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How vast is the “distance” Jesus traversed in His condescension?
who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:3)
Today’s big question: how far is up?
It is hard to finish our consideration of this wonderful verse without looking carefully at the last word: high. Christ’s exaltation was to the right hand of the Majesty “on high.”
Sometimes when we hear statements like this we consider them in terms of distance, but the height of the majesty of God is immeasurable. The distance is unfathomable in terms of the extent to which Christ went in humbling Himself to dwell among us—His condescension. In His riches, He became poor, and from His great height, He became low.
When we consider all that God is (at least what is revealed to us in His Word), we soon find that God has many attributes that are completely uncommon to us. God is infinite while we are finite. God is omnipotent, whereas our power and capacity is limited. God is omnipresent, but we can only be in one place at a time. God is omniscient, yet we can only know a finite amount—and not all of it is truth. God is independent, whereas we live in complete dependence.
Even if we only think on His independence, we can quickly get a perspective of the immeasurable nature of the “distance” God traveled to become one of us. The One who had need of nothing became a man with needs. Humans need food, clothing, shelter, and the providential hand of God just to take our next breath. God who is eternally self-sufficient became the opposite as a baby, born of a woman.
It is important that we also note that in the incarnation, Jesus did not lose any of His glorious “God-ness.” Jesus is fully God and fully man. But in coming in the likeness of men to dwell with us and taking the form of a bondservant (Philippians 2:7), He came an immeasurable distance from His total independence. God, who is Lord, became dependent, obedient, and even a servant as He came to be with us and one of us. The distance traveled between independence to dependence, from Lordship to obedience, and from Kingship to servitude is the immeasurable distance between the height and depth of the grace, mercy, and love of Christ.
Today’s big idea: the height of God’s majesty has more to do with His glory than a measurement of loftiness.
What to pray: praise God that He knows the height of His glory as well as the poverty of our problem.