There are some statements that, if they are true, change everything. Some sentences, if we understand them as true, should have such an impact on our being that we are never ever the same. I read one such sentence about Jesus recently in Hebrews 1.
Hebrews 1:3a — He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
Here is what grabs me. If Jesus is who this verse says he is, then we can only have one wise response to him. If this is true, all other social and ethical arguments, all other apologetic arguments, all other political arguments fade away. The gravity of this statement being true is incalculable.
Interestingly, what caught me was not the first clause. Yes, Jesus is God. Yes, Jesus is the exact imprint of the glory of God made flesh for humanity to see. And that is more important than anything you have seen on the news in your entire life.
But what really got me is the phrase, “and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Stop and think what it means if this is true. Jesus, by the word of his power, his own personal power, his God power, holds the universe together. Jesus keeps the stars in the sky. Jesus keeps the earth spinning. Jesus makes gravity work. Jesus holds your atoms together so they do not fly apart.
How does that truth change everything? We live in a world of people who believe that they have the right to assess the fitness of Jesus for their worship or faith. People consider Jesus as one among many options. They may like Jesus; they may like another world religion. They may decide that scientific naturalism or pagan nature worship better fits what they want. But if it is really true that Jesus is the one who holds the universe together, then there is nothing left to argue.
Consider the concept of standing before God. Imagine that you are suddenly in the presence of Jesus. And realize that he has been holding the universe together since creation. What excuse would you offer him for not obeying his commands? How could you say to him that you preferred another option? What thing would you tell him is more important than him to you? How could you expect to be evaluated by a standard other than that of the one who created and who sustains the entirety of reality? How could you be foolish enough to tell him that you think he has been doing it wrong the whole time?
Friends, if that little sentence is wrong, then none of our lives and none of our faith matters. But if that little sentence is true—and it is—then we are created by Jesus, sustained by Jesus, and obligated to Jesus. We owe him our lives and our worship. And he has every right to tell us exactly what he wants of us. He has the right to save us or to leave us alone to our own folly. He has the right to treat us gently or to refine us with the fires of trials. He has the right to tell us what life is, what gender is, what marriage is, what worship is, what truth is, what our purpose is, what church is. If it is indeed true that he upholds the universe by the word of his power, then our role as part of creation is to respond to him exactly as he commands.