Summary: Jesus the crucified God
Rev Dr Edgar Mayer; Living Grace Toowoomba Church; Message on Jesus Snapshots 02; Date: 8 November 09
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The God Crucified
Who was Jesus? Do you know him? Would you have recognized the truth about Jesus – would you have received him – if you had seen him with your own eyes (two thousand years ago when he walked the earth)? This morning – in this church – are you getting a handle on Jesus by looking at his people and hearing their testimony about him? Who was Jesus and who will know him? Let me ask you another question: Are you humble?
One book in the Bible begins with these words – John 1:1-18 – I read: “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus is here called ‘the Word’] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of people. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it … The true light that gives light to every man [woman and child] was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us … No one has ever seen God, but the only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like.” Three more verses – John 3:16-20: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God … (sent his Son) to save the world through him … [However,] this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.”
Not much here makes sense. The Bible – without any exception – clearly teaches that God is one – Deuteronomy 6:4 – I read: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Ephesians 4:6: “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Yet, at the same time – and the previous passage is a prime example for this – the Bible also teaches that Jesus is the Son of God which comes with the understanding that the Son of God was also God with God (his Father). I quote again from our first reading: “ … the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” How can that be? How can anyone be open to this? Another Bible verse says – 1 Corinthians 8:6: “ . for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and [how can there be an ‘and’] there is but one Lord [one ‘Lord’ being used here as in many other instances (according to all Bible commentators) as the very title of God himself – instead of God’s proper name ‘Yahweh’ in the Old Testament], Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
Who would have expected that there is one God but more than one person? There is the Father and the Son and – we will not expand on this today – there is also the Holy Spirit. Three persons – each one of them God – yet, they do not add up to being three Gods. They are one and God is one. Complicated! Therefore, again the question: Who was Jesus and who will know him? Are you humble?
Then – making this even more confusing – how can Jesus Christ – the Son of God – God himself – how can he become a man – how can all of God (the creator of the cosmos – the inventor of light years) be contained in a tiny human body? Yet, this is what the Bible says – John 1:14 – again from our first reading: “The Word [Jesus Christ] became flesh and made his dwelling among us … ” So also Romans 8:3: “ … [Jesus Christ, God’s] own Son in the likeness of sinful man … ” Hebrews 2:14: “ … [Jesus Christ] shared in . humanity … ” Hebrews 4:14-15: “ … just as we are – yet was without sin.”