God’s Utterance

christ-27d-copy

Jesus of Nazareth is God’s utterance. He is the Word of God because no more thorough, personal, and beautiful revelation of God is possible.

He who is the perfect statement and rhetoric of the Father, the revealer of divinity, shows up in the form of a servant and sufferer and overturns our notions of deity. The One who is to be worshiped, exalted, and obeyed comes to serve and to give and to lay down His life for others. He unveils the essential truth and unsurpassing glory of the divine nature—a God who pulsates with goodness and power and love and beauty. Jesus reveals a God whose blessedness lies in giving rather than receiving, whose essence is an overflowing, unstoppable tsunami of grace. “Jesus Christ is the mercy of God,” wrote Karl Barth, “he is the love of God, he is the open heart of God.”

The Lord of glory has made Himself know in His Son—and He turns out to more wonderful than we ever imagined.

-J.O. Schulz

Advertisements

A Narrative Reversal

christ-1d-copyBecause the true story of the world has been lost in the seemingly endless epic of sin, Christ must retell — in the entire motion and content of his life, lived both toward the Father and for his fellows — the tale from the beginning. Says Athanasius, the Logos became flesh in order to reestablish the original pattern after which the human form was crafted in the beginning, and to impress anew upon creation the beauty of the divine image . . . It is because Christ’s life effects a narrative reversal, which unwinds the story of sin and death and reinaugurates the story that God tells from before the foundation of the world . . .

–David Bentley Hart,
The Beauty of the Infinite

Solid Ground for Faith

Cq457YcXgAANieX

The man who shut down the storm

jesus-calms-the-storm-1

When he saw a big crowd approaching, he figured he didn’t have enough steam left to do much for them that day, so he went and climbed into a boat for a few hours’ peace, only to find that the disciples were hot on his heels and wanted to go along too. So he took them. Then he lay down in the stern of the boat with a pillow under his head, Mark says (4:34), and went to sleep . . .

He didn’t doze off in the bow where the spray would get him and the whitecaps slapped harder. He climbed back into the stern instead. There was a pillow under his head. Maybe somebody put it there for him. Maybe they didn’t think to put it there till after he’d gone to sleep, and then somebody lifted his head a little off the hard deck and slipped it under.

decorative_divider

He must have gone out like a light because Mark says the storm didn’t wake him, not even when the waves got so high they started washing in over the sides. They let him sleep on until finally they were so scared they couldn’t stand it any longer and woke him up. They addressed him respectfully enough as Teacher, but what they said was reproachful, petulant almost. “Don’t you see that we’re all drowning?” (Mark 4:38).

It was the wind rather than the disciples that Jesus seems to have spoken to first, as soon as he’d gotten his eyes open. “He rebuked it,” Mark says (4:38). “Cut that out!” — you can almost picture him staring it down with the hair lashing his face as he holds on to the gunwales to keep from being blown overboard. He was gentler with the sea. “Take it easy,” he said. “Quiet down.” When it came the disciples’ turn, he said, “Why did you panic?” and then “What kind of faith do you call that?” but they were so impressed to find that the wind had stopped blowing and the sea had flattened out again that they didn’t get around to answering him (4:39-41).

–Frederick Buechner,
Beyond Words

The Truth is a Person

7b8575f1051bd7d55f17e3aa06a0adff copy 2Make sure that your study of the truth of God leads you to the Truth, that your study of words of God leads you to the Word, that your study of the ways of God leads you to the Way. Jesus said . . . “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

–J.O. Schulz

 

What makes God glorious?

7934 copy 2

“Glory” is a timeworn, many-sided, vaguely understood term of rich significance. Most importantly it has to do with God, the source and sum of it. Glory is what inspires wonder and admiration. It is manifested excellence, the outward display of beauty and goodness, the visible demonstration of greatness.

The glory of God is when
God lets us see what He’s like.

It’s when His wonderfulness goes public, His awesomeness comes into view, His splendor is sighted.

We observe the glory of God in creation—an awe-inspiring, but limited view. We get a close-up view when we contemplate Jesus, the human life of God. The knowledge of the glory of God is seen partially in nature, but fully in the face of Jesus Christ.

1287975596 space copy

Great are the mysteries of creation. Greater still is the mystery of godliness, when the Architect of the galaxies was manifested in human form. The heavens display the greatness of God’s power. The Word made flesh displays the greatness of His love.

The heavens show us God’s hand;
Jesus shows us His heart.

The heavens declare the glory of God, but Jesus of Nazareth is the glory of God. He is the brightness of God’s glory, the express image of His person.

The heavens declare the glory of God in an impersonal, distant way. Jesus brings the glory of God near in a living, breathing, loving Person.

Jesus is the glory of God made human.

And never was He so glorious as when he became horribly inglorious. It happened on a cross—where the worst and the best, the highest and the lowest collided. The crucifixion of the incarnate God did not extinguish His glory, it expanded it. At Calvary the glory of God blazed forth in volcanic abundance.

It was in the moment of greatest ugliness that His beauty shone most brightly. It was in the place of utmost shame that His splendor burst forth. Violence brought virtue to light, as the crushing of a rose releases its fragrance.

Cross copy 5B copy

Glory was nailed to a cross and lifted up for all to see. The veil in the temple was ripped open—God’s glory had been revealed. It was the glory of His irrepressible, self-giving, self-sacrificing, redeeming, restoring love. It was the glory of His grace.

The heavens declare a piece of His glory.
The cross declares it all.

Here is the final unveiling of glory. It is a revelation, an earthquake, a feast, a waterfall, a love story, a symphony, a tsunami, a game changer, a thirst quencher, an explosion of hope, a healing balm for the wounds of our broken and flawed lives.

worship-sm-300x225 copy

“Cross” and “glory” are as far apart as two words can possibly be. They are polar opposites. Crucifixion was not just about torture—it was about shame. It was the ultimate disgrace. For Hebrews it meant being cursed. No one ever dreamed a Roman cross could be glorious.

Until God got on one.

He makes all things glorious.

Even a shameful cross.

Even unworthy sinners.

Such is the greatness of His glory.

–Jurgen O. Schulz

%d bloggers like this: