Monday, February 13, 2006

the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ

"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Cor 4:6)

You want to know What God is like? Look at Christ Jesus. Want to know how God would act? Look to Jesus. You want to know God's character, look to Jesus. The glory of God was in the face of Jesus. In verse 4 of the same chapter it says "Christ, who is the image of God".

We run into danger in our post-modern society. We paint a picture of God. There are two extremes as NT Wright points out. Firstly we can create a god who is so high up (transcendent) so abstract that he is not involved at all. One could argue that every so often he zaps down to shake us up. On the other hand we can create a god so low (pantheism) that he is so one with the universe that we cannot show what is god and what is universe since they are the same. Both extremes as NT Wright argues can create atheism. [1]

The Jewish God was different. He was a God who was involved with creation; He was the Majesty, yet He was very much involved. However He was not so low that one could not tell who were He and what He was not. But let us reveal something today. God has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ! The Revelation of Christ is that He was very much God on the earth. God came to His creation through the person of Christ. This really struck me hard yesterday. It is a hard concept to grasp; it’s an area we don't wont to delve into. We as Christians every time we read the gospels always see Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity (yes He was this!). But let us look at the moment of the young Jewish man doing the will of the One whom He called "Abba, Father". He was God's agent: He was the Anointed One. Jesus was God's agent, His Servant, The Messiah. Yet He was very much Man as well as God. The reason there is so much argument over who or what god is, because we put God is the two above mention extremes. God in the person of Jesus Christ did something different. The Word became flesh! The Wisdom, God's Son became flesh! God stepped down onto our planet.

This concept is so hard to grasp because the only time we try and "back up" the Trinity is to turn to John's Gospel. We skip Matthew, Mark and Luke and turn straight to John. Let us read the full picture of God. Let us see what Jesus taught, His actions, His compassion. This is the image of God. The glory of God is in the face of Christ Jesus. He was the Anointed One of God.

You want to see God. Look what He did through His Son. His Son went to the cross. You want to know the love of God? Look to the cross. The cross says it all. We cannot say "God don't love me". Friends, Jesus God in the flesh paid the price for yours and mine sin. This is our God.

Today begin to think of our God what He has done through His Son. You want to know what God is like? Look at the full picuture of Jesus.

I will leave you with this remarkable hymn from Isaac Watts, when I survey the wondrous cross:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

[1] Check out this unofficial site for more lectures and books from Wright:


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