“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” (Hebrews 1:3).
Who can fathom the fact that Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power”? Who can grasp all of the manifold implications of these words? Surely it is no exaggeration to say that neither man nor angel nor being of any kind can possibly take in or comprehend these things. Indeed, the power of Jesus Christ is infinitely above comprehension.
And the means by which he displays his power is his word. But why does the text say that “he upholds the universe by the word of his power,” rather than “the power of his word”? Is there a difference between these two?
To say “the word of his power” means that Jesus’ word derives its force from his power. It means that his power is antecedent to, and greater than his word. I may issue a decree that the universe be upheld or that a tree die or that a person be healed or raised from death, but the problem with my decrees is that I have no power to give force or effect to my word. This is not the case with Jesus: he has unimaginable power that gives eternal force and effect to all of his words.
Therefore, while it may sound better in English to say “the power of his word,” this is, in the end, a nonsensical statement because power can only belongs to his word if he first had the power to make his word effective. This is why text reads, “…he upholds all things by the word of his power.”
What’s left, then, is to stand in utter awe of Jesus Christ who can issue a decree like, “The universe shall be upheld,” and who has the power to effect that decree in all of its tangential implications.
No wonder the angels worship him!