Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Hebrews 1.3
I used to think that “the brightness of his glory” was a reference to a reflection of God’s glory. But, I believe the verse is a bit more specific and the brightness is a direct explanation of who Christ is. A reflection would lack the definiteness of the same nature and likeness of God, because it would remain a reflection. And we all know that a reflection is a mirror image, but has no concrete attributes of it’s own and really doesn’t exist. It is a image, a reflection, or a copy, but not the real thing. Jesus is the real thing!
The brightness of Christ’s glory is identical to the glory of God. And the brightness is explanation of the clarity of who God is in the person of Jesus Christ. He is a light that shines forth and He is impossible to miss or ignore. His light shines brightly and His light shines as bright as the brightness of God the Father.
Jesus is the express image of who God is. This means that He is identical to God, a perfect match. There are no differences in their character, essence, or attributes. A painter cannot perfectly duplicate a painting, nor a sculpture perfectly duplicate his work. We cannot even imagine the precise nature of two different things being exactly the same because nowhere in the universe can that be true of anything. Not so with the God and Christ, because Hebrews 1.3 clearly teaches that Father and Son are the same.
They exercise the same authority and power. Christ demonstrates power in His work of creation. (Hebrews 1.3, Ephesians 3.9, Colossians 1.16, Revelation 4.11) Not only is He the source of creation, but he also upholds His creation. It is because of Christ that everything does not spin out of control. Christ is heir of all things. Since Christ is the creator, and since He is the one who has reconciled His creation through the cross, He is the heir. In the fullness of times He will restore all of creation. And He will be pleased. (Exciting, right?)