The person and work of Jesus Christ

Pastor Jeff Struecker

For the next few weeks, we’ll talk tonight about the person and work of Jesus. We’ll talk about who Jesus is as a person and who he is as God for the first half of this. And about what he did when he left heaven and came to Earth in the second half.

There is stuff all over the Bible that we could use to look at for this. As I said a month ago, the Bible is chock-full of information about Jesus. Many passages in the Old Testament reference God’s messiah, but they don’t mention Jesus by name, and the entire new testament is built around Jesus. In fact, the whole Bible is really built around one person. So I had to really discipline myself to narrow down one passage from the Bible. This passage is so important that I want you to commit it to memory because this Bible verse gives the kernel of essence of who Jesus is and what he did.

Memory Verse

This Bible verse comes from the book of Hebrews, and Hebrews was written after Jesus’s death and resurrection. I think a sermon was preached to the Jews, and then somebody wrote that sermon down, and we call that book of Hebrews, which means that the entire Book of Hebrews in the Bible is really trying to explain to the Jews. This Jewish rabbi was born in a carpenter’s house and walked in their midst for a few years. Hebrews is trying to tell them that guy who walked in your midst was much more than just a rabbi.

He was a lot more than Mary’s son and Joseph the Carpenter’s Boy. And the Book of Hebrews starts to describe who Jesus is from the very first verse. So we’re going to look at Hebrews one verse three, and here’s what it says.

I want to point out a couple of huge concepts you read in this verse: The Son of God Speaking of Jesus is the radiance of God’s Glory. Now, the word glory in this verse is a word that the Hebrews would use to describe light in the darkness. God’s bright, shining glory would be the light that shines into the darkness. The glory also had some substance to it. It had some weight to it. It’s the thing that gave life meaning, weight, and substance. There’s a phrase right in the middle of this verse that I want you to hang on to. I asked you to memorize it because of that phrase right in the middle of the verse when Hebrews chapter one verse three calls him the exact expression of his God’s nature.

I want you to consider what the Bible just said for an executive. An exact expression would be, ” Hey, I just made a painting of this beautiful mountain view, and the painting is the perfect representation of the mountain view. But unfortunately, the mountain view is three-dimensional, and the painting is two-dimensional. So although it is picture-perfect to the eye, it’s still not exactly the same thing.”

And God who is spirit, who exists, who is so grand, so glorious that He even tells Moses, ” Listen, you can’t see my face and live.” God sends His exact expression, and the Bible tells us that when we see Jesus, we see exactly what God is like. Not just visibly what God is like, but the phrase in Hebrews one is, we’re seeing God’s nature put on display, meaning everything that you see in Jesus is how God is.

Where Jesus gets angry, that’s where God gets angry. When Jesus weeps, that’s what makes God weep. When Jesus is happy, that’s what delights the heart of God the Father. When Jesus is sad, that’s what breaks God the Father’s heart. And when you study Jesus in the Bible, you are studying God; that’s the person of Jesus. But this verse also describes the work of Jesus: He sustains all of God’s world, all of God’s powerful word.

Remember, back at the beginning of the Bible, God spoke the word light, and light appeared. God said the words Earth, sky, mountains, streams, plants, animals, and all those things appeared. His powerful word made everything that we see around us. Do you know why the universe isn’t spinning out of control? According to Hebrews 1:3, Jesus is keeping it all under control, and he’s sustaining it. He’s keeping it all going right now because Jesus has all the power of God and all of God’s nature.

There’s also something that I want you to understand about Jesus here: when you see Jesus, you really are seeing the nature of God put on display, which brings me to a question.

A Challenge

The Father (Hebrews 1:3) said that Jesus was the radiance of His glory and the exact expression of His nature. He sustains everything that God created by His powerful word. These are all the ways that Jesus and God are the same. But this question asks you, how are they different? How exactly are they different? What is the exact difference between Jesus and God?