Posted by: Billy Marsh | July 10, 2007

Christ: The (as opposed to a) Wonder of the World

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Unless you haven’t been watching the news lately, you are aware that the first ever global election has announced 7 new wonders of the world in which the statue of Christ, the Redeemer located in Brazil has made the cut. The official website for the new wonders of the world (not natural wonders, there’s a separate list for those by the way) has a page dedicated to this monument with a slogan urging for people to vote for it, which if you haven’t voted, nevermind, it’s too late, the vote is over, that says “In short, vote for Christ Redeemer because it stands for Welcoming and Openness.” Although I wouldn’t completely disagree with this statement, I would say that Christ himself equally stands for exclusion and uniqueness. Phrases directed towards the character and mission of Christ like the one above make it harder and harder everyday to fight off the world’s constant temptation and misconeption that Jesus was a pluralist, not to mention merely a moral figure.

However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Christ is The Wonder of the World. Just the fact that a statue of our great Savior has made it into the famed seven winners of a globally participated contest who shares the mantle with six others as wonders of the world causes me to reflect on just how wonderful he really is, not to mention, how much greater he is than any man-created thing.

With the entirety of the Godhead in mind, it seems that God desires to make sure that his creation recognizes him as utterly incomparable to anything it knows. For instance, in Exodus 9:14 the Lord says, “For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.” In a similar fashion, the Psalmist exclaims in Psalm 71:19, “Your righteousness , O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?” Here, the result of God’s deeds on the earth evokes the response from the Psalmist that signifies that the works of the Lord demonstrate that there is only one God and he is to be praised.

With respect to Christ, he is the only Savior. Paul in 1 Tim 4:10 teaches that “we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, specially of those who believe.” Likewise, Peter proclaims, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).” Jesus testifies of himself that he is the “only way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).” In my opinion, the entire book of Hebrews is dedicated to lifting Christ up, high and exalted, above all other seemingly great persons, places of worship, possible salvations, and persecutions (Moses, the angels, tabernacles, and so forth).

In support of the wonder and uniqueness of our God, to his glory and to the exclusion of all other false gods and religions, is that awe, fear, reverance, and wonder are the proper reponses to the almightiness and majesty of his deeds notwithstanding very simply, who he is demands all of the jawdropping stares and cold chills that a whole world can offer.  Psalm 33:8 exhorts, “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” Of Christ, at the time of his crucifixion, it is said of those beholding these events, “When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God (Matt 27:54).'” Once again, yes in Hebrews 12:28-29 (I couldn’t resist), the writer quotes the Deut 4:24 as well as other references from the OT stating, “. . . and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverance and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

The list can go on forever. Who is like our God! Whom have we in heaven but thee? And at the consummation of the age, Jesus will take the whole world as center stage completing his great and wonderful role as Savior and Redeemer as he comes “not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” and “all who have loved his appearing (Heb 9:28; 2 Tim 4:8).

For a few passages of Scripture that always evoke affections such as wonder and awe in my heart towards the Lord, who is to me, the true wonder of the world and of all creation, go to the Yahweh speeches in Job 38-41 and Jeremiah 10 and 1 Samuel 5 which tells the story of the ark of the covenant captured by the Philistines and what the Lord did to their pagan idol Dagon. These are good starting places, if you love his Word, you will not have trouble finding more!

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Responses

  1. This is a great point. Christ is the wonder of the world, not merely one of seven! This is also a good opportunity to extol the uniqueness of God as revealed in Christ our Redeemer. Also, a good sermon illustration.

  2. This is a great article. I really enjoyed reading it. It also brings up so many memories of going to see this “wonder of the world” eight years ago in Brazil.


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