Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Exalted Christ

Heb.1:1-6 - God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
emove the shoes from your hearts for you are on holy ground. It is quite beyond us to fully understand what took place at the Incarnation. Oh we can construct some convenient theology with shallow words that describe a “God made as a man” kind of flannel board presentation. But we cannot speak words of resplendent glory which radiate that which that truth demands. Jesus, the Word, was always God from all eternity past.
Even the Trinity is a mystery which is why so many mangle it. But the non-negotiable essence of the Trinitarian revelation is that Jesus was always God. He was not a result of sexual relations in the spirit world as the Mormons teach. They teach that Jesus and Satan were the two eldest brothers of God and had to earn their deity. That is not only a convoluted mess, but it is damnable heresy.
Jn.1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
ut somehow a few humans caught a shaded glimpse of His glory. And this God dwelt among man for several decades while He revealed Himself and journeyed toward His ultimate mission, the cross. I have been to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan and I’ve watch people stand back and admire a Rembrandt painting. And those who can actually understand just what they are seeing and the depth of the artistic talent and expression are the ones who are most affected.
The ones who know Christ and His eternal beauty and redemptive glory are those whose lives are forever affected, not just as stand back admirers, but as the clay that has been affected by the Potter’s hands. But in an incredible truth Jesus is not a work of art by the Universal Artist, He IS that Artist!! Who can know the depth of that glorious mystery? The writer of Hebrews says He is the “express image of his person” which is to say that Jesus is God in human, visible form.
That is the colossal truth for all eternity. It comes with all the hows and whys that are hidden in the Godhead. Time had been on a journey which ultimately led to Bethlehem, and on that night God sent an angelic choir to announce the event and serenade His only begotten Son. Many religions suggest that man is or can be God, but Christianity reveals that God has become a man. It is the fathomless condescension that was required to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness and the sentence of eternal death. Why would God who could do anything seek out our love at such a high cost?
The human mind reasons, “Well Jesus was God so He knew after He died He could be brought back to life.” Yes, and Jesus even prophesied that very fact. But God the Son still experienced the suffering of human death, excruciating death. But it is impossible to understand how Christ suffered for sin in that one human frame. And when suffering is on a universal scale it has to be beyond our poor ability to comprehend. In effect, Jesus endured the punishment of eternal hell for every sinner in the space of about six hours. Bow your pitiful head and meditate upon that.
But God the Son hid His glory inside of human flesh so that He might provide a ransom for our souls which were prisoners of sin. I realize that sin is no longer a relevant topic today. The whole world lies in the wicked one. They are oblivious to their impending doom. But Jesus, the Christ of God, is holding out redemption to whosoever will believe in Him. To say He is beautiful is to diminish His glory.

Brilliant as the Sun and with the incandescence of a billions stars, the Risen Christ rules and reigns from His throne.

To know Him is to love Him and to love Him is to serve Him.

1 comment:

Cal said...

The most humbling effect is that He is beyond our foolish perceptions. He had nothing that would draw us to him. He was probably average or ugly and nothing particularly aesthetically pleasing.

Yet He was Love Incarnate, that is true Beauty!