Let’s return now to the night of His birth. Wonder was the first emotion expressed by those who first saw the baby Jesus. Wonder was the reaction of Joseph and Mary at the things which were said about Him (Luke 2:33).
We have all heard about the great wonders of the world. But there is no event, no location, and certainly no person who has ever created more wonder and amazement than Jesus Christ. His incarnation is a wonder to us. How God became man and dwelt among us is a wonder to our finite minds. How the eternal Son of God became a baby in a manger, born of a virgin, is a wonder.
Often I have seen the amazement and wonder of scientists at some discovery about Mars, or some star that has been “discovered” by the Hubble telescope. Before the stars were placed in the sky, the Son of God decided to become a man. That is truly a wonder.
When I read the great accounts of God’s intervention in the Old Testament—His deliverance of Noah from the flood, the parting of the waters at the Red Sea, the sun standing still for Joshua, the shadow on the dial of Ahaz turned back ten degrees—these are all amazing to me. But they stand in shadow compared to the reality of God becoming man.
When Messiah came, we were delivered from the flood tide of sin; a bridge across the great divide between God and man was built. The Son of God hung on a cross, in pitch darkness, so that I could stand in the shadow of His grace. He is a wonderful God.
Dr. David G. Hause writes, “He is the seed of woman, yet the Son of God. He is the child of a day, yet the monarch of eternity. He is a newborn of a span’s length, yet He is king of the ages. Omnipotence in a little baby’s hand. Omnipresence in a little baby’s feet. Omniscience in a little baby’s eye. The voice of Jehovah in a little baby’s cry.” Jesus is so wonderful.
God’s Son was born, and He was given. He was both God and man. God in flesh, dwelling among us. Everything He did was wonderful. Everything He said was wonderful. In everything He is, indeed, wonderful.
Those who listened to Him “wondered at the gracious words which were falling from His lips…” His miracles were wonderful. His parables still cause us to wonder at the depth of meaning in every word. His passion for Jerusalem, His love for publicans, His compassion for Samaria, His patience with the disciples, His acceptance of Judas, His silence before Pilate, His willingness to face the cross, His appearances after the resurrection…all bring amazement and wonder to our hearts.
Use your imagination; put yourself in the temple next to a twelve-year-old expounding on great theological texts. Sit down on the Mount of Beatitudes and listen to those words that still capture our hearts and minds. We find ourselves agreeing with the hymn writer, Phillip Paul Bliss, “Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life; let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life.”
Only someone as wonderful as Jesus could use a sparrow to teach us about how much God loves us. Only God can reveal Himself in the beauty of a flower. It takes a Wonderful Counselor to comfort the brokenhearted. Surely the word “wonder” comes to mind when we see what Jesus did with a small boy’s lunch of loaves and fish. Only the God of heaven can take the common and make it supernatural.
If He is not wonderful, then explain how he mystified Nicodemus, an educated Pharisee. Come to some rational explanation regarding Pilate’s response to Him. Here is the God-Man, who overwhelmed the scholars, stunned the politicians, touched the lepers, and forgave prostitutes. He walked the hills of Galilee, and they wondered at Him. His enemies couldn’t explain Him…and they couldn’t ignore Him.
Although it is difficult to speak of the cross as something wonderful, it is. We glory in the cross of our Lord. By His stripes, we are healed from our sin. In His death, we find life everlasting. Even when He was beaten, cursed, and abused, He never responded. The Scriptures tell us Pilate “wondered greatly.”
If Jesus had not died, the chains of sin would still hold this sinner captive. Because He did die for my sin, He has set the captive free. In His death, I find life. At His cross I find pardon, forgiveness, and cleansing. I stand in awe of what God has done for me, and for all who will believe.
Before we close, I must remind you—the cross is not the end. Three days after His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the grave. Peter ran to the tomb and stood in wonder when he looked in and saw it was empty. The empty tomb makes life wonderful and the thought of heaven incredible. Death has lost its sting. The grave has been defeated. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, the first fruits of those that sleep. In light of this, shouldn’t we join Isaiah in saying, “His name is Wonderful!”