“Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
HERE we face a description of Christ’s nature on the basis of the coincidence with God’s nature. The author of the Book of Hebrews elevates the image of Christ to illustrate it as the shining light of God’s nature, i.e. which proclaims the light of God that he considered as radiant as that of the sun that proclaims and reveals the sun’s nature. It is at the level of the sun that Christ, the Son of God, created saying: “Let there be light”1 and the sun appeared in existence. The Book of Hebrews tries here to reveal to us the appearance of God’s Son in the world. The mystery was actually the emitting of God’s remarkable Light, not a mere ordinary light as the sun’s light but as the light of God’s nature existing in His glory. This light appeared with Christ’s birth, and its shade was seen in the sky by the group of Wise Men who were observers of the stars and immediately knew it was the light of the King of Heaven appearing on earth. They immediately left their homes and traveled guided by the star that had appeared and lead them to Bethlehem where they offered gifts worthy of a King who will be worshipped and offered incense and inevitably suffer.
But the author of the Book of Hebrews knew the newborn was really the only image of God. He realized it from the splendor of the halo of glory that was revealed through unseen vision. He consequently gave us an illustration of the Divine Truth that appeared in the world being the splendor of the Light of God that proclaims the nature of Him who is coming to the world in the splendor of the Glory of God.
He then went on to describe He who is coming to the World and gave a special beautiful attribute to the splendor of God’s Glory in the Son. Because he realized through a great revelation that He is in the same image of God in essence, i.e. in complete conformance to the design of God’s nature whether in essence internally, or in form externally. This means that God’s glorious nature revealed in the form of man is in truth the form of God’s intrinsic Being. The author of the Book of Hebrews thus combined the splendor of the Glory that carries all God’s illuminating attributes with the image of His essence that carries the intrinsic nature of God as if it were a drawing of it!
It is astonishing that the author of the Book of Hebrews was the first to venture into the Divinity and glory of God to proclaim it in the person of Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem. He was the first prophet who gave the world the image of the Glory of Christ with the Father, which when Christ described the truth of His image in God said: “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,” and “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”2 He reproached Philip when he asked Christ to show the disciples God the Father and that it would suffice them, so Christ said: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”3
That which I emphasize and point out is that the Being of God the Father and of the Son is One Being in no way divisible. This astonishing unity of the Father and of the Son inevitably reflects on us which the Apostle John describes in Christ’s words addressing the Father: “You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they (the believers) also may be one in Us.”4 The mystery thus ends in One.
As we are one in God and in the Son then inevitably we must be together one, if not faith ceases.
How wonderful is the Book of Hebrews when it describes the Son as “upholding all things by the word of His power,” i.e. who tends, leads, stays awake and protects His creation confirming that no one can snatch them away from “My hand nor My Father’s hands.”5 For we are under God and the Son’s protection preserved, and safeguarded from the enemy’s despotism that roams about “seeking whom he may devour.”6
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in the procession of the triumph of His Son!7
21 June, 2005
1 Gen 1:3.
2 John 14:9, 10.
3 John 14:9.
4 John 17:21.
5 John 10:28, 29.
6 1Pet 5:8.
7 2Cor 2:14.
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium