Another Christmas time is here. We hear and see the same end of year hustling and bustling in almost all businesses, households, stores and shops; people shopping for food, presents or materials for odd jobs needed to be done if not at home but certainly somewhere in the community.
Function after function, big and small; celebration after celebration is always the call of the day from Monday through Sunday and nothing ever convenes and ends without the scrumptious Cook Islands-style family kaikai.
The big boughs and branches laid with red clad beautiful flowers of our flamboyant trees all around the island send out a nice, natural and tropical “welcome home” message to all our returning families, tourists, visitors and friends.
All glory, honour, praise and thanks to the one whose name, though born a in an animal stable some 2,000 years ago, still stands and becomes one the world just cannot ignore, reject nor deny. His birth was nothing short of his all-embracing love for all mankind, “…that none should perish but all come to repentance and saved from all their sins” (2 Peter 3: 9).
King Herod asked, “Who is this Jesus that is born King of the Jews?”
Well, Jesus is the most important person who ever lived. Isaiah called him Immanuel, meaning: God with us, God in human flesh, fully divine and fully human.
In other words, Jesus has two distinct natures, one divine and the other human. Jesus is the Word who was God and was with God and was made flesh (John 1: 1, 14).
Both a human and divine nature reside simultaneously in the person of Jesus. The divine was not changed when the Word became flesh. Instead the Word was joined with humanity (Col. 2: 9). Jesus divine nature was not altered. Jesus is neither just a man who “had God within Him”, nor is he a man who “manifested the God principle.”
He is God in the flesh, “…the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Heb. 1: 3). Jesus’ two nature are not “mixed together”, nor are they combined into a new God-man nature. They are separate yet act as a unit in the one person of Jesus Christ. He ultimately declared in John 10: 30, “I and My Father are One” and in John 14: 9 when he said to Philip, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”
A. As God, Jesus Christ is: The Creator of all things (Col. 1: 16); worshipped (Mat. 2: 2, 11); prayed to (Acts 7: 59)); knows all things (Jn. 21: 17); Called God (Jn. 20: 28, Heb. 1: 8); Giver of eternal life (Jn. 10: 28).
B. As Man, Jesus Christ: Worshipped the Father (Jn. 17, ); Called man (Mk. 15: 39, Jn. 19: 5); Called the Son of Man (Jn. 9: 35 – 37); Called the Lamb of God ( Jn. 1: 29); Tempted ( Mt. 4:1); the Complete manifestation of the invisible God (Col. 2: 9, 10); Head of the Church (Eph. 1: 22, Col. 1: 18); First fruit of them that slept (1 Cor. 15: 20).
The Apostle Paul described it well in this manner:
“In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: al things were created by Him, and for Him: And he is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And he is the head of the church: who is the beginning, (Col. 1: 14 – 18).
C. All names and titles of God throughout the whole Bible are accorded to Him: “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there One Lord and His Name One” (Zechariah 14: 90).
D.“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him (Jesus), and given Him a Name which above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Kia Orana e Kia Manuia rava I te au ra o te Kiritimiti e te tuatau o te openga Mataiti taito 2015, akatomo atu ei ki roto I te Mataiti Ou 2016. Ei mua ua rai Iesu, tei to tatou rima katau aia kia kore roa tatou e ngaueue.
Best wishes for the Christmas season and even greater blessings as we depart from the old year 2015, entering into having a more prosperous and Jesus-blessed New Year, 2016.
Kia Ora No Iesu E Tuatau Ua Atu, Amene!
Bishop Tutai Pere