“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:3
Imagine you extended your arm and held up an average bottle of water.
How long do you think you could keep your arm outstretched? A few minutes? An hour? Several hours?
Though the bottle doesn’t weigh that much, it would grow heavier with each passing moment. Sooner or later, your strength would give out, you’d lose your grip, and the water bottle would crash to the ground.
Now…imagine for a moment if you had to uphold not the meager weight of a plastic water bottle but the weight of the entire universe.
While impossible for us, it’s nothing for Jesus.
He sustains “all things by His powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3).
Jesus, the God who spoke the universe into existence (John 1:3 and Hebrews 11:3), didn’t merely set it all into motion and back away. He didn’t flip on a cosmic ‘autopilot’ switch and take a nap. On the contrary, Jesus remains very much in control. At this moment, He’s “holding all things together” (Colossians 1:17).
And “all things” means ALL things, from the tiniest subatomic particle to the vast expanse of billions of galaxies.
It would be inaccurate to equate Jesus to the mythical Greek god, Atlas, who is believed to have placed the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Unlike Atlas, Jesus is 100% real, not mythical.
Unlike Atlas, Jesus is an active, sustaining God, not a fake, passive god with no power. Jesus is intimately involved in His creation.
The word for ‘sustain’ in this passage means that not only does Jesus hold the universe in His hands, but He’s also moving it along to fulfill His divine plan. In other words, His hands are on the galactic steering wheel, so to speak. He’s driving all things toward their ultimate destination for His glory.
Now think about this.
While our arm begins to shake after only a few minutes of holding up a bottle of water, Jesus isn’t tired. His arms aren’t trembling from sustaining the incomprehensible burden of all things. In fact, He’s as strong now and forever as He was in eternity past.
If we really stop and let all this sink in, our hearts should explode in worship. The writer of Hebrews wants to expand our understanding of who Jesus is. He is the “radiance of “God’s glory and the exact representation of His being” (verse 3). He is far greater than any little god we try to fit neatly into our lives.
Jesus is the Author, Ruler, and Sustainer of the universe.
Who are we to try to shrink Him down and make Him bow to our will?
But there’s even more…
If Jesus easily sustains the weight of the universe, don’t you think He can sustain you?
As He says through the prophet Isaiah, “Don’t be overwhelmed, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
I don’t know what you’re trying to sustain today. A business? A home? Responsibilities out in the community? Most likely, it’s a combination of things.
But here’s what I do know.
Sustaining anything is incredibly hard work.
Don’t lose heart. The One who upholds the universe is upholding you.
It’s never been your job to sustain everything, anyway!
That’s His job.
Your job is to surrender everything.
“Jesus doesn’t need your strength; He has more than enough power on His own. He simply asks for your weakness; He has none of that Himself.” Charles Spurgeon
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH