He Made It All
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
When John penned those words in the first century, he and some of his readers had been eyewitnesses to the life of Christ. One of their tasks of faith was to hold Christ’s humanity on one hand and His divinity on the other, something we also must do. We must remember that the One who was born in a stable, grew up in a carpenter’s house, and walked among people on earth- earring, sleeping, sweating, and ultimately dying a horrible death- is the same One who created the entire universe and existed long before the earth was formed! Our faith is stunted if we fail to grasp both aspects of His nature.
When we allow both Christ’s humanity and His divinity to amaze us, our trust in God soars. When we focus on God stooping low as to become a human being because He loved us and wanted to connect with us on our level, we’re astounded. The Creator of the universe subjected Himself to abuse, ridicule, misunderstanding, betrayal, physical pain, spiritual abandonment, and ultimately death. The King of kings argued with riding, self-righteous leaders who should have known better, and He defended the weak and powerless. By looking at His amazing life on earth, we can conclude that He genuinely understands the pain we experience, and we can believe that He must really love us.
Christ, the Son of God, wasn’t limited by time, space, and a human body before He became a man, and He isn’t limited any way today. His power is infinite, His knowledge complete, and He is present everywhere in the universe all the time. Humanity and divinity. The combination amazes us, and both are essential to our faith. Time in the civilized world is measured by His birth. It’s either BC or AD. This is proper because He is Alpha and Omega- the beginning and the end.
Paul echoes John’s words in Colossians as he tells us that Christ was the Maker and Sustainer of all things. In other words, nothing exists without Him including even those who don’t yet know Him. Over and over again, Scriptures remind us that it is God who has created everything that has been made and it is God who sustains life and it is God who rules and reigns over the universe. It is in this truth that we can find hope. When we view the world around us and observe all the challenges life brings, we need something beyond what we or anyone else can do, for that matter, to somehow bring about peace and hope. Otherwise we would be consumed with anxiety and fear. Paul in writing to the Corinthians says that if our hope is in Christ only in this life, we are miserable. He reminds us that our true hope is in Christ in the resurrection from the dead. According to scripture, our greatest enemy is death for no one can conquer it. But thanks be to God that Christ in His resurrection displayed His power over death, hell, and the grave proving that even the most powerful enemies of humanity were no match for Him.
I would absolutely agree that the fact of Christ being both fully human and fully God wrapped together is far beyond my feeble mind’s ability to comprehend. I marvel every Christmas when we read the story of God becoming visible to humanity in the form of a tiny baby born in a stable and laid in a manger. I marvel that God clothed in flesh walked among us, was touched by and touched fallen humans, invaded the darkness of despair, brought people near to God, transformed their hearts and healed their bodies. I have read in the Scriptures and believe it fully that the King of Glory took time with children, the lame, the sick, and the outcasts and did so with compassion. We hear the story of the crucifixion and tremble at the horror of the suffering of Christ in that human body and sometimes like the disciples wonder if that was the end. But then we hear the story of Easter and the resurrection and the appearance of Christ to His followers. We see Him not as a ghost or spirit but in a resurrected body that eats, can be touched and yet can appear inside a room that has all its doors and windows shut and barred. We read of His ascension and His promise of return and each time we do so our hope rises and overcomes fear and anxiety.
To know that Christ lived as a human gives us the comfort that when we come to Him in prayer and tell Him about our burdens, sins, and needs, we find a compassionate Savior who listens, forgives, and restores us to fellowship with Him once again. When we learn that He was tempted in all things like we are and never once succumbed to temptation we know we have Someone who will enable us to resist temptation too. The old song says it this way: There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no not one, no not one. And the chorus says: Jesus knows all about our troubles. And truly: What a friend we have in Jesus. All of this we have because God clothed Himself in the flesh.
But we have more than someone who understands and who responds with compassion. Indeed, humans can rise to this level and thank God for those around us who do when we are going through a trial. If you have at least one friend who will share your pain with compassion and without judging or trying to fix you, you are truly blessed. But let us remember that Christ is more than just a good friend. He is the Sovereign Lord over all creation and everything is subject to His will and power. When we come to Him with our burdens, He not only listens with compassion but His compassion moves Him to do something about it.
One of the most powerful prayers, outside of the prayers of Jesus is recorded in 2 Chronicles 20. King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites are facing an impossible situation. Fear is gripping their hearts and there is almost a sense of helplessness. I want to share with you that prayer for it captures this whole idea of God who is both human and divinity and how our believing that becomes a powerful work in our lives:
“Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord in front of the new courtyard, and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand, there is no one able to take a stand against You. O our God, did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Your friend Abraham? ‘If evil comes on us, or the sword of judgment, or plague, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your Name and Your Presence is in this house) and we will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear and save us.’ They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your Name, saying, Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You would not allow Israel to invade when they came from the land of Egypt (for they turned away from them and did not destroy them), here they are, rewarding us by coming to drive us out of Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless against this great multitude which is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
2 Chronicles 20: 5-12
There are four points in this prayer: God, You rule over the universe and none can stand against You. God, You have blessed us in the past. God, You promised us that when we come to the meeting place with You in the time of trouble, You will meet us there. God, heres what we’re up against and we don’t have the ability or knowledge to meet it, so we turn our eyes on You.
This prayer reminds us of Christ who is both God and human, who can be touched and who can bring to pass the impossible. I pray that today you will bring every anxiety, every fear, every burden, every need, and every sin to the One who rules and reigns over the universe and over our lives and to the One who loves us beyond comprehension and rest in the peace and assurance that He will work on your behalf at all times.
Dr. John Thompson