Wednesday – God with Us
By George Volpe
“Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
Why did Philip ask Jesus to “show us the Father…?” Didn’t Jesus prove He was God? Was Philip asleep during all of those miracles?
Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” Even though the Apostles witnessed miracles performed by Jesus, perhaps they now felt the visions of God experienced by selected people, such as the prophets, was within their grasp. There was a yearning for a window into Heaven, a glimpse of transcendence, just as a few experienced at the transfiguration. This, Philip reasoned, would remove any lingering doubts.
Jesus was so human that it took faith beyond eyesight to believe without reservation that He was God in the flesh. Jesus had proven repeatedly to His disciples that He was more than just a man, He was indeed God. He was the earthly, visible demonstration of the Father. That is the reason for the name “Immanuel, God with us.”
God was present with man in the Garden. But after sin entered the world, He was available again in strict preparation and ceremony, in secretive and invisible presence in the Tabernacle, and then again in the Temple. But God’s presence would not remain in a building.
A personal God once again walked with men on Earth when The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. God was preparing the way to redeem man once and for all. The blood of animals as a covering for sin could never fully satisfy the wrath of God, just as a symbolic gesture is not the real thing.
Full and final payment for all sin was required. Death was required ─ the death of a perfect, sinless person. Who is perfect but God? God is life ─ He cannot die. And a man who is a sinner can only die for himself. But if sinless God could also be a mortal man, He could die. The Creator of the universe humbled Himself and came to Earth, sufficiently limited by humanity. There is no greater demonstration of love and humility.
Jesus is the God/man. Incapable of sin, Jesus took the sin of the world on Himself willingly, though He was innocent. He died in place of all people for all time who are all guilty before God, born into the world bearing the sin nature of their father Adam. God died to justify forgiveness for all those who will believe in Him. Without Jesus, there is no hope. With Jesus, we are freely forgiven, and through Christ’s resurrection we too have overcome eternal death. His presence made all the difference.
Bible Reading Plan - Day 3