I have decided to do two more articles on Allah because in my opinion one of the saddest mistakes in Islamic theology is to see God/Allah as so holy, so lofty, so above us all that we poor fallen, stumbling creatures cannot have a one-on-one, face-to face personal relationship with Him. At best Islam is a second-hand, over the shoulder relationship with God/Allah. God/Allah is not a person who for the briefest second would stoop down to our dirty, dusty, sinful level world and touch our leprous lives.
Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God did and continues to do all of the above.
Jesus Christ is the God of the prodigal son who will reach down even in a pig pen to restore him. He is also the God of the leper who will stoop down and touch his leprosy. He is the God of the prostitute to whom he will say, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” He is the God of the thief and murderer. Jesus personally said to the dying repentant thief on the cross next to him, “Today you shall be with me in paradise.” It is is not above God to enter the dust and din of this world to help those who have lost their way. The incarnation, the cross debunk this cold as stone and steel attitude of an aloof God, who speaks only from a distance, second handedly, through others, from inanimate object, but never personally to us as individuals. The truth is that he is nearer to you than your own hands and feet. His ear is ever open to your faintest cry.
Several days ago I was admiring a stained-glass mural high up in the nave of a great Cathedral, it was beautiful. But stained glass windows and magnificent architecture can never replace the warm personal voice of the Holy Spirit to the human spirit.
What is the distance between the furthest star and the deepest ocean trench on earth. I do not know, nor could I measure such a distance. Nevertheless it is not immeasurable. But I do know this, that no one can measure the distance between the most high God and the lowest sinner on earth. However, on Calvary’s cross Jesus took the holy hand of God the Father and reached down, down, down down. How far I cannot measure, for who knows the distance between heaven and hell. It cannot be measured in inches or feet or miles or light years. But with one hand he took the holy hand of God and with the other he took the sinful hand of man and reconciled man to God. That is the immeasurable gulf that Christ did span at Calvary. ( c.f. Philippians 2: 5-11)
He came down to our insane, mad, bloody level. The majesty of it all, the condescension of it all staggers me, leaves me breathless, open jawed. I cannot fully grasp it. But it happened.
How awesome it is to think of God as the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep safe in his fold and goes into the mountains wild and cold searching for his one lost sheep. He sought out a very unreputable tax collector name Zacchaeus and invited himself to stay at his house ( (Luke 19:1–10). How amazing is love like this.
Islam misses such unspeakable, personal love directly from God himself. But as Christians we have a foretaste of it right now, in this present world, in these fragile earthen vessels. And one day it shall be ours to richly enjoy forever in our new redeemed bodies.
I close this short article with the words of Psalm 113:4-9,
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
Praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down
The Lord’s name is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
Who dwells on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
He raises the poor out of the dust,
And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,
That He may seat him with princes—
With the princes of His people.
He grants the ]barren woman a home,
Like a joyful mother of children.
Praise the Lord!
Reach up to him and he will reach down to you. Whether you are in a cathedral or a cabbage patch, whether you are a president or a prodigal, whether you are a theologian or a thief, whether you are a prince or a pauper, He is never more than a prayer away.