Friday, December 22, 2006

The Paradox of the Manger: That Baby is the World's Sustainer (Part III - final)

You can read part one here and part two here.

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Jesus is the Sustainer of the World

Now, the whole point we have building toward is this: That baby in the manger is the world’s sustainer. How could this be so, if He was a real and genuine infant? We can only explain this by referring to his divine nature.

For in his divine nature, which has never been altered or diminished in any way, Jesus is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.

Hebrews 1: 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high...

The word “uphold” means to carry along – to actively bear. It is the idea of continually (verb tense) carrying along all things in the universe. In the words of Paul to the Colossians, “in him all things hold together” – which means the Son of God is the direct agent of creation’s ongoing life and maintenance. As Paul said to the Aereopagites: “In Him we have our being!” Which means that all that exists continues to exist because Christ keeps it existing. And if Christ were to stop sustaining everything, “everything except the Triune God would cease to exist.”

So, here is where mystery intensifies – as does our adoration for the eternal Son of God.

· He became a real human... but He never stopped being God.

· He took upon Himself real flesh and blood... yet He never ceased to be the radiance of the glory of God.

· He needed milk, sleep and protection to live... yet He provided all that was needed for life and breath.

· He became a babe who had to be taught how to talk... yet He never stopped upholding the universe by the word of his power.

· He laid there as a real and helpless infant... yet He never ceased to hold together the molecules of the wood from which his manger bed was made.

What does all this mean?

It means the person of the Son of God, in His divine nature, is sovereign over all that exists... including you. Not sovereign like the Queen of England is sovereign over England – with the power to command and power to kill... but no ability to know, let alone direct your daily thoughts and actions.

“he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

He is sovereign in this sense:

· You have your very being, your life and nature from Him.

· By His power you continue.

· Without the exercise of His will you would immediately cease to exist.

· Your next breath is a gift from Him.

· You are constantly dependent on Him.

· And the fact you are here today is the result of Him (and His grace).

· His own power is what grants you life and health and choice....

And you, if you are not a Christian, are willfully using what He graciously gives you in order to oppose and act against Him. This is what sin is – Total Madness.

And the pinnacle of mankind’s insanity is the cross.

We (by our representatives) cheered as we killed our God.

And He died...

But not without purpose....

As centuries of Jewish animal sacrifice had pointed toward, Jesus was dying as the one final and sufficient sacrifice. What our works or offerings could never do, He did for us, becoming our substitute and dying in our place.

Only a God-Man could be our substitute.

He had to be a man – to be on of us.

He had to be God – to satisfy in three hours an eternity of deserved hell against us.

Marvel at the wisdom and the power of God, then repent of your sin and put your sole confidence in Jesus alone for salvation from your sin.

Our text says, “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high...”

When He next rises from that throne, you had best be ready. He came ONCE for salvation. He comes ONCE MORE (and ONLY once more) and that for JUDGMENT.

Christian, rejoice! For you are IN CHRIST. One with He who is God... and Man. You are fully saved. Forever blessed. Amen.