Hebrews 1:1-3

“But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 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.”

Jesus is at the center of the message of Hebrews. His superiority above the prophets, angels and Moses will be established in this chapter. Nothing has equal authority with God’s Son. He is the only source of eternal salvation and the One who makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God.

Jesus is the “exact representation” of God. What does this mean? The Greek word here for “exact representation” is “charakter” and is the only place in the NT where it is used. It refers to the mark that an engraving stamp leaves on a wax seal or coin; the engraving on the coin or seal and the impression made in the wax is exact. This is an example of what Jesus is to God. Jesus radiates God’s glory because he shares God’s nature and essence. Whatever God is in his character and nature, Jesus is the exact representation!

We don’t have to look far to find out what kind of God we serve; all we need do is look to Jesus. If you want to learn more about who God is, study the life of Jesus. What a gracious and loving thing to do. In our limited minds and understanding, God came in the form of man, something we could understand and identify with, in order to help us know him better.

Six things we learn about Jesus from these verses:

  • The Son is the radiance of God’s glory. Jesus is God’s glory, and since Jesus reveals God’s glory during his time on earth, we learn that God’s glory is the glory of suffering love. William Barclay says, “It is not a glory that crushes men and reduces them to abject servitude, but rather it serves, loves and in the end dies for them.”
  • The Son is the appointed heir of all things. To be an heir to something is to inherit it. In the end, Jesus will have the final say. He will have the eventual victory. God’s glory revealed a suffering love yes, but it was also backed by his power, and in the end, the kingdoms of this world, will be the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ.
  • The creative action belongs to Jesus. The early church believed that the Son had been God’s agent in creation. Colossians 1:16 states, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (NIV) Jesus was with God at creation, he existed before time began.
  • Jesus sustains all things by his powerful word. God did not create the world and then step back and leave it to itself. John 1:1 states, “In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God” (NIV). The Word went forth and accomplished its purpose. It is still accomplishing its purpose today. There was a sure beginning and there will be a sure end, and he will carry each of us to that destined end.
  • Jesus provided purification for sins. Jesus’ mission on earth was to redeem mankind from sin. By his sacrifice he paid the price for sin, and by his continual presence, he sets us free from sin.
  • Jesus is at the right hand of God. As believers, Jesus now stands before the Father to intercede on our behalf. Through Jesus, we have access to the Father. When God looks at us, he sees us as he sees Jesus. We are covered with Jesus’ righteousness. We do not approach a throne of condemnation but one of grace, mercy and love.


Romans 8:29 says that God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son. If Jesus is the exact representation of God, then we are being conformed to the image of God. This takes us back to Genesis. We were created in the image of God. Jesus’ death and resurrection makes it possible for mankind to get back to God’s original design for us: to be the sealed imprint of God’s nature where we reflect back to him, his nature and character. While Jesus is the focus of Hebrews, understanding who Jesus is and his purpose on earth, helps us to understand who we are and our purpose on earth. Understanding Jesus’ identity helps us understand our own. Through Jesus, we have been saved FROM sin and redeemed TO our original image as children that reflect the glory of God.