Saturday, June 25, 2016

Everything Depends on Jesus

Everything and everyone depends on Jesus every day.
I tweeted that line at about 7 last Saturday morning. Those few words came to me as a very quick summary of some things I've been studying and praying over for quite awhile.

Now, right away I should say the first thing that comes to mind about those words is that I need Jesus, personally, every day. I need His mercy and forgiveness and grace -- mercy and forgiveness and grace that come to me in spite of my often judgmental "holier than thou" "better than others" ("better than you"?!) attitude. I need Jesus' mercy because every day I complain (usually just to myself, in my heart) about circumstances and situations that God has brought into my life.

Yes, I, and everyone else, needs Jesus' loving mercy. Jesus is God, and there is no God apart from Jesus. He is the only one who can give us the forgiveness and grace that we need. If it were not for Jesus, none of us could ever live honestly free from guilt and shame. With Jesus' grace we can live with great joy, with joy that comes from knowing that our sin has been taken from us once and for all.

But that's not what was on my mind when I wrote the eight words at the top of this post.

It's not just me and other people who need Jesus. It's not just because we need his grace and mercy and forgiveness. It's because the entire universe depends on Jesus, because He is God.

In Matthew Henry's classic Commentary on the Whole Bible, in a section where the author is reflecting on Colossians 1:17, we read this about all things that exist:
He not only created them all at first, but it is by the word of his power that they are still upheld, Hebrews 1:3. The whole creation is kept together by the power of the Son of God, and made to consist in its proper frame. It is preserved from disbanding and running into confusion.
Everything depends on Jesus Christ--whether they know it or not--even if they don't have a brain. "Rocks and trees... skies and seas," "the morning light, the lily white," "the rustling grass" and birds raising "their carols," all of these rely on Jesus every day. If he were to turn away, nothing would exist at all.

Sometimes Christians think of God the Father ("This Is My Father's World") as being "creator," but it's clear from the Bible that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are involved in creating and keeping everything going. The Triune God, Father, Son, Spirit, together, do that creative work and the ongoing work of "sustaining" everything. Every molecule, every quark, every chemical compound, all the laws of physics and biology... everything depends on Jesus (and Holy Spirit) just as much as on "God the Father." It's true. If Jesus were to turn his back for a moment, all things would be gone.*

The universe depends upon Jesus -- because Jesus is God.

That's what I meant when I tweeted the line last week.

Blogposts from early June 2016 - "Scientific Theology,"
"The Whole World," and "Big Ideas, Big Words."

*The Christian Frame of Mind provoked three blogposts early this month, and that was just after studying the the introduction! Since then I've read the rest, and have found the ideas put forth in it to be really important and, as far as I can discern so far, pretty much true.

The first main point the author makes after the introduction has to do with the "contingent" nature of the universe. The universe (or "universes," if, as some suspect, there is more than one) does not have an independent existence. "Contingent" is a fancy word that means something depends on something or someone else.

The book's author, a Christian theologian and scientific scholar by the name of Thomas F. Torrance, says that a truly Christian understanding of the universe would include an emphasis, not only on the creation of the everything "in the beginning" by God (Father, Son, Spirit) but also the work the Triune God continues to do at every moment so that the universe continues to exist. Christians sometimes have the (wrong) idea that the world or universe has it's own independent existence, apart from God. The truth is, as T. F. Torrance explains, that through Jesus we come to know that He is absolutely essential to the world's continued existence! By Him everything is "unceasingly sustained in their order and being."

Jesus is way more than a savior. Everything depends upon Him.

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