I had heard the Grand Canyon was an inspiring natural wonder. It’s a must see among nature’s most impressive sights.
For some reason, I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around it. I believed what people had said–that it was magnificent and amazing. I knew the Grand Canyon had to be stunning. But it was hard to picture a giant hole in the ground changing my life.
I imagined it would be like a giant cereal bowl–deep, circular, and with minor remains of Fruity Pebbles scattered about.
When I was in high school, my family took a trip out west and I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Canyon itself.
That was the day I realized I would never become an FBI sketch artist. My mental renderings were way off from the verbal pictures others were trying (and valiantly) painting for me. I simply couldn’t envision anything like this wonder of the world.
The Grand Canyon was incredible. It was awe-inspiring. It wasn’t shaped at all how I imagined. There was no way I could see from one end to another. It wasn’t some lame sink hole. This monster goes on for nearly 300 hundred glorious miles. It was intricately carved and dug out thoughtfully by the hand of God, with recesses and protrusions that could be studied indefinitely. I could spend the rest of my life exploring the Grand Canyon and still find something new each day.
Words and stories didn’t do it justice. It was phenomenal.
I think, for most of us, we treat Jesus a lot like the Grand Canyon.
We’ve heard a fair amount of stories.
We know he’s a pretty impressive guy.
We’ve possibly even placed our faith in him and say we know him personally.
But we haven’t even begun to explore the depths and riches of who Jesus really is.
We haven’t thoughtfully investigated him at a personal level.
Our friends have told us some things. We read the accounts of his life from a distance. But we think he’s just a man who happened to redeem mankind.
But, Jesus is far more impressive than the Grand Canyon.
Paul beautifully describes him in Colossians 1.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
The image of the invisible God. God in the flesh. Everything was created for him. Everything we see (the world, the solar system, the galaxies, people, babies, buildings) and everything we don’t (gravity, air, the laws of the universe) was created by him and for him and through him.
He’s holding all of creation in place. He’s got the whole world in his hands, sure, but that Sunday School sing-a-long doesn’t even scratch the surface. Jesus has everything that is in his hands.
He’s keeping the Earth orbiting around the sun and he’s making sure your fingers are still attached to your hands when you wake up in the morning.
He’s the model for the resurrected life–the firstborn of the dead. One day, the bodies of all Christians will be like Jesus’ perfect and glorified bodies. Every believer is getting airbrushed and remade how we were meant to be, after the pattern of Jesus.
The fullness of God was pleased to dwell in him. That means all of God was shoved into a human frame–gladly! His Godness was practically exploding out of his skin. Fully God and fully man, all in one human form.
All of this, and he reconciled us to God by his death and resurrection. He died for our sake. He made it possible to be at peace with God through his sacrifice. And all he requires is faith!
Words fall far short of describing him. The Apostle John said, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
But this is the Grand-Canyon creating Jesus we’re talking about.
What if we quit simply imagining him from a distance and instead stopped and marveled at him? If we really envisioned this God we serve that Paul describes.
That Jesus, he’s one we can’t help but gaze at in amazement. He’s worthy of marveling at. Fix your eyes on him today. Marvel the Creator.
He will take your breath away.