This Is Jesus
This week’s anthem is so rich in its lyrics that it is difficult to know where to begin. Its scope is so inclusive that it goes from before the foundations of the world all the way to His reign in the new heavens and earth at the end of time. But then, this is Jesus, our eternal Savior and King, who was and is and is to come.
Right now I’m in the mindset of study for the writing of next year’s Lenten devotional which will look at what the prophets foretold about Jesus’ suffering, so I have been reading books and scriptures relating to Christ in the Old Testament. As one author put it, once you begin to look for Christ in the Old Testament, you will see Him everywhere. Indeed, you will find the Old Testament comes to life when you realize how it speaks of Him. Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,” (John 5:39), and remember, all they had were the Old Testament scriptures. From Genesis to Malachi (as from Matthew to Revelation), the scriptures constantly declare, “This is Jesus.”
If we want to describe a person we might be able to come up with a few of his or her qualities (or faults), the list varying in length depending on what we know about them, but the list wouldn’t be all that long. There is a limit to the merits of a person. However, when it comes to Jesus, there are hardly enough descriptors in the language to laud all of His qualities. He is like an exquisitely cut gem that reflects new glories with every turn, catching the light and dazzling us from every perspective. And even this analogy fails because He does not merely reflect light, He IS light, so all of that beauty shines from within Him. We will have the delight of spending all eternity finding new things to discover about Him, to wonder at and worship.
The lyricists gave us glimpses of this Jesus in this anthem, so I went through and jotted down some of the phrases that captured me in this song (I recommend that you do the same thing. What of these lyrics especially move your heart when you sing them? What do they evoke in you that stirs you to worship and draw near?) One of the phrases that grabbed me was, “No one like Him.” My mind went to some other lyrics: No one ever cared for me like Jesus, and There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no not one, no not one…” Then verses began to pop into my head, like There is no other name under heaven, given to men whereby we must be saved, and He is the only begotten Son of the Father, filled with grace and truth. He alone is the hope of our souls and strength of our lives. Just think about how singular He is in every way, and before long your heart will be rapt in worship, or as the anthem puts it, “wrapped up in wonder.”
The lyricist was speaking there of Christ’s birth, the story so familiar that it can be difficult to maintain that wonder—all the prophecies fulfilled, the miracle of the Holy Spirit conceiving the child, infinity confined to an embryo, absolute power subjected to helplessness and vulnerability, stars and angels delivering messages to the mighty and lowly. This is Jesus, wrapped up in wonder, indeed. We need to fan our awe of it, and not settle for a been-there-done-that attitude toward His birth.
The next verse speaks to the richness of His ministry on earth, reminding us how much of that we still seek Him for today. We still callout to Him and reach out to Him for healing and provision, comfort and wisdom, every bit as much as the crowds of 2000 years ago. This is Jesus—still our Provider and Sustainer.
Another lyric that spoke to me was about the truth and power in His words. In a world so full of deception and empty words, He stands in stark contrast. His words are true and will never fail. They have the power of eternal life in them, of healing, of wisdom, of comfort. Yes, this is Jesus!
There is so much more to say about this anthem’s theme, but it’s so good I’m pretty sure you will sing it again, and we’ll get to explore more about the wonder that is found in Jesus.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries