Advent: The Radiance of the Glory of God
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“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 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, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” (Hebrews 1:1-4)
Read: Hebrews 1
Hebrews 1 gives us glorious insight into the identity of our Savior—the baby Messiah born in Bethlehem. Before the stable, shepherds, and wise men worshipped Christ as a baby, our King was on His throne. The greatest thing about the birth of Jesus is that this was His Advent (His coming). Jesus was never created, but rather He is Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Lord.
In the Old Testament, the Lord provided prophets for His people so they could know Him and know His ways. But, God wasn’t satisfied with human mediators. Yahweh, the triune Lord of Lords, pursues a personal relationship with His people. He is a glorious, holy, righteous God. But, He is also loving, merciful, and gracious. Jesus was no mere prophet. He is the very Son of God, the promised Messiah, Immanuel (God with us). He is the radiance of God’s glory and the physical imprint of God’s nature. The Son of God “upholds the universe by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3). God the Father sent his Son to become one of us. The glory of our Lord is so intense that He entered our broken, sinful world and wasn’t tainted by it. Rather, He transformed hearts and minds—redeeming them for His glory.
2 Reasons for the Advent
Hebrews 1 reveals two reasons for Christ’s advent. First, God himself came to commune with us and reveal himself as never before. This is cause for joyous celebration! On Christmas morning, the Creator of the universe came to visit His creation—in a humble stable found in the rundown town of Bethlehem. Second, Christ came to make purification for sins. This is why Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb of God.” He is the perfect, sacrificial Lamb who came to earth for the express purpose of conquering Satan through living a sinless life, paying our sin debt on the Cross, and rising again on the third day.
“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:20-21)
Jesus is greater than the prophets, greater than angels, and greater than any created being. Right now He is seated in glorious majesty on His throne–upholding the universe by the word of His power.
- Don’t forget Christ’s humanity. When you think on Christmas this year, meditate on Mary and Joseph giving birth to Christ in a manger.
- Don’t forget Christ’s deity. Meditate on the risen King in glory and remember that He left His place of glory to rescue us and purify us for an eternal relationship with Himself.
- Treasure the Word of God. Read the Bible broadly this month, not just a few verses each day. Create a daily habit of feasting on the truths of Jesus.
- Worship Jesus. Spend time in daily prayer and meditation over the Scripture passages you are reading. Praise the Lord this season. Thank Him for the immense love, joy, peace, and grace that He provides.
Lord Jesus, you are glorious and holy above what I can imagine. You are beyond us, but you came down to be one of us so that you could rescue us! Thank you for loving me in the middle of my humanity. Teach me how to daily remember your glory and walk in a way that reflects your glory to those around me.
Family Discipleship Time
- Why did God send His Son to earth to live like us? (To rescue His people by sacrificing himself and raising again after 3 days.)
- Why is it important to remember Jesus lived in Heaven before being born as a baby? (Jesus is Lord. He was never created but has always existed. He created the world by His power.)
- Where is Jesus now? (In Heaven, on His throne)
- Discuss what “glory” means. (Some simple examples could include light too bright for any darkness to stop it, a perfection that is too good for us to understand, value so high that no person could ever reach it.)
- Video: Story of God by Matt Papa