Back in 1995 we lived in Centerville, Ohio. Centerville had a wonderful little post office in those days right behind Bill's Donuts. In February of that year I stopped by to buy some stamps, noticing a large poster of the current stamp. As I awaited my turn in line, I reflected on the picture of the cherub I saw on the wall.
"Wait a minute," I said to myself, "I've seen that cherub before, but in a bigger painting."
I had taken art history in college and loved it! So I was wracking my brain to try to remember what painting it was part of. I couldn't let it rest...so it sent me to the library to those big, dusty art books.
Sure enough, here's the painting those little cherubs are part of:
The cherubs are hardly noticed in this painting. The obvious focal point is the mother and child...but the mother, more than the child!
"Wow," I thought, "Isn't that just like what we do in our Christian life? We loose our focal point -- the Lord Jesus Christ! Rather we focus on all the peripheral Christian things, as good as many of them may be...things like the spiritual disciplines, godly behavior, our motivation, the latest Christian best-seller, the current Christian "band-wagon," the retreat or conference everyone is talking about...the Christian to-do list!
I love this "equation" that says it all:
Jesus + nothing = Everything
Right here in the first chapter of Hebrews, we see the exalted Christ...God's final revelation...the culmination, the fulfillment of all that has gone before.
He's better than prophets and preachers; better than angels and other emissaries; He's God's Son...God Himself! The Father has spoken in His Son, the Logos, the Word (John 1)!
And as with any speaking, there's the expectation that someone will listen. So it is and much more so when it comes to hearing God in His Son:
This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him! Matthew 17:5
Why must we hear HIM? He's the Darling of Heaven! He's the Indescribable One, beautiful beyond human words! The Incomparable Lord Jesus Christ!
He's the One our God describes and compares in the letter to the Hebrew Christians of the first and second century. And He's the One our God wants US to hear in the 21st century. So, my friends...
Let us HEAR HIM!
I Stand in Awe by Mark Altrogge
You are beautiful beyond description, Too marvelous for words, Too wonderful for comprehension, Like nothing ever seen or heard. Who can grasp your infinite wisdom? Who can fathom the depth of your love? You are beautiful beyond description, Majesty enthroned above.
(Chorus) And I stand, I stand in awe of you. I stand, I stand in awe of you. Holy God, to whom all praise is due, I stand in awe of you.
You are beautiful beyond description, Yet God crushed You for my sin, In agony and deep affliction, Cut off that I might enter in. Who can grasp such tender compassion? Who can fathom this mercy so free? You are beautiful beyond description, Lamb of God, Who died for me.