Out of Darkness (Hebrews 1:3a)

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3a)

Today I had a grand experience, helping my daughter to move out of her old apartment. As marvelous as moving can be under the best of situations, this one topped the list. You see, we moved her family out of the apartment but not into a new place. The reason for moving? They had a house fire that rendered the building uninhabitable.

With the electricity now turned off and the broken-out windows covered with plywood, the apartment was dark. I raked through wet sheet rock and charred paneling to try to locate salvageable items, all the while limited by the narrow cone of light coming from a head lamp.

You don’t appreciate the presence of light until you don’t have it. You don’t realize how incredibly dark a place can be–a place full of sherds of glass and jagged boards–until you’re there with the windows covered. Darkness, I can now attest, is not conducive to successful searching or moving.

I mention this because of the description of Jesus as the “radiance of God’s glory.” Radiance fills a place, a situation, a life, or a world with light. That feeble head lamp I wore this morning offered only a tiny fraction of the radiance provided by the sun through the windows or the lights on the ceiling. But even those normally ample light sources pale by comparison to the radiance of God’s glory.

God is so amazing that even the train of His robe filled the heavenly temple with glory according to Isaiah 6. That vision so overwhelmed Isaiah that he knew himself to be in deep trouble having witnessed it in his sinful state. That full glory of God overwhelms. But in Christ, the radiance of that glory comes to earth in a form fit for human experience.

Isaiah also tells us that the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2). I understood a small glimmer of that experience as I walked from the darkened bedrooms of Emily’s charred apartment into the well-lit living room. How much more light do we receive from Christ.