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Dec 2014

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery | The Theme of Heaven’s Praises

Come behold the wondrous mystery in the dawning of the King,
He, the theme of heaven’s praises, robed in frail humanity.
In our longing, in our darkness, now the light of life has come;
Look to Christ, who condescended, took on flesh to ransom us.
– First verse of Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery by Matt Boswell, Michael Bleecker, and Matt Papa

The first verse of this hymn comes to us at a perfect time. Although Christmas has officially passed us, this verse reminds us that our hearts continually long and look for the coming of our King Jesus. And in our longing for our King’s second coming, we can look to his first appearance – this wondrous mystery that we see here in the dawning of the King.

What an amazing thing that we can see the experience of the one who is described here as “the theme of heaven’s praises.” Colossians tells us that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the Word who existed with God before anything was ever made, the Firstborn over creation and redemption – what an amazing thing that this God, who was rich in glory and abundant in praises, for our sakes, became poor: robed in the very frail and fleeting flesh that He created.

This is the mystery. What regal does this? What ruler has ever condescended from pomp and praise to frailty and weakness? What Lord has ever, of His own volition, decided to take the place of the very subjects who scorn His reign? Jesus does. Hebrews tells us that He was made like His brothers in every respect so that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. This means that he is touched with our infirmities, He empathizes with our weaknesses, and He has suffered as we have in our temptations. And here is His purpose: Jesus condescended to ransom us. When God’s wrath stood as an impenetrable army set against us in our sins and trespasses, Jesus bore the justice and punishment that we deserved in our place and He purchases us as His own by giving His life as the price.

The encouragement for us today is simply to “Look”. Like the snake bitten people of Israel, look to the one lifted up and you will be saved. In your longing for acceptance before God, Look to Jesus who was lifted up on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin. Don’t look to your works for justification; Don’t look to your standards; Don’t look to your abilities. Look to Jesus. Look to the only one who is sufficient to bear the punishment that we deserve and the only one sufficient to give us the life that we need. Behold this wonderful mystery: that the King of Kings would leave the blessedness of heaven to live among sinful and frail humanity.

Rayshawn Graves



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