“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9, 10 NKJV)
Someone has rightly called it The Greatest Story Ever Told — (a 1949 novel by Fulton Ousler, which later became a major motion picture in 1965). It gave a sweeping and dramatic overview of the life and times of Jesus. But the narrative of Scripture takes us far beyond what Hollywood can offer.
In a word it is all astounding. When we try to take it in we are amazed with awe; speechless with wonder; befuddled with incomprehension. But we are not alone. Isaiah tells us that even “the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, when they compare their ineffectual fire to the light of the Lord’s glory” (Isaiah 24:23, Amplified Bible).
So glorious is the splendor of our Lord, so majestic is His radiance, that all the greatest luminaries ever known to man will but apologize on that great day when He lights up the Universe with His unfiltered presence.
And what is perhaps the most astounding aspect of the story, is that He freely gave up His glory that He might come and live among us. And by His living — and dying — lift us out of our bondage, sorrow and night into His glorious freedom and light!
Yes, the birth in Bethlehem takes our breath away. The old rugged cross on a hillside near Jerusalem leaves us speechless. And the resurrection boggles our minds. And when we learn more of the story we are rendered even more astounded.
Years ago, Dottie Rambo wrote a beautiful Gospel song that stands to this day as one of the best ever penned. “He left the splendor of heaven,” she wrote, “knowing His destiny was the lonely hill called Golgatha; there to lay down His life for me.” And then she concludes, “If that isn’t love the ocean is dry, there’re no stars in the sky, and the sparrow can’t fly. If that isn’t love then heaven’s a myth; there’s no feeling like this if that isn’t love.”
I love the way Marc Martel more recently put it when he wrote, “How many kings step down from their thrones? How many lords have abandoned their homes? How many greats have become the least for me? And how many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that is torn all apart? How many fathers gave up their sons for me?” (How Many Kings, by Downhere, on Centricity Records)
The answer? Only ONE.