…Cont. from The Empty Room. (part 1)
Undefinable. Uncontainable. Incalculable. Unmeasurable. Unmanageable. Its no wonder the Romans were shocked to discover in the temple of Jerusalem no idol, statue, representation, or image of the God of Israel following the Siege of Jerusalem in 63 BC. The Jewish religious conscience has always continually held out the wildness, the mysteriousness, and the reverence for that which should not be confined.
Why is there such a longing inside all of us to know him? There is an internal compass in our souls that points us to the True North … to our Origin and our Source … to a Person from which all persons come from. How can we find out who God is? Are we doomed to darkness about a God who sometimes acts in unexplainable ways, who sometimes allows terrible things to happen? Are we forever at the whim of a mysterious God who sometimes seems merciful and loving, but who sometimes seems harsh and severe? Who is the God of the empty room?
The Bible presents a startling answer: “no one knows the Father,” Jesus said, “except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” It is Jesus that is the self-disclosure of God. It is in Jesus that God’s character and nature is revealed.
The author of Hebrews writes that “the Son is the radiance of the Father’s glory, the exact representation of his being.” Paul writes to the Colossians that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God,” and that “in him all the fullness of deity dwells.” To Philip’s cry that echoes Moses’ thousands of years earlier, “Lord, show us the Father!” Jesus replies, “don’t you know me Philip, even as I have been among you all this time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
God will forever remain infinite, wild, mysterious, and undefinable, but he has chosen to reveal a glimpse of what he is like in the person of Jesus Christ. That which is unknowable can begin to be grasped in the person of Jesus. As we grow to know Christ, we grow to know God and his character. And what we see in Jesus Christ is not a God who delights in punishing people or holds people to unattainable standards, or guilt-tripping people into a set of religious behaviors; rather, we see a compassionate, loving, sacrificial King who dines with sinners, plays with children, reaches out to the ignored, loves the unlovely, befriends the friendless, and who holds the authority of heaven and earth over nature and physics, life and death, and over the powers of hell itself.
The human mind is helpless before the great Mystery that is God. But no longer is the God of the Empty Room entirely undisclosed. Jesus Christ radiates his glory and goodness, and as we get to know Jesus, we get to know God.