Dr. Dan Hayden •
I’ve known a few characters in my life. But I think I’d rather have character than be a character. “Character”—that’s our word for today.
Did you ever pour plaster of Paris into a rubber mold and then, after it hardened, pealed the rubber off to discover an exact likeness of the mold now formed into the plaster figure? Well, that’s the idea expressed in Hebrews 1:3, when it says that Jesus Christ is “the exact representation of God’s nature.”
“Exact representation” is the Greek word karaktare, from which we get our English word “character.” This word actually comes from a word that means “to engrave.”
In classical Greek it was used of the actual engraving tool used in the minting of coins (the die or the stamp). The mold was the karaktare and the coin was the exact impress. Eventually the word became an idiom for a person’s features—hence, their “character.”
Now, when this word is used of Jesus in Hebrews 1:3, it is saying that He is the karakter of God’s nature—the mold of the very essence of God. The Apostle Paul put it this way in Colossians 2:9, “In Him (In Jesus) dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” In other words, everything that God is, He is. He is the character of God. The “exact representation.”
Say, how acquainted are you with the character of Jesus?