Thursday, December 24, 2020

Less Than He Is

Nothing you can do to him can make him less than he is.

Remember that saying.

His Birth

Because he came into this world in a stable. They put him in an animal food trough. There was no place for him at a low-class inn. Yet he was — and is — the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Eternal King.

And God did not prevent it.

From the moment of his birth, God made this message clear: “He is who he is; nothing you can do to him can make him less than he is.”

His Life

He walked the dirty streets of Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem. When the world was too busy with its own affairs to remember to provide anything for him, he went hungry and thirsty. The leaders and great men of the day had little time for him, and the crowds were fickle. By most, and for most of his earthly life, he was ignored, though he was the healer, the miracle worker and the promised hope of Israel. He had come to his own, and those who were his own did not receive him. Yet he was who he was.

And nothing they could do could make him less than he is.

His Death

He was despised and rejected by men. They arrested him for doing no wrong, put him through a kangaroo court, and made him suffer the false accusations of witnesses who couldn’t even get their stories straight. They convicted him eventually on his own words: that he is the Son of God. Then they took him, and beat him, and blasphemed against him, and spat their hateful saliva in his face. They crowned him with thorns, paraded him through the streets in shame, and nailed him to a piece of wood. He died in agony and infamy, in full view of the barking mob and in full view of the triumphant, contemptuous soldiers of the great empire that aimed to replace him.

And nothing they could do could make him less than he was.


Last week I was talking to an atheist. He hates God, and speaks blasphemies against him. He despises Jesus Christ, who he claims was never who we Christians have ever said he was. He calls the Lord a fraud, those who love him fools, and the gospel a worthless sham as a consequence. He claims that simple death and non-existence are what awaits us all in the end; that the afterlife, heaven and particularly the judgment are nothing but the stories of children. There is, he thinks, no Judge returning to call to account the living and the dead. The story of Jesus, he insists, is nothing but a historical mistake at best, a pernicious myth at worst. Like a foolish child, he puts his hands over his own eyes, and declares, “God can’t see me!”

And nothing he can do can make Christ less than he is.

What He Is

He is the only Savior. He is truth, light and the way. He is the inheritor of all things. He is eternal life itself. He is the beginning and the end of all things, and the center of all the meaning and purpose in the universe. And he is the final Judge, who will destroy evil, establish righteousness, and bring all things into rightful place.

Nothing all such atheist denial can do can make him less than he is.

And he is rightful Lord of your life. He is the ransom of your soul, the regenerator of your death in trespasses and sins, and the rightful center of your life. He is the giver of every good gift … from each breath you took from birth to your hope of eternal life … and the sovereign, all-wise governor of every circumstance you ever faced. He is also the only hope of salvation for all your loved ones, and the only ray of light in this dark and hopeless world.

He is the Head of the Church, the beginning and the end of all things. He is the Lord of Glory, and the one in whom God has all his pleasure. Only those things that you have done for Christ will last. He is the meaning of everything. He is the center of the universe.

And it is way past time we all began acting as if he is.

But nothing we can do to him, or fail to do, can make him less than he is.

The Lord Jesus Christ

“Who is he in yonder stall?” asks the writer of the famous carol.

And the answer returns: “ ’Tis the Lord, the King of Glory.”

And nothing, nothing anyone can ever do can make him less than he is.

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