Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Christ Is The Radiance Of God's Glory

BRIGHTNESS OF THE FATHER’S GLORY. Heb. i. 3. "God, the great Spirit, dwelleth in light which no man can approach unto. His habitation is dark with excessive brightness. But Christ is God come down to be a Brother, to set Himself before us in a form on which we can look without fear. The eye that dares to look at the sun aches and is distressed. But our eyes can bear that milder light which beams from the sun. It is refreshing and sweet and pleasant. So we cannot see God; He is veiled in terrible brightness. But we are made acquainted with God by means of Him who is the BRIGHTNESS OF THE FATHER’S GLORY—His Softened Radiance. For Christ says, ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also.’ All the glory of the divine character is seen in the Lord Jesus, and we can gaze on His countenance and His form. His dread does not fall upon us; His excellency does not make us afraid.

The Holy of Holies was a most sacred place. No footsteps ever trod its unpolluted floor save those of the high priest. But even he could not go in without incense because of the blaze of the Divine Glory which shone forth from the ark of the testimony. But when the cloud of incense arose and moderated the dazzling lustre, then he could enter without being destroyed by it. And Jesus Christ is like that incense. He is the medium through which the rays of the Godhead come to us in a way in which we can bear them. So we view the insupportable glory of God shining through the veil of our own nature. The Lord Jesus was found in fashion as a Man and humbled Himself that we might become familiar with Him. He was lowly and meek and self-denying. And yet, what lustre was there in His wisdom and knowledge! What glory beamed from Him when He cast out devils. What bright proofs of His Deity betrayed themselves from time to time to the confusion of His enemies. Ascended now into heaven, the brightness of His glorified Person none can conceive of. He fills all heaven with light, for the city has no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God lightens it, and the LAMB is the LIGHT thereof!

Oh, the delights, the heavenly joys, the glories of the place, where Jesus sheds the brightest beams of His overflowing grace!

How bright is the fierce lightning which plays around the dark cloud in the summer night! And how bright is the sun at noonday! But what is the brightness of the lightning or the sun compared with that celestial Light which beamed on Saul of Tarsus and struck him to the ground? It was a brightness above that of the midday sun—the BRIGHTNESS OF THE FATHER’S GLORY—which appeared to him. And Saul, unused to such distressing brightness, became blind for many days. Our eyes could not bear this glory of Christ now. When we shall see Him as He is, our eyes and our minds will be fitted for the dazzling vision. But those who are enlightened by the Spirit already see a little of His spiritual glory here on earth, and the sight of it rejoices the heart.

We connect brightness with gladness; it excites the mind and fills the heart with joy. How refreshing is the morning hour! How cheering are the bright beams of the sun after darkness! They awaken you and invite you to walk abroad in the meadows and wander beside the streams. And how lovely everything looks bathed in the glory of the sunbeams! The fields seem to laugh, and the little hills leap for very joy. The sparkling brook dances and exults in the sun’s bright ray. There is life and joy spread through all nature. Even the inanimate things—the little murmuring rills and the rustling trees—seem almost endued with voices wherewith to utter their delight. The little hills break forth before you into singing. The valleys shout for joy, and all the trees of the field clap their hands. What a contrast is all this to the dismal gloom which hung over everything during the absence of the sun! And so, when the BRIGHTNESS OF THE FATHER’S GLORY penetrates the darkness of our minds and shines into our hearts, what unspeakable delight fills our expanded souls! How do we exclaim, ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord; my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.’ The light is felt to be marvelous light, and we glory in Him who is GOD with us—God come down out of heaven to take part of our flesh and blood and thus to become our BROTHER.

James Large, Concise Names of Christ, p. 54-55