Our Weakness Is No Stranger

There are trillions of ways that Jesus is not like us. The Nicene Creed is only a sketch of what this looks like. These ways are vast — far more vast than what we're able to say.

Jesus Is Different

Jesus is the Lord. From everlasting to everlasting, he is God. Very God of very God. A non-blended person of the undivided essence. Triunely Sovereign, utterly independent, sourceless and satisfied. We'll never know what that's like.

Jesus was begotten, not made. He dwelled eyes-wide in his own presence, basking in a trinitarian glory we must call unapproachable. We'll never see this, nor could we anyway.

Jesus made everything that exists. Everything. He is the uncreated Creator and we are what he spoke. He said it and it came to be. Only he can do this.

Jesus came down from heaven for our salvation. He is the locus of God's eternal purpose in the universe. All of God's intentions to glorify his name by creating humans and saving them is centered on him. From the very beginning, before there was a beginning, Jesus has been the one. See, he's different.

Jesus is the King of the nations. The one who owns the ends of the earth though his dominion transends our metrics. He's nice enough to warn all rulers of his power, fierce enough to kindle wrath in an instance, and good enough to be a refuge for those who bow. His enemies will be his footstool. He will judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end. He is the King of kings, no doubt. Look, Jesus is different.

Jesus Became Like Us

Jesus is indissolubly, inconceivably, unquantifiably different. Altogether different, I tell you, until he layed thus in lowly manger. Until the fullness of time had come and he was born of woman, born under the law. Until he became a great high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, a friend in our trials and the conquering Redeemer. Jesus became a human like us. He breathed the same air we do. His feet touched the same ground. The hair on his head grew.

In Genesis 2 humanity— not fallen — Jesus experienced everything we do. He was tempted like us in every way. Really, in every way. In every way that sin has crouched at our door, in every way that iniquity has gestured a bad promise, he knows it. He experienced it. He was there — yet he never sinned. He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger.

And this is how he died for us. He knew it all. The wrath he suffered in our place was for sins he resisted in perfect faithfulness. He felt the Father's fury for transgressions he found repulsive. Of all the ways he is different from us, it's when he became like us that his love was shown.

So We Rejoice

Christmas sings this at us. The whole season confronts our hearts like a group of carolers that won't leave the yard. The Jesus who is incomparably glorious is the Jesus who became like us to die in our place. Don't miss it. Fall on your knees in worship. Behold your king!

In the spirit of this truth, Folk Angel is offering a free download of "O Holy Night" to all the Desiring God readers. May these strong lyrics along with great music help you rejoice in Jesus this Christmas.

 

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary .