Do you enjoy learning the origin of things?
Super hero movies
I occasionally watch super hero movies, especially if it’s the origin story of the character. Why does Tony Stark need a mechanical heart thingy in his chest? How did Wolverine end up with metal-plated bones and claws? What happened to Peter Parker? If you know the answers, you also know their origin.
Before the Beginning
Just as every great fictional character has an origin, Jesus Christ – the most significant REAL figure of all time – must have one, too. Right?
Well… maybe. Sort of. Not exactly.
Genesis 1:1 takes us to the beginning of things, right? But this was Christ’s first CREATIVE ACT. His origin goes back before that.
John tells us in his gospel, chapter 1, verse 1, “In the beginning was the Word.” John is using “Word” as a name for Jesus. He does it again in Revelation 19 when he describes Christ’s return to earth on the white horse. Verse 13 says, “…the name by which He is called is ‘The Word of God.”
So John is telling us Jesus, the Word of God, already existed before Creation.
If you are expecting me to explain how God came to be… yeah, no. Not gonna happen. There’s no origin story for God – or Christ – but we do need to continue in John 1.
Christ’s role in the Trinity
The short answer to defining Christ’s role? Or the Trinity’s roles in general?
- God speaks it
- Christ does it
- Holy Spirit connects us to God
Christ Himself explains His role in John 14:10-11, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?The words I say to you I do not say on My own initiative or authority, but the Father, abiding continually in Me, does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Otherwise believe [Me] because of the very works themselves [which you have witnessed.]” AMP
In other words, Christ’s responsibility is to reveal God’s mind. John 1:1-2, “In the beginning was the Word [of God], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
He was with God in the beginning.
In this origin story, what does “with God” mean? Of course, Christ was present WITH God before the creation, but He was also WITH GOD while He was on earth. It was this special connectedness that enabled Christ’s miracles and insight.
It also means that He was sent directly from God, on the Father’s direct command. In agreement with Him. As Herbert Lockyer said, “…they had always existed in unbroken communion.”
This permanent connectedness offers us insight into Christ’s despair on the cross. As He became sin, that relationship was broken for the first time EVER – because God cannot look upon sin. And Jesus knew that exact moment. Matthew 27:46, “About 3 in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lemma sabachthani?’ (which means, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?’)”
Christ Himself tells us in John 10:10, ”The Father and I are one.” They were and are Holy. The leaders of His day thought Jesus was claiming to be Father God, and they tried him for that. (see John 5:18 and Philippians 2:6) It was Christ’s assursion of the Trinity – a concept so mind-boggling that even today we must accept it in faith without complete understanding
Active in Creation
Not only did Christ exist BEFORE Creation, He took a very active role IN Creation itself. John 1:3, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”
This solidifies my point that God speaks it, and Christ does it. Genesis 1 tells us God spoke everything into existence. But there is no mention of Christ… or is there?
First of all Scripture NEVER CONTRADICTS ITSELF. Second, the original text says “In the beginning, God (Elohim)…” Elohim is plural, requiring 3. So all parts of the Trinity were there. The end of verse 2 tells us Ruach Elohim (Spirit of Elohim) was hovering over the waters. Father, Son, Spirit.
So if Father God and the Spirit of God were there, and BY JESUS ALL THINGS WERE CREATED, Jesus completes the trio there at Creation.
Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 8:6, “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one LORD, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
And again in Col. 1:15-16, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the first born OVER all creation. For IN HIM all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Hebrew 1:2 also mentions that God made the universe through His Son.
So, the Father is the origin and source of all things. He is so very deserving of our eternal worship! (See Rev 4:11) BUT Christ is “the origin through which the creative purpose moves.” (H. Lockyer) Through our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father expresses Himself in His own words.
And when in the same verse (John 1:3) John seemingly repeats himself, he is actually erasing any possible exceptions. Jesus was helping to create the world He would come to inhabit. So, of course, all of Creation MUST OBEY HIM, because He has Creation authority over all things. He can heal, calm a sea, even raise the dead. And, most importantly, defeat death for Himself.
Life and Light
John 1:4 says, ‘In Him was life, and that life was the life of all mankind.” Again, another reference to Christ’s participation in the origin of all things – Creation. But there’s more. We have it in His own words in John 14:6, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”
So not only is Christ the do-er for Creation, when God needed a permanent sacrifice to wipe away all our sins, that action also fell on Jesus. He is life in that He creates, but He is ETERNAL LIFE for us as the only means to approach Father God. He is also light because in His life and actions we can see the true character of God. And in His words, God’s words and ways are revealed. He was – and is – perfect light in the sin-full darkness of the world. So, He indeed is light. He illuminated who God is. Even if some prefer the darkness, His life stands out as distinct contrast to evil.
“Christ was born of a woman, yet He made woman. He ate and hungered, drank and thirsted; yet He made the corn to grow on the mountains, and poured the rivers from His crystal chalice. He needed sleep, yet He slumbers not and needs not to repair His wasted energy. He wept; yet He created the lachrymal duct. He died; yet He is the ever-living Jehovah, and made the tree of His cross. He inherited all things by death, yet they were His before by inherent right. What else can we do but bow in reverence before such a stupendous miracle!” ~F.B. Meyer
What it means for me:
- I must have faith – Since I can’t fathom how the Trinity existed before Creation, I have to trust. My brain’s not big enough for that to stick, so I must accept it as a God thing and move on.
- I must appreciate and cherish Creation – The world around me is God’s work through Christ, so I should admire the flaming sunsets or the changing seasons. Even during this current bitter cold spell!
- I must respect the God-ness of Jesus – He is part of the Trinity, permanently WITH God, and WAS God with feet here on earth.
- I must know Jesus to have eternal life – Jesus THE Way. There’s no make-up work or extra credit available. He is it. And if you don’t know Him, you can! Check this out.
Thanks for reading today. I’m excited to spend 2024 studying Miracles Surrounding Jesus. I hope you’ll join me. If you haven’t already, sign up for emails so you won’t miss any updates. May God bless you abundantly this year.