Christ is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being… (Hebrews 1:3)
“Who do you say that I am?”
This is a question often asked by Jesus during his earthly life and work. It is an essential question of faith – one with which we continue to grapple today.
A key part of our Reformed heritage is the belief that Christ is the lens through which we view everything else. We say that, but often forget to reflect directly upon who Christ is. That is, in reality, the crux of the argument (if you’ll forgive the pun).
This verse comes from a passage of Hebrews that gives a direct description of who Christ in relationship to God. He is the begotten One: light from light, true God from true God. Through Christ God has spoken God’s purposes into the world.
When we say that Jesus was the imprint of God’s own being, it is less about the human dichotomy of male versus female, and entirely about God’s own heart. To be the imprint, the exact copy of God is no more or less than to share in God’s own love, as a part of God’s self.
This is why Saint Augustine called the Trinity – the Lover, the Beloved, and the Love that unites them. God’s heart, who God is, is entirely about perfect relationship and communion. And if Christ is an imprint of God’s own self, then that is who Christ is, too.
Jesus asks us this question repeatedly because who we say he is directly impacts how we envision God and our relationship to God. How we relate to God then impacts how we relate to one another.
In his humanness, Jesus reflects the glory of God – for we are beloved creations of the Lover, too. In Christ’s divinity, Jesus is the very imprint of who God is and how God is in this world: for a world where communion is the reality and not just a distant dream.
So who do you say Jesus is? Now, how are you going to reflect that Beloved One to the world?