Which about the nature, design and intended purpose of a machine is more valuable – analysis and conclusions based on observation or explanation from the inventor, designer and creator?  Both are valuable, for each enhances the other. The impact of each without the other, however, is far from equal. 


The second without the first is most trustworthy but feels incomplete, for how could anyone fully admire and enjoy the result of the concept and work purely through hearsay or narrative?  The first without the second is much worse, giving rise to endless variety of partial evidences and wandering interpretation leading to meaningless and even hazardous decisions about the machine’s aspect and that of its origin. 


So there is an inherent hierarchy present:  the information from the designer is essential for comprehending, or at least apprehending the purpose of the machine; and observation and analysis, which, though subservient, enrich the understanding and experience of what is conveyed by the designer such that the original intent of the design, which initially unbeknownst to the observer always included their enjoyment, is progressively made complete.


It occurs to me that, in a sense, Jesus actually gave up his life for me twice. First, he released his entitlement, as an equal person of the trinity, to perfect intimacy with Father. Just becoming a human, experiencing a change in nature, enduring nine months inside a human mother and living as one of us was an unnatural and extraordinary decrease. He willingly took on my existence – days with glimpses of light and life that cheered but quickly ceded to encroachment of the inescapable dark end waiting.  Then, after three decades of living as a son, a brother and a friend, Jesus walked through a field thick with fear and agony, disappointment and treachery to finally step into that same dark end for no other purpose than to secure my rescue.

Sometimes I ponder what my life, my future, the lives of my family and friends would look like if Jesus had refused to descend (his birth) or to descend again (his death). Then I realize I already know:  the same as it was before, temporary sparks in hopeless darkness.  Still, if his path ended there, in death, my hope is false, his promises and proclamations merely dust in the air around me, reflecting fading light.  The rescue was only completed when he again opened his eyes, breathed a new breath free of the cross and the grave and obliterated death’s grasp.

His light has not just cut through the darkness; it has erased it.  Jesus didn’t bring hope for life, he brought life forever, with him – permanent life!

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you!

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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