The Massive Size of the Universe
The heavens scream out and tell us of God’s surpassing worth (Ps. 19:1; Rom. 1:20). God’s glory is beyond our comprehension.
Do you know how far away the closest star is (besides the sun)? It is approximately 4 light-years away. A light-year is the length that light travels in one year. Light travels fast! 186,000 miles per second and there are 31,536,000 seconds in a year. A light year is really really really far. One light year is almost 6 trillion (6,000,000,000,000) miles! So, it takes four years for the light from the closest star to get to us.
And did you know that the sun is so big that about 1,300,000 earths could fit inside of it? The universe is vast beyond comprehension.
The Astrophysicist, Hugh Ross has said, “Somewhere around 50 billion trillion stars make their home in the observable universe.” That is impossible to conceive of. “A comparison may make it more comprehensible: if that same number of dimes were packed together as densely as possible and piled 1,500 feet high (as high as some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers), they would cover the entire North American continent.”
Jesus’ Massive Glory
And God—the One who created each star, named each one of them, and holds the entire universe together (Is. 40:26; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:3)—cares about you! He cares so much that He sent His Son to die for you. Jesus, God in flesh, humbled Himself, came, and died for anyone who turns to Him for salvation.
Christ who created the cosmos and holds all things together (Col. 1:16-17) made Himself nothing, took the form of a servant, was born in the likeness of men, and humbled Himself to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:7-8). Jesus, the Holy One, the spotless Lamb of God, became sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
The One who died on the cross for us died as He held the planets in orbit. He died, though He is the one that held the very nails together that pinned Him to that tree (Heb. 1:3).
He calls the host of stars by name and He knows your name! His judgments are just, His Word is true, and He is a God of sacrificial love. His faithfulness is never stopping, always and forever.
“Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
The Christ of the cosmos deserves our praise!
 To get a visual of the expanse of the universe, use a tennis ball to represent the sun (2.7 inches in diameter) and the edge of a dime to proportionally represent the earth (0.02 inches), then place the tennis ball and dime twenty-four steps apart. That will help you see the distance between the sun and the earth (Jeffrey D. Arthurs, Preaching as Reminding, p. 76). Arthurs goes on to explain that “To explain the distance to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star: the tennis ball would be in Boston and Alpha Centauri would be in Memphis” (Ibid.).
 Hugh Ross, Why the Universe is the Way it Is, p. 31.
There is a certain way we should approach questions, the first thing that comes to mind is humility. There are certain things we cannot know the definitive answer to. I think that makes sense since we are creation, not Creator. However, that is not to say we shouldn’t ask. Here are a few of my thoughts on the question…
First, is it actually big? It’s all perspective. To us it seems big, big beyond comprehension. However, Isaiah 40 says that God names every star and that the nations are like dust on a scale. That is, things, even really big things, are small to God. Also, to put things in perspective, ants seem small to us but they don’t seem small to themselves. There are things that are small compared to ants (e.g. protons and neutrons). Maybe it is not the universe that is big but we that are small. Maybe that seems strange because we see ourselves as so big, so grand. Maybe that’s part of the reason the universe is so big, to show us that we are small. We are not the be-all-end-all of the universe. We are small.
Second, the Bible says that the heavens, i.e. the vast universe, carries out a specific role. And what is that role? The vast universe declares the glory of God (see Ps. 19:1ff; 50:6; Rom. 1)! If the universe is declaring the glory of God it makes sense that it would need to be big!
Third, God takes pleasure in His creation. There are stars no human will ever see, fish we can’t imagine, and flowers that bloom and die without any humans awareness. But God knows. And God takes pleasure in it all. Remember, in Genesis 1:31 God said it was “very good.” So, God enjoys His vast creation. Remember God is the Great Creator, the Great Artist. Artists create. And it’s awesome and beautiful and sometimes mysterious but it’s what they do, even if no one sees. Creator or Artist is part of who God is, it’s one of His attributes. It’s what He does
Fourth, it causes us to say, “What is man that you are mindful of him” (Ps. 8:4)? It makes us amazed that God the Creator and sustainer of all, the one who upholds the universe by the word of His power, cares about us. Even to the point of death on a cross.
[In fact, the hardest thing in all the Bible for me to believe is not the resurrection, is not the miracles, is not any of that stuff, that all makes sense to me (God can do all that!). However, what is hard to believe is that God cares about us humans. That is amazing!]