Jesus . . . not another like him. number one
On our calendar we find ourselves between Christmas and Easter--between celebrating the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus 33 years later in Jerusalem. We orient our lives by the twelve months of the calendar, but Jesus was not confined to time or our calendar. Try to wrap your mind around this: To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 25. In a world where everything is constantly changing, it is good to know that God was, God is, and God always will be - and not a one of us will alter that.
Jesus, one of the three members of the Godhead, like God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, has always existed--yes, before He was born as a baby. I love how the Psalmist captured the reality of the eternal existence of God: Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Psalm 90.2 We have one source for the eternality of God--the Bible, in which God said of himself, From everlasting I was established, From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth. Proverbs 8.23 And in one of Jesus’ prayers to the Father, he said “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” John 17.5 Time began with the Creation of the Heavens and the Earth. This is the first work we know of God the Son, Jesus. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. John 1.3 Paul expounds on John’s description: 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. Colossians 1.16. And the Universe is maintained by Jesus as well: He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1.17. Our eternal God is not changed by our culture - by erudite, arrogant intellectuals or politicians who think they know more than Him… He is above all things, beyond all things, and yet - loves humanity with abandon. Isn’t that a staggering notion? God, outside of time and space, stepped into time by creating us for relationship and community with him - giving us all we needed in that original garden likely located in what we call the middle eastern Tigris-Euphrates River Valley... the Garden of Eden. But God in his great love also allowed for a world in which we would not choose him, in which we would not meet him in the garden in the cool of the day to talk with him. Genesis 3.8a. Love would not be love if it were coerced. At the beginning, it has always been that God came to us to be with us; he loved first, and it was ours to love him back… or not. In the or not, the first people, Adam and Eve, could not resist the pull of perhaps knowing more than the God they saw and experienced; tempted by knowledge of that more, they thought they were smarter than God. They were wrong. And yet, God came again. He did not leave those humans naked, afraid and alone, but began making a way for us to have relationship with him. But now, unlike at Creation, there was time and space and process. The process was long and arduous, often tedious… heck, don’t I know? I am reading through the Bible and find myself in Leviticus with all of the details about offering blood sacrifices for the sins of the people. Yet, these animal sacrifices paved the way for the Ultimate Sacrifice born in Bethlehem. O, Father, give us the desire to know You more, the desire to walk as closely as we can in this world of such distraction and compromise. Teach us what it is to walk with You the way You intended--personally, relationally, individually--before we thought we knew more than You. Take us back and teach to walk simply with You as we look at Your plan and Person who would make that possible; give us the desire, O Lord, I pray; draw us to Yourself. In Your Name, Amen. Found this song that captures my heart about the preceding: The Only Wise God by Michael ODK, Lagos, Nigeria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATIOKg1ezoM Humbled I am by the goodness of God, Christine