January 17, 2015
by Maria Fontaine
“He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of God’s nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power.”1
Jesus described Himself as “the light of the world,” but have you ever contemplated what that means?2 Jesus is the radiant brilliance of the Father that shines into our lives, manifesting the love and nature of God, illumining our way to the Father so that we can experience and ultimately come to understand who God is.
John 1 says that “In Him [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of men.” We couldn’t live without physical light that nourishes our bodies and the physical world around us. Likewise, without the spiritual light of God who is the source of all life, we would be lost in spirit and in “the shadow of death.” The Bible says concerning Jesus, “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”3
When Jesus came to earth He brought us the spiritual light of God that frees those who take it in, delivering them from death.4 That’s the essence of what salvation is: God sent His light to us, which is the source of eternal life, and when we take Jesus into our lives, we start to be filled with the brightness and life force of God.
Jesus is more than just the light, as incomprehensibly amazing as that is. He is also the imprint of God’s nature.
An imprint is a mark that identifies the maker, and God’s imprint in Jesus is the nature of God Himself. Jesus manifested God the Father’s nature through all He said and did. He presented God in a way that we, His human creations, could understand. As we look at Jesus and His life, we see glimpses of the very nature of God, the love of God, the expectations of God for us, and the mercy, forgiveness, and compassion of our God who has given us so much more than we could ask or imagine.5
We see God’s nature in every miracle, and in every word of forgiveness and hope Jesus spoke, and in His love that has the extra spiritual eye to see the good and possibilities, even when we’re at our worst. We see the tender gentleness as well as the fury against evil. Best of all, we see the way that God’s imprint on us can cause His light to shine out of our lives too and illumine others.8
Jesus said in prophecy:
I am a living expression of the very nature of the Father. Through My life on earth, through My sacrifice and through My gift of eternal life, I gave a picture of not just what God looks like, but the reality of who He is, so that you could approach Him in spirit and in truth.
The Father’s love is a part of His nature, but there is infinitely more about Him that you can learn from Me. You won’t fully experience or understand God in this life. Discovering God’s nature is an adventure that you’ll spend eternity experiencing. You’re just on the threshold, the very small beginning of something beyond your comprehension.
God’s radiance, Jesus, came into this world in such a small form: as a baby in a stable. So few even took notice. Yet He became the greatest thing that ever happened, providing salvation for all who would accept Him. As we grow closer to Jesus, we can increasingly radiate God’s Spirit in this life and ultimately throughout the universe and eternity.
When we look at ourselves, we probably don’t see the brilliance of God’s imprint. But then how many could have imagined what would come from a struggling woman and her poor husband for whom everything seemed to be going so terribly wrong? Having to leave their home behind, not knowing where she would deliver her baby. Having to give birth among the animals, laying her newborn son in a feed trough. Who would have imagined that such a troubled and seemingly “unblessed” beginning for that tiny new life would usher in the radiant imprint of God’s life and glory and sovereignty for all to see?
So if you feel like things have gone wrong in your life and are looking pretty bleak right now, you can still rejoice. If you have Jesus in your life, even the smallest space holds the potential for glorious things, when you’re letting God’s Spirit guide you.
That’s cause to face your day with a smile, because through the radiance of God’s nature made flesh for you, your future couldn’t be more wonderful.