One of the most dangerous things that can happen to Christians is that Jesus can become too familiar. Some of us have grown up with believing parents and—praise God—we’ve been hearing about Jesus for a long time. We know the story of the gospels so well that we no longer see the beauty they contain.
In times like these, it’s helpful to have someone remind us of the unique glory of Jesus Christ. We need brothers and sisters to show us that His glory never gets drab or dull and it is worthy of an eternity gathered around the throne and singing his praises. Michael Reeves’ book Rejoicing in Christ did just that for me.
Rejoicing in Christ is a short book—just around 150 pages, but in its pages are glimpses of glory that allow us to see the beauty of Jesus. Reeves shows that Jesus is the center of Christianity and that He’s more than just the center. He is also the outside border and everything in between as well. To quote Reeves, “Christianity is Christ.”1 Here are the opening lines of the book:
“Jesus Christ, God’s perfect Son, is the Beloved of the Father, the Song of the angels, the Logic of creation, the great Mystery of godliness, the bottomless Spring of life, comfort and joy. We were made to find our satisfaction, our heart’s rest, in him. Quite simply, this book will be about enjoying him, reveling in his all-sufficiency for us, and considering all that he is: how he reveals such an unexpectedly kind God, how he makes, defines—how he is—the good news, and how he not only gives shape to but is himself the shape of the Christian life.”2
Simply re-typing those sentences draw my heart to worship Jesus more deeply. Jesus is not only the door to the house of Christianity; He’s also the kitchen, the living room, and the whole structure.
Michael Reeves helps us to see the glorious complexities of our Lord and Savior. In describing the impossibility of putting Jesus into a comfortable box, Reeves shows how Jesus shatters all categories and breaks all expectations for how a Messiah ought to function:
“Generous and genial, firm and resolute, he was always surprising. Loving but not soppy, his insight unsettled people and his kindness won them. Indeed, he was a man of extraordinary—and extraordinarily appealing—contrasts…He was red-blooded and human, but not rough. Pure, but never dull. Serious with sunbeams of wit. Sharper than cut glass, he out-argued all comers, but never for the sake of the win. He knew no failings in himself, yet was transparently humble. He made the grandest claims for himself, yet without a whiff of pomposity. He ransacked the temple, spoke of hellfire, called Herod a fox, the Pharisees pimped-up corpses, and yet never do you doubt his love as you read his life.”3
Jesus is full of paradoxes. He is completely divine, yet fully human. He is full of grace, yet full of justice. He is compassionate, yet full of righteous anger. He is meek and lowly, yet highly exalted. He is full of sorrows, yet full of joy. And for those who have eyes to see, these paradoxes are springboards for worship.
This is only a small snippet of the book. I encourage you to pick up a copy of Rejoicing in Christ in the Resource area at College Park North Indy. Its content on the pre-existence, incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ will shatter your familiar and comfortable ideas about Jesus and lead you to rejoice over and treasure the beauty of your Savior.
1 Reeves, Michael. Rejoicing in Christ (Kindle Locations 42-43). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
2 Ibid, (Kindle Locations 44-48).
3 Ibid (Kindle Locations 768-773), emphasis mine.