Radiance

“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. “—Hebrews 1:3 (NLT)

The dictionary defines radiation as “the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles.” Though it’s not something we constantly have on our minds, it’s something we experience every day through things like ultrasounds, X-rays, heat, radio waves, visible light, microwaves, and the sun.

Radiation is a good thing, but it can also be bad. For the last remnants of mankind in the Terminator franchise, The Matrix trilogy, or the Mad Max films, who survived a nuclear holocaust, radiation is not so good. For Superman, who gets his powers from the radiation of our solar system’s yellow sun, it’s a good thing.

And in the case of Jesus, radiation is a very good thing! You see, our verse today tells us, “The Son radiates God’s own glory.” The Greek word used here (apaugasma) speaks of “a light flashing forth (from); an intense shine.” This is a powerful idea to me, because it evokes the principle of flash blindness. If you’ve ever taken a photo, you may know what I’m referring to. However, as it pertains to nuclear radiation, flash blindness has much more intense effects, which is caused by the initial brilliant flash of light produced by the nuclear detonation.

This is what Jesus does in our hearts. The effects of Christ in us, of the light of the Father radiating within us . . . it’s like the effects of yellow sun radiation on Superman, but much more profoundly and eternally powerful. We’re fueled by His radiance, strengthen by it, and it makes us “soar on wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV). It burns away the sin from within us, as God “made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV).

Christ is the eternal radiance that supremely reflects the brilliant, bright glory of God. His eternal light has the power to break through everything that could ever possibly keep us in darkness; it can burn out every resistance exerted by sin.

As a Christ-follower, our lives can irradiate the world around us with the brilliant light of God. As Christ dwells in us, He can use us to radiate “God’s own glory” and express “the very character of God” with our lives. Or, we can poison the air around us with our own sinful nature. The question to ask is, “What kind of radiation am I giving off?”

 

DIG: Consider all the passages in the Bible that speak of God as light. Search online for “God is light” passages.

DISCOVER: How have you seen the radiance of Christ shine in your life? What effects did it have? Has God ever used someone else to radiate His glory in your life? Has He used you in the lives of others?

DISPLAY: Here are three things you can do today . . . 1) Right now, stop what you’re doing and pray. Thank the Lord for shining His light into your life, for radiating His glory and character into you every day. 2) Reach out to someone the Lord has used to shine light into your life and thank them for how He used them. Show your appreciation for their service and love. 3) Find ways to radiate the light of Christ into someone’s life today. Ask the Lord to show you who and how!

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.