In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Sometimes I think it’s easy to miss the full magnificence of Jesus’ coming. It’s not that we don’t appreciate him, but I think we can forget what God really did; who Jesus really is. He can be too easily rendered as the second in command. The title “Son” might imply to us that he’s a little less, a little beneath, a little behind the Father. He’s the representative right?
But John makes it clear. God didn’t send his second to come and rescue us—although even that would be wildly beyond what we deserved! God sent God to us. God sent himself.
The Word—Jesus—was with God, and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God. So, Jesus was there at the start and helped the Father create the world? Nope. God created everything through him…nothing was created except through him. Jesus didn’t “help” create, he was the creator. Through him came life and shape and form and light. Through him came everything that’s here now or was here then or will be here ever.
The Word—Jesus—gave life to everything.
So let’s get this straight, not just in our heads, but in our hearts. This isn’t just an exercise of the brain this is an investment of the heart. Let’s be changed by this truth. Jesus created everything. Jesus as fully God as the Father is God came to rescue us from our self-inflicted, fully deserved depravity. God sent himself.
The one who created the womb of Mary entered that womb to come out into the world he had fashioned and given life to. The one who gave life allowed those living to take life from him. The God who existed from all eternity entered time, allowed himself to be confined and restricted by that time and space—of his own making—so as to rescue the creatures he made from the death they not only deserve, but don’t even think they want to be rescued from.
Just last night, reflecting on this love of God, my own son declared incredulously, “It just makes no sense that he would do that!”
No, it doesn’t. Thankfully. Because I don’t want what makes sense. I don’t want what’s fair. I don’t even want what I think I want.
I want God’s wildly ridiculous love. I want the gospel story. I want Jesus tearing out of the gates of heaven with reckless abandon to do what just makes no sense. I want him giving his life for those who love darkness more than his light. I want transformation and change and newness and what’s best for me. Even when what’s best for me is given while I’m kicking and screaming and proclaiming that I want my own thing and my own way instead.
Because in the end, I really don’t want what I want. I never have. It always disappoints. It’s always lets me down. In the end, I want what I need. I don’t want to be who I am; I want to be who he sees and who he intended me to be. I don’t want what I can make myself into; I want what he can transform me into. I want life and hope and forgiveness. I want to be new.
It just makes no sense that God would send himself on what the world would call a fool’s errand. To save the unworthy. To give his own life for people not worth the effort or sacrifice. And yet he did. He did because he loves. He did because his glory can’t be contained and his mercy can’t be squelched and he will be known for all his greatness. He did it because he’s God.
For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.