Monday, December 22, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Conversations: An Invitation to Consider the Character of the Christ – Part Three – Eternal Father


Not eggs, light bulbs, or water/ice/steam. Indescribable.

This is the fourth in a series of posts discussing my belief in Jesus as the Messiah, in hopes of fostering understanding of my spirituality, and encouraging others to share their own perspectives on spirituality (defined broadly as the means by which we derive meaning from life and assign value to its elements). For more about why I find the discussion of our spirituality to be so important, especially as we countdown to Christmas, please see the initial post in the series. (Found here: http://deathpastor.blogspot.com/2014/12/countdown-to-christmas-conversations.html)

I am a Trinitarian. That means I believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons. I also believe that we are created as human beings to bear the image and likeness of the Triune God, and that the primary expression of our nature is in our relationships with one another. We are interdependent, not just in a social-contract so that our needs are met without the collateral damage we would otherwise inflict, but through a fulfillment of our character and purpose that can only exist with and among one another.

Part of being a Trinitarian, however, is the acceptance of a differentiation among the persons of God. There are certain places in scripture where the unique roles of each of the three are suggested. (II Corinthians 13:14 is among the clearest, in my view.) And so, it would seem to mess with my neat compartmentalization of the three persons to refer to the Messiah (the Son of God, second person of the Trinity) as Eternal Father. But that is one of the titles applied in Isaiah 9:6. The attempts at reconciling the apparent dichotomy of Jesus Christ being both Father and Son fall into two categories, both of which, I believe, are valid. First, there are some who would explain that Jesus Christ is “the Father of Eternity.” By that they mean that He opens the way to eternal life for those who trust in Him alone for salvation.

"Let there be," and BANG, there was.
Second, though, is the explanation of Jesus Christ as the everlasting source and creator of everything. This is the view expressed in John 1:1-3 where it is “the Word” (which in John 1:14 is said to have become flesh, i.e., “incarnate,” Jesus Christ) through whom “all things came into being,” and without whom “nothing came into being that has come into being.”

As I’ve asked before, though, “Why is it so important to see Jesus Christ as Isaiah describes Him in each of these titles?” Here, as Eternal Father, the continuing relationship of Jesus Christ not only to Creation, but in continuing to create, is described by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:16-17. “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

At least as impressive? Building every one of these, ever.
Therefore, the role of Jesus as Creator (eternally fathering new elements of the cosmos, and of my life and yours) is not limited to events of “long ago and far away.” When relationships need restored, or bodies need healed, or when it is time for each of us to be resurrected to life in His more direct presence, He is Eternal Father. When Spring begins to emerge from beneath the snow, renewing us for yet another season of growth and gain, He is Eternal Father. And when a new life, a human being, comes into being at conception, who creates that person to bear the image and likeness of their Creator? Jesus Christ, the Eternal Father.

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