As we continue to look at Jesus, who He is, and what He’s done, we look at Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (CSB) The writer of Hebrews shows us who Jesus is, what His character is, and why He is the only perfect sacrifice.
In verse three, we learn that Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory.” In his commentary on Hebrews, J. Vernon McGee says, “…we would know very little about God apart from the revelation that God has given in His Son. The Lord Jesus Christ is the brightness we see. No one has seen God, but we know about Him now through Jesus Christ.” In his commentary, Albert Barnes states that Jesus reflects God’s glory and is the proper expression of God’s nature.
We also learn that Jesus sustains “all things by His powerful word.” J. Vernon McGee says that Jesus created all things. He is actively engaged in holding everything together. Jesus not only is God, but He created everything, and He holds it all together just by His word.
The next thing we learn is that Jesus made purification for our sins. Being God, He was the only perfect sacrifice for our sins. Barnes says, “He, by His own unassisted agency, purified us.” McGee says, “The Lord Jesus Christ provided the cleansing for our sins. He purged our sins. He has paid the penalty for them.” Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (KJV) Jesus took our place and paid the death penalty! When we come to Jesus and ask Him to be our Savior, Lord, and Master, we are accepted, and become part of His family by adoption! We are fully forgiven and redeemed.
Then we learn in our verse today that after He made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Father. Why did He sit down? Because the work of redemption was completed. J. Vernon McGee says, “The Lord Jesus received a glory and a majesty when He went back to the Father’s throne that He never had before…because in the glory now is the man with nail-pierced hands and the prints of nails in His feet and a spear wound in His side. Even in His glorified body they are there, and when we see Him, we shall know Him by the prints of the nails in His hands.” There is nothing left to be done for our redemption. Jesus did it all!
For the Hebrews, this meant they no longer had to sacrifice bulls, lambs, or rams. They didn’t have to make sacrifices for their sins every year. Jesus did it once and for all! The work is finished. He was the supreme sacrifice. He was the only man who could be our substitute because He was also God. He was perfect, having no sin found in Him. “God paid a ransom to save you from the impossible road to heaven which your fathers tried to take, and the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver as you very well know. But he paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 TLB)
Jesus’ sacrifice paid the debt of sin completely. Nothing else needs to be done! Now He is sitting at the right hand of God, the Father, interceding for us. He prays for us! He goes to the Father on our behalf! When we sin and ask forgiveness, Jesus pleads for us to God, and says, “I paid for their sin, their sins are covered by My blood that was shed for them. The work is finished.”