The Infinite Sacrifice of Christ
April 21, 2020 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

It is beyond human words to describe the infinite sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of humanity. It is beyond human minds to comprehend the loss, the condescension.

Jesus Christ is God, pre-existent, with life original in Himself, unborrowed from another and underived from His Father. He was One with God from all eternity:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning (John 1:1, 2 NIV84).

Jesus, God the Son, is the agency of the Godhead through whom all things were made:

For by him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:16–18 NIV84).

And God, as the Creator of space and time, as the sustainer of the universe, is an infinite being who exists outside of and beyond the limitations of our space and time:

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:15, 16 NIV84, emphasis mine).

God, the infinite Creator, lives in a reality of light that is unapproachable by finite beings. We cannot approach, not because God put some rule in place that prohibits our access or some security shield that bars our way, but because of reality: Finite beings simply cannot assimilate and process infinite reality—it is beyond us.

Therefore, God, who is love, desiring the closest intimacy with His creation, steps out of infinity and interacts with us in our linear reality, in our space-time. Jesus is the member of the Godhead who, throughout all eternity, has been the go-between, the connecting link between God and His intelligent creatures. Jesus is the Mediator—God’s ambassador—God’s thoughts made audible and visible to finite minds.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9 NIV84).

Before Adam sinned, Jesus would manifest or appear in the form of His created beings, yet He did not become or partake the nature of His created beings. Prior to His incarnation, Jesus retained all the prerogatives and abilities of divinity—He remained omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. Jesus had within Himself the ability to be in all places at once, but also to be in all times at once—meaning He experienced eternity past and future simultaneously.

But with His incarnation, Jesus did not merely appear as a human; He became human, merging His divine self with our humanity.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NIV84, emphasis mine).

This was a permanent joining. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16, emphasis mine). Jesus was not loaned to the human race. Jesus was given to the human race to forever be one with us—to forever be human.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5–12 NIV84).

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He didn’t merely leave infinity for a brief moment—He stepped out of infinity for all eternity future. Jesus, in heaven today, retains His humanity—sinless and perfected—but still restricted by the flesh of a human body. Jesus now sends His representative, the Holy Spirit, to do for Him that which He used to do for Himself: exist in all places at all times.

Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. … when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you (John 16:7, 13–15, NIV84 emphasis mine).

It is beyond human words to describe the infinite sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of humanity. It is beyond human minds to comprehend the loss, the condescension. It is beyond us because we are finite and we are incapable of understanding, processing, or fully appreciating infinity. We can hear the words. We can understand the concepts, but we cannot truly appreciate the depth of the sacrifice.

We can only contemplate, study, and stretch our understanding, and as we do, we will grow in our appreciation of God. But this growth, this advancement in our knowledge of what Christ has done, is never and will never be complete. It is an eternal journey, for no matter how much we glean, no matter how much we assimilate, no matter how much we embrace, there will always be more—an infinite storehouse of truth that remains beyond our current awareness.

To God be the glory—great things He has done!

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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