Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jesus is Not a Big Deal

Now, lest you start writing a powerful quick and vehement response based upon the title of this blog, please read on...at least for awhile. Some people asked the question, "So, what's the big deal with Jesus?" The reality is that Jesus is not a big deal, He's the whole deal! (This thought is not original with me. I gleaned it from Andrew Purves book, "The Crucifixion of Ministry," pg. 43ff) You see it is all about Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote,
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)
This week's sermon deals with the fourth article in our Proposed Statement of Faith for the Evangelical Free Church of America. It states,
We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel's promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
This article is critical to who we are as evangelical Christians. It not only defines what we believe, but who we are. The church rises and falls upon the truth contained within this article of our Statement of Faith. In it's lines we learn of who Jesus is, and what He came to accomplish, and how He accomplish it as well. As the old hymn reminds us, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."

The power of this belief we hold is beautifully stated forth in the Apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians, and as Paul's prologue says, the basis for our Christian life and unity are bound up in this eternal reality. The Word of God records,
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature£ of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Vital to our understanding of Jesus Christ and His mission is the reality of His dual nature, that He is both fully God and fully man. As can be imagined, this is truly a great and awesome mystery, one that is not easily explained, but yet is crucial to our faith. In fact, it is a truth that we must hold on to by faith alone. Truth be known it is this mystery which continues to draw me to Christ, and helps me to remember that He is God, and I am not. I must remember that His reality cannot be limited by my capacity to comprehend. In this regard I appreciate the song by Graham Kendrick entitled, Meekness and Majesty. Part of the song declares,
Meekness and majesty manhood and deity
In perfect harmony the Man who is God
Lord of eternity dwells in humanity
Kneels in humility and washes our feet
O what a mystery meekness and majesty
Bow down and worship for this is your God
This is your God.
It is the great and awesome mystery of God Incarnate that draws me to my knees, and causes me to confess, with all of creation, Jesus Christ is Lord!

So, you see, Jesus is not the big, He is the whole deal. It is all about Him, the One who is God incarnate. The Eternal One, made flesh. The Sovereign God come to be our Savior. What a majestic mystery.


trinity said...

Well written, and it goes with our lessons this week in youth group too!

Anonymous said...

Yes, very well written. I couldn't think of a single thing to add.