Thursday, December 31, 2015
"The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." [Hebrews 1:3]
We've looked at how Jesus was "Greater Than" Moses, and the Temple, and Solomon, and everything else. We've looked at how Jesus was "Less Than" the Father, and the Angels, and became a servant to all. But now, we want to explore the equality that Jesus has with the Father.
It's one of the great mysteries of the New Testament, actually. How could Jesus be "the exact representation" of God and still say "the Father is greater than me"?
Part of this involves the self-limiting nature of Jesus in His incarnation. Jesus was "in very nature God" but decided to lay all of that aside to become one of us. This is when He became "less than" the Father, and even the Angels. In fact, this is why the Incarnation is such a miracle. The creator became the created. The unlimited willingly limited Himself. The One who lives forever took on mortality and tasted death.
Why? Because He would rather die than to live without us. So, He laid aside His Glory, and took off His great power like a robe, and humbled Himself to become a tiny embryo nestled in the womb of a poor girl in Palestine.
His identity never changed, however. He was still God, but He had taken on flesh, and thereby had wrapped Himself in a single location in space and time. This is when He became "Emmanuel" which means "God with us". This is when "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." [John 1:14]
As Paul reminds us:
"[Jesus] Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing..." [Phil. 2:6-7]
And the Apostle John writes:
So, Jesus is "Equal To" the Father in every way, and yet at the same time is "Less Than" the Father [in a different sense] and still "Greater Than" everything - and everyone - else in all Creation.
Meditating on these three characteristics of Jesus only makes us love Him more and fall to our knees as we begin to realize the "unsearchable riches of Christ" are even more astounding than we ever imagined.
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." - Jesus [John 14:9]