Chapter 35 The Greatness Of Christ

He is Lord of all (Acts 10:36).

The most immense thing that ever took place in the universe is that the Son of God became the Son of man. The immensity of a believer’s life is that we are brought into living union with One who is so great—so pure—and so holy. The immensity of this union is the more realized when we contemplate the greatness of Him to whom we are united.

His Greatness As the Son of God

“Who is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Thus the invisible became visible—the incomprehensible became comprehensible—the far-off became near. Being the express image of Godhood He could therefore say, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). The greatness of His Person makes for a humbling attitude in our souls. Thus Abraham considered His greatness and the sight of it reduced him, as it were, to dust and ashes: “Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes” (Genesis 18:27). When we remember who He is—the Creator of the worlds—the Sovereign Lord of all—we can but be astonished that He should set His love upon such a vile thing as sinful man.

His Greatness As Heir of All Things

God has spoken to us by His Son “whom He hath appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2). He was that before the worlds were made. All things were made “for Him” to exhibit His glory. Now they are redeemed for that same purpose so that “He might fill all things.” All things are to revert to His control. Thus those who are joined to Him are made “heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). “Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?” (James 2:5, 6). O blessed state!

His Greatness As the Hope of the Ages

“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20, 21). Men cry out in hope. They are “prisoners of hope” (Zechariah 9:12). The whole universe cries out in hope. There is an enigma—a puzzle—a quandary—a contradiction—something wrong with the whole universe, and it cries out in hope. Nothing is left hopeless. But that hope is only in the Lord. “Thou art my hope, O Lord” (Psalm 71:5). In Christ alone is hope and, in Him, hope for the whole universehope for the nations—hope for Israel—hope for the Gentiles—hope for all the earth.

His Greatness in the Eyes of the Father

“Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again” (John 10:17). “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). The Old Testament is full of figures of that love which the Father has for the Son, such as in Adam when God walked and talked with him in Eden—in Abraham and his love for Isaac—in Jacob’s special love for Joseph—in God’s love for Israel—all of which are faint reflections of God’s love for His beloved Son.

His Greatness in His Own Nature

“Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26). “Holy” —having absolute purity; “harmless”—having no ill-feeling toward any; “undefiled”—having no stain of dishonor upon His obedience or imperfection in His love toward God and man; “separate from sinners”—not of the same sinful stock. That He was all this was acknowledged even by demons who called Him “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). He was never touched by the curse of sin. Heaven knows it. Earth knows it. Hell knows it. No one ever pointed to a flaw in His character.

His Greatness in the Work of Redemption

“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). And how many sins has even one person? Since each sin has its own measure of punishment who can measure the degree of punishment for all the sins for all people? It is said that He should “taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9), which means our Lord died millions of deaths in His one death. Since hell was the punishment deserved, then He suffered millions of hells in that one cry—“The pains of hell gat hold upon Me” (Psalm 116:3). Through His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross He has obtained for His people “the remission of sins.” Through that finished work of redemption He has made it possible for God to give eternal life to as many as should believe on His name.

His Greatness in the Bestowment of Grace

Personal unworthiness is no obstacle to His “so great salvation.” None can find Him unwilling or unable to save. “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters… without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). “Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink” (John 7:37). No unworthiness can bar the way to Him. His mercy and grace are incomparably great and sweet!

O Lord, enlarge our scanty thought
To know the wonders Thou hast wrought;
Unloose our stammering tongues to tell
Thy love immense, unsearchable.

How can it be, Thou heavenly King,
That Thou shouldst us to glory bring;
Make slaves the partners of Thy throne,
Decked with a never-fading crown?

Our hearts then melt, our eyes o’erflow,
Our words are lost; nor will we know,
Nor will we think of all beside,
My Lord, my Love is crucified.

Firstborn of many brethren Thou;
To Thee, lo! all our souls we bow;
To Thee our hands and hearts we give:
Thine may we die, Thine may we live.

—Nikolaus Von Zinzendorf
Tr. By John Wesley