Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
It has struck me again recently just how significant Jesus is.
It’s not just that our entire calendar is based roughly on the year of his birth some two thousand years ago now. (Though that’s pretty significant.) It’s not just that there are people all over the entire world who know his name and use it today both to invoke blessing and as a curse word. (Do you know anyone else who has reached such a status?)
It’s not the statues, paintings, songs, building, even entire religions that bear his name that reveal his full significance.
We celebrate the birth of this man every year on December 25th because he is the visible likeness of the invisible God.
Listen to how Paul describes him at the beginning of his letter to the Colossian Christians:
Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the firstborn son, superior to all created things. For by him, God created all things in heaven and on earth, the seen and unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him. He existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place.
The book of Hebrews also calls Jesus God’s final and perfect revelation. (Read Hebrews chapter one for more.) In John chapter one it refers to him as the Word (logos) and talks of how all was made through him.
That’s fairly significant.
Let’s read on in Colossians.
He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body’s life; he is the firstborn son who was rasied from death, in order that he alone might have the first place in all things.
I think we who call ourselves Christians really believe and want to live this out. We want Jesus—not us—to sit on the throne of our hearts. He is the center of all we are and do. He is supreme in all things.
What I see though, suggests otherwise.
I think that—like I referenced a bit at the top—one of our biggest problems is how much we over-signify Jesus, if that were possible. Obviously, that is not really possible, as the descriptions of him from these books would suggest. However, as we further “deify” and remove him from the intimate relationship he chose to have with us, passing through a woman’s birth canal just as all the rest of us have, and living through the subsequent mess that our world and our lives can be … he also experienced all of the joys he created us to know and live. God came to be one of us, to be with us; “Emmanuel.”
So it’s less about what wise, learned people say about him… it’s certainly not about all of the traditions, rituals, ceremonies, and other various observances we have amassed along the way. Those are fine, but the core of the entire universe is Jesus. Just him.
For it was by God’s own decision that the son has in himself the full nature of God. Through the son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his son’s death on the cross, and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven.
The cross is not just about death. The cross is about life, and peace. Reconciliation. Redemption. (Check out Romans chapter five. Fantastic stuff about what God did through the cross.)
When we reduce the Good News that Jesus came to deliver in person to a set of rules to obey, and a code of ethics, we are totally missing the point. JESUS is the point. We need to watch what he does, hear what he says, follow where he leads. We need him.
[Jesus said,] “And this is eternal life: for men to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent.”
This Christmas, don’t just remember that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” … get to know him. He is the reason for everything. Knowing him is eternal life. It really, truly is all about him.
Now that’s significant!