Saturday, March 10, 2018

Where are You?

My wife is a weaver, and some of her woven wall hangings tell a story. One of my favorites is called “Where are You?” A lonely girl sits at the darkened mouth of a cave. The rough rock around her seems harsh and foreboding. Miserable and hopeless, she cries out: “Where are You?”

Only when you step back do you see that the rock of the cave is formed by two gigantic hands cradling her. The hands have nail marks in them.
We don’t always see things the way they are. Jesus is nearer to us than we realize. There are times when He cradles us and carries us without our ever knowing.

The first verses of Hebrews 1 describe Christ in ways we would not know apart from God’s own revelation. So far we have looked at four of seven wonderful descriptions: Christ is Heir of All Things, the Creator, the Radiance of God’sglory, and fully God.

A fifth description, today’s focus, is that JESUS CHRIST UPHOLDS THE UNIVERSE: he upholds the universe by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3).

These descriptions, as breathtaking as they are, would never have been discovered by human understanding. But because the Father is determined to bring glory to the Son, He has revealed them.

What does it mean that Christ, heir and creator of all things, also “upholds” all things? First, a few other questions: How is it that there is any regularity in the universe? Scientists depend on the fact that the universe can be studied, that there is predictability, that we can posit scientific theorems in physics and mathematics. But why isn’t it all random? What if gravity worked today – you drop your keys, and there they are on the ground – but tomorrow you drop your keys and they shoot off into the space?

The Bible’s answer is that the Son of God upholds all things by the word of His power. Or Colossians 1:17 says the same thing in different words: in him all things hold together.

Dionne and I have a friend who is a Christian counselor. But he reads widely and is especially interested in quantum physics. He recently told about a conference he attended where the discussion was not just physics but the meaning of the universe. Some of the participants were talking about a “quantum field of intelligence” - a universal consciousness from which all things come and which holds all things together.

And our friend spoke up.  “Hey, we Christians have a name for that. It’s Jesus Christ.”

Twenty centuries ago the book of Hebrews revealed that Christ upholds the entire universe.  Literally, He “carries” all things. And it’s not like He just keeps the universe running, like you might with an old car. Jesus is not only keeping the car running, He’s also driving it.

In other words, He carries the universe - He’s taking it somewhere. All of creation serves His purposes. All things will be remade and will, in the end, celebrate the joy and victory of Christ Himself.

And in addition to the mind-blowing truth of Christ’s universal control over all things, it is also true that He upholds each of His children - in our loneliest moments when we might wonder where He is.