Friday, October 08, 2021

Men who want to be God v God who became man

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

History is replete with men who strived to be recognized as God. The ultimate power sought by many is to rule over other men and women and be worshipped by them. 

Before Jesus had reached His second birthday, He had already become the target of an assassination plot by King Herod, the ruthless and paranoid ruler of Roman-controlled Judea. Joseph and Mary, prompted by a dream from God, took the baby and fled to Egypt.

Egypt's history was one proud and glorious procession of kings spanning thirty dynasties and nearly 3,000 years. Egyptian kings--the pharaohs--were powerful figures and rich beyond imagination. They wielded wealth like a weapon, built sprawling cities and commanded huge armies.

Records indicate Egyptian kings assumed and were given, supernatural status. The pharaoh was thought to be responsible for bringing the floods that watered Egyptian crops, and so he received credit for providing the nation's food. He was idolized by statues, citizens bowed to his image, and in the ultimate act of pride, every reigning pharaoh claimed to be the manifestation of at least one god. 

Whether it's the ancient pharaohs demanding the worship of others or the millions of modern skeptics who reject God, dethrone Him as Creator, and worship themselves, man's inherent pattern has always been to exalt himself. Rebellion against God can take no higher form than self-love; the person who seeks his own interests at the expense of others and places himself at the centre of the universe. 

And while history is crowded with men who would be God, only one God would be man.

Consider for a moment what it meant for the Lord Jesus to come to earth as a man to secure salvation for mankind. He left His throne and took a stable for a nursery. The very Son of God was hunted by a tyrant king and became an infant exile in Egypt. The source of all wisdom and knowledge was born into poverty and lived without earthly wealth and luxury. In terms of His character, He is holy and without blemish. The King of creation willingly subjected Himself to all of what it means to be human--pain, hunger, thirst, sorrow, physical exhaustion, the full range of human emotions--yet did so without sinning.

And in an unfathomable act of selfless, sacrificial love, He left heaven's glory to die on our behalf. He offered mercy to a people who deserved only His wrath. He stooped to accomplish that which we not only could not do but also would not do. In love, the God of the universe stepped from eternity to intervene in human history and save those wholly unable to save themselves.

The Bible speaks of His mission in John’s Gospel chapter 3 and verse 16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. 

Selfish ambition may produce megalomania, which leads to misery, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8. 

Reception of such selfless love through faith in Jesus Christ produces only blessing.


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