our praise for God the Son, not only for what he has done for us as believers, but for who he is. As Paul writes, there will come a time that even those who are eternally perishing will give Christ his due (Philippians 2:11), ought we not begin now? Loved ones, think through your days, your weeks, and your years; what does your private worship look like? Do we genuinely praise Christ in all we do and give him thanks for all we have been given? Do we praise him for who he is? Do we exalt him before a watching world with our words and with our lives? If not, what is holding us back? Jesus Christ is the very radiance—the effulgent splendor—of the glory of God; honor him as such.
Posted on May 19, 2008, in Expositions and tagged creation, effulgence, Glory, Jesus, Light, light of God's glory, praise Christ, radiance, radiance of God's glory. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.