Christmas is filled with quaint holiday traditions. We love to parade young children in front of the church to just stand there and be cute. We decorate with lights, candles and sparkly things. We put cherished ornaments on the Christmas tree. It’s all quite cute. But Jesus himself, Jesus is not cute.
The cuteness of Christmas may lead us to wrongly think of Jesus as soft, gentle, mild and cute. Babies are cute, unless they’re crying, and we all know that Jesus was the one baby who on the night of his birth “no crying he made.” All this may lead us to think of Jesus as “gentle Jesus, meek and mild”, a quaint, soft and charming distortion of the real Jesus.
Jesus is the agent of God’s creating power, “By him all things were created… visible and invisible… all things were created through him and for him” (Col 1:16). He also is the sustainer of the universe and in him all things hold together.
He is the sovereign and established King, the Son of God the Father, who has the nations as his possession (Ps 2). He is the beautiful and glorious Davidic King (Is 4:2). He is the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, who sits forever on David’s throne as an eternal king over an eternal kingdom, reigning with justice and righteousness (Is 9).
In his earthly ministry he fed the hungry, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, gave strength to the weak, freed the oppressed, overcame evil, preached good news to all, exposed sin and corruption, confronted injustice, forgave sin, transformed lives, and raised the dead to new life.
In his atoning death on the cross he conquered Satan, redeemed the enslaved, made a perfect sacrifice for sin, absorbed the righteous wrath of the Father against evil, gave justification and forgiveness to sinners, gave cleansing, purity and new life to the filthy, ransomed the captives, reconciled rebels with their Heavenly father and revealed the love of God for his people.
He is the head of the church, the chief shepherd. He empowers, leads, and guides his global church in his mission. Millions of Christians from all nations, tribes, tongues and cultures bow the knee to Jesus as their sovereign Lord and King, and have committed their life to his mission.
He will return with power and might to bring the fullness of his already inaugurated kingdom, and to bring ultimate and perfect justice to our broken world. Everyone will bow the knee to the rightful king, and He will reign forever in justice and grace, to the eternal glory of the Father.
Jesus is not cute. He is epic.
(originally written for Delve on January 5, 2011)