This Fall, I have the pleasure of studying Hebrews with some wonderful friends who share such amazing insights, I feel like they all should write devotionals or speak at church retreats. They’ve helped me look at this book with a range of fresh perspectives that bring some of the older – and honestly, difficult to understand – words and passages to life and applicability for our present times.
Right out of the gate, we hit this verse that speaks to the greatness of Jesus, and were fascinated by this description of His nature, captured in the term “radiance.”
In the Greek, this means “reflected brightness,” or “effulgence” (see what I mean by archaic language?). So Christ reflects the brightness of God’s majesty, which makes sense since He is the exact imprint – a precise reproduction – of God’s nature.
Our group talked about how “radiant” isn’t a label we use that often nowadays, except in a few specific circumstances to describe the faces of:
1) A bride on her wedding day
2) A woman after she gives birth and holds her baby for the first time
3) A believer on their deathbed as they draw their final breaths before entering eternal glory
Isn’t that striking, how we perceive someone as radiant or glowing when they’re delighting in an overwhelming moment of joy – even if that moment involves pain and suffering? And how much of that luminosity is a reflection of the pure brilliance of the object which the person is beholding – the bride, her groom; the mother, her child; the believer, their Savior seated on the throne.
There’s a reason so many VBS programs over the decades have utilized the pun-ny “Son-shine” theme.
Jesus is the Light of the World, the Lamb who is the Lamp; He shines in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. And the more we’re with Him, soaking in His grace, the more our lives will reflect His bright hope in a world shuttered in darkness.
May we shine like little radiant lights mirroring His glory.