Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is Your Jesus Cosmic Enough?

Bring it on, world!


I sat down with a nice girl from work one day and asked her if she ever wanted to go to one of my Bible Studies that a church hosted.  She smiled politely and told me "I am pagan and that has been around longer than Jesus."  What I did was nod politely and let it slide, but what I wanted to do was stand up and exclaim "Jesus is cosmic!  Epic Win!"

This leads to a great point that the Apostle Paul has brought up with many non-believers. There were key conversations where he made Jesus so big and glamorous that it fit every faith, station and lifestyle.  In other words, he made Christ cosmic.  This is not a comic book infatuation.  Jesus is the beginning and the end of existence, the first born of all creation, the pocket of all strength and protection and the very glue that holds existence together.

Take Paul's example to the Ephesians.  The church of Ephesus had major peer pressure from the town about Diana, The Goddess of the Hunt.  Diana, in Stregheria religion, was Queen of the Witches and was regarded as the creator of existence.

Paul helped the church debunk it by simply stating that before the world even existed God had chosen the Ephesians to be pure and blameless in him (Eph 1:4).  He states that no demigod created them because God and Jesus beat them to the punch.  Many modern readers extract a philosophy of Pre-election from this verse, but Paul's main argument is that God had in mind to give redemption to his creation before any goddess.

So this wonderful argument from Paul puts God as the creator who thought of you before the world began.  Not only does God stretch across the time continuum, but he set in place Christ at a certain time to fulfill his redemption in order to save us all (Eph 1:9).  This was an Ocean's 11 heist thousands of years in the making.

In the Acts of the Apostles, Paul finds himself looking at a Greek tribute to 'The Unknown God" and discovered that the Athens had a very loose understanding of God (Acts 17:22-23). The Athens were just covering their bases by trying to create a default god in case they missed one.  Paul assures them that the true God is not some statue, temple or stone, but it is the true God who is not far from anyone of us (v. 27).  He goes on to state that this God does not need food or offerings, but is, in fact, our movement, life and purpose of existence (v. 28).  This is one of the first times that Paul migrates a very Jewish rich God to cover the needs of the pagan community.  He is not just a story of the Jews, but the very life essence of all humanity.

Finally, Jesus is not just a static creation in history, made for one purpose, but shares the same super glory elements with God.  In Colossians 1:15, Paul starts his cosmic thesis saying that Jesus is the first born over all creation.  The world was made for his glory and by his authority and power (v. 16).  Not to mention that Jesus is also the power that holds all existence together (v. 17).  Jesus is a giant cosmic throne pwner in the great scheme of the world.  This also takes a lot of stress off worrying about who to vote for in 2012.

So let's recap.  God is before and beyond any time constraint, he is the power that is close to every community and his very essence holds everything together.  Jesus is the Lord over all power and thrones, he owns all of creation as the first son of God and he manages existence.

Jesus, Children Approved!


How is Jesus presented in our world today?  He seems to be a very tender and compassionate God, who cries at tragedy, laughs with beauty and wants to give a big ol' hug to anyone who crosses his path.  This tender quality of Jesus shows his love and mercy, which is how we connect.  And while these things are necessary for the humble qualities of Jesus, we are missing the trump card.

" Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Colossians 2:15

We forget that God has super powers that effect us on a global scheme.  He can phase through time to choose us, he can reach everyone globally, and his power keeps us existing.  The Colossians verse above is God's greatest cosmic feat, taking every power that comes against him and publicly humiliating it by dying on the cross.  God can reach any nation, fill any mind and overpower any station of life.  He is already holding us together and near us in every way.

Revisiting Paul's argument in Acts, God is the power that gives breath and life and does not need any of our supplements to sustain Him.  He exists outside of us.  How many neo-cults and pagan lifestyles would just cease to exist if people just stopped following them?   What do the other powers of this world offer?  Who can claim such mastery over the universe?  How does this change our thinking?

This is a challenge to think like Paul in our godly message.  How does God overcome every part of everyone's existence through all time?  It goes without saying that we shouldn't be encouraged to crush people's faith systems, because we must show respect and love.  But the question remains, what can a cosmic Christ do for our world?

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