An Easter Postscript: DEATH HAS EXPIRED!

Where were you when President Kennedy died?  

I remember it clearly.  It was on November 22, 1962, around 12:30 PM.  I was 21 years of age, employed as a stocking clerk at a Grocery Store chain in Southern California.  I worked nights and slept days while living at my parents home and on this particular day I didn’t have to set my alarm to wake up.  My dad cracking the door to a darkened bedroom said, “You better wake up and come out to the front room and watch the news on TV.  President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas.”

Where were you when Martin Luther King was shot?  Where were you when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded?

We have a way of remembering events like that, don’t we?  When something startling happens, when someone famous dies, for some reason those things get burned into our memories.

On EASTER SUNDAY we hear about a DEATH, the most shocking announcement of all time.  DEATH EXPIRED!

That’s right, DEATH DIED!  Our greatest enemy–DEAD!  Our greatest fear–GONE!  Our greatest doubt–REMOVED!  This happened through JESUS CHRIST, who rose in victory and triumph on Resurrection Sunday morning.  There is no doubt that this is true.  Never any doubt that Christ would win.  There isn’t any chance that He can’t deliver you from DEATH and bring you safely into His eternal kingdom of Heaven.

There is no doubt that this is true.  Never any doubt that Christ would win.  There isn’t any chance that He can’t deliver you from DEATH and bring you safely into His eternal kingdom of Heaven.

For so certain a truth is EASTER, even centuries before it happened, centuries before Christ lived and died and rose again, JESUS said through the prophet Hosea:

Hosea 13:14 

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;

I will redeem them from death.

Where, O death, are your plagues?

Where, O grave, is your destruction.”

EASTER MEANS THAT JESUS LIVES!

It means that you LIVE too!  It means that DEATH HAS EXPIRED!  Praise God!!!

Our Savior Destroyed the Enemy.

“Resurrection Sunday” is the MOST INCREDIBLE MESSAGE the world can hear.  Yet people don’t, or won’t believe it, and even we in the weakness of our FAITH are slow to believe it.

DEATH HAS ENDED?  HOW CAN THAT BE?

Our experience screams at us “That isn’t true!”  A father taking his kids to a Seahawk game is caught in the middle of a drive-by shooting on the nearby streets and was accidentally killed.  Every day there’s an obituary column in the local newspaper.  Every day people pass from this life to the next.  How then can I write in a BLOG-study and proclaim “DEATH HAS EXPIRED”?

Yes, in one sense DEATH is still very much in the world, very much lurking behind every corner of our lives.

SO DEATH IS OUR GREATEST ENEMY –

Ultimately everything we do is geared toward prolonging life,  We put AIRBAGS in our cars, we WARN our kids not to run out into the street.  We try to eat HEALTHY.  We WALK, WE RIDE, WE JOG…we go to doctors.

The prophet Isaiah once wrote that DEATH hangs over us like a CLOUD:

No matter how much success we may experience in life, no matter how much fun we might have, no matter how much capital we’ve accumulated, IN THE END…there is the GRAVE, there is DEATH,

DEATH HAS PLAGUES –

  • It plagues us with DOUBT,
  • It plagues us with FEAR,
  • It plagues us with SORROW.

Is being in debt to creditors a problem? Sure.  Does arthritis cause pain? Yes.  Does having our hopes and dreams dashed hurt?  Of course.  But there is no enemy like DEATH, an enemy that stirs up FEAR just by the mention of his name.

DEATH’S ENTRY TO THE WORLD –

The Apostle Paul wrote in the Book of Romans:  AND IN THIS WAY DEATH PASSED UPON ALL, FOR ALL HAVE SINNED (Ro. 5:12).

No, DEATH isn’t merely a scientific, biological problem.  But will SCIENCE ever find a CURE FOR DEATH? No.

Mark Twain once called DEATH the “ultimate statistic; one of everyone dies.”  If the Lord Jesus doesn’t return first, we too will each march off to the grave.

HOSEA HAS IT RIGHT;  the GRAVE HAS POWER AND DEATH HAS DESTRUCTION; DUST WE ARE AND TO DUST WE WILL EACH RETURN, the ultimate proof of our sinfulness.  

We feel GUILT.  Deep down we know that we are sinners.  We are afraid to DIE and stand before our CREATOR.

THE ENEMY HAS BEEN DESTROYED ONCE AND FOR ALL!

THE TRUTH is not just to be recognized during the Easter season once a year, but a TRUTH to be recognized daily; looking to the empty grave of JESUS…“HE IS NOT HERE; HE HAS RISEN!”

I don’t really care what the popular views of JESUS are–that he was only a great teacher, that he was only a great role model, that he was merely a man with moral conviction who bravely died for his beliefs.  He’s indeed more than that; He is your SAVIOR, AND HAS DESTROYED YOUR ENEMY!

THE VICTORY IS WON!

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death…”  (Hosea 12:14)

Many bible translations use the word REDEEM or DELIVER.  In the Old Testament, that word “REDEEMER” has such a beautiful meaning:  The responsibility “to redeem” belonged to the nearest relative–brother, uncle, uncle’s son, or a blood relative from his family.  The person (kinsman) who “redeemed” the one who was facing dire circumstances was known a kinsman-redeemer [READ the Book of Ruth].

JESUS became our “relative”–our “blood brother”–our kinsman-redeemer when God became a man–Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

The Bible tells us HE SHARED OUR HUMANITY (Hebrews 2:14).

  • HE ATE, HE WALKED, HE SLEPT, HE ACHED.
  • HE HUNGERED, HE KNEW PAIN, HE KNEW SORROW, HE WEPT, HE BLED, HE DIED!

But then He rose again from the dead.

All this He did for you and for me.  To REDEEM us, to DELIVER us from SIN, from DEATH, and from HELL itself!

I KNOW MY REDEEMER LIVES –

It’s comforting to know this because JESUS, our brother, erased our sins.

It’s comforting because JESUS has PAID THE RANSOM for our release with His own BLOOD.

It’s comforting because Easter proves that God accepted Jesus’ SACRIFICE for payment for our sins.

His RESURRECTION declares to you that you are forgiven.  Your SIN is gone!  Your GUILT is dead!

Every wrong thing you’ve ever done has been washed away by the BLOOD of JESUS.

I have had a severe wound on my right middle toe exposing the bone now for several months.  In the next week, because of the infection, the toe must be amputated.  The other morning while in the shower, I noticed BLOOD being washed down the drain.  A reminder of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for all of mankind; washing away sin.

And Jesus came out of the GRAVE to tell each one of us,

I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.  ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN ME WILL LIVE, EVEN THOUGH HE DIES, AND WHOEVER LIVES AND BELIEVES IN ME WILL NEVER DIE (Jn. 11:25-26).

So then DEATH is not the end, but only the beginning.

YOUR REDEEMER GIVES YOU VICTORY!

VICTORY, not just for your SOUL.  It was not just the Son of God that came out of the tomb, but also the Son of Man.

It was not just the Son of God that came out of the tomb, but also the Son of Man.  It was a human being that arose on Resurrection Sunday morning.  By becoming a man, Jesus Christ also became our blood-brother.  And His RESURRECTION means that these tired old bones of yours also comes out of the grave to rise in glory!  My SOUL will be united to my glorified body and I will LIVE–yes, me, not a copy, not a clone, but me!  I will LIVE with my REDEEMER in heavenly bliss.

Compared to other cultures, we Americans are obsessed with our bodies and the way we look.  Yet these bodies do grow old (trust me, I know!) and they radically change and finally wear out.

But Easter gives HOPE to our bodies as well as our souls.

WE WILL BE CHANGED, Paul wrote the Corinthians,  “In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed)” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:52 – Amplified Bible.

YOUR REDEEMER SHARES HIS VICTORY OVER DEATH WITH YOU –

God will raise us from DEATH and give to our souls and bodies ETERNAL LIFE.  That’s His PROMISE to all who believe in Him and God doesn’t and can’t LIE!

Are you reading this BLOG-study with skepticism about what EASTER proclaims?

Then proceed through life at your own risk.  Go ahead, continue to let UNCERTAINTY gnaw at you, FEAR chase you, and DEATH terrifies you.  In fact, that’s not living at all; that’s just slowly dying.

RESURRECTION SUNDAY OFFERS A BETTER SOLUTION TO LIFE AND A SURE HOPE –

It is more than bunnies and baskets of candy, more than nice flowers and long weekends, even more than that family Ham Dinner.

Today is where the rubber meets the road.  This strikes at the very heart of our human existence; will we live or is DEATH the end?

They say that there are only TWO certain things in life:  DEATH AND TAXES.  But, in view of Easter, really only one thing is certain. April 15th (April 18th this year) has passed.  I’m sorry about the TAXES.  That probably won’t ever go away, at least not in our lifetime.

But DEATH has!  The PROPHECY of Hosea is fulfilled!

That’s what Jesus’ RESURRECTION is all about:  DEATH HAS EXPIRED!

Your Savior has DESTROYED your greatest enemy!  Your REDEEMER LIVES to share with you His VICTORY.

And you who believe in Him WILL NOT DIE BUT LIVE – Psalm 118:17:

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CREDITS:

VINE’S COMPLETE EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF OLDTESTAMENT AND NEW TESTAMENT WORDS.

PHOTOS:  Google Advanced Image Search; Photo Pin.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV), unless referenced in the text.

JESUS, a.k.a. ….

in-Zechariah-Christ-is-revealed-as-the-stone-with-seven-eyes

William Lyons Phelps, an American author, critic and scholar writes,

“We are all so vain that we love to have our names remembered by those who have met us but once.  We exaggerate the talents and virtues of those who can do this and we are ready to repay their power with lifelong devotion.  The ability to associate in the mind names and faces is a tremendous asset to a politician and it will prolong the pastorate of any clergyman.” 

BIBLE NAMES are significant because they indicate personal characteristics of LIFE.  

The meaning of Zechariah’s name for instance is “the LORD has remembered.”

In past conversations with my wife over the years, we have mentioned, “Wouldn’t it have been great if we had named our three children AFTER their personalities had developed based on their CHARACTER rather than what sounded good at the time of birth?”

NAMES ARE IMPORTANT –

BUT none are more important than the names given to the Son of God.  That is why the prophet said,

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace  (Isaiah 9:6 – NIV).

With the events leading up to, and including Resurrection Sunday (Easter), I wanted to look at some of the names and titles given to JESUS in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

He is our Day-Star (2 Peter 1:19 – NKJV):

[19] And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

2009-10-03-the-morning-star-paradox

The MORNING STAR, or DayStar in the Greek comes from phos and phero (“phosphorus”); Strong reference #5459, light-bringing.  

The meaning denotes the manifestation of Christ to the soul, imparting to the listener light and comfort when things look dark in life.

JESUS IS…“the Morning Star” (Revelation 2:28)–the “brilliant Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16);

“A star (Star) shall come forth out of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17).  The wise men’s focus was from this verse in the Old Testament in searching for the Messiah–JESUS.

Jesus is characterized to the world as this “day-Star” or “morning star” that casts light to the darkened soul.  We were once in this DARKNESS OF SIN…BUT the morning-Star has dawned in our hearts as believers.

The Sun of Righteousness –

standing

Malachi 4:2 (AMP):

[2] But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings and His beams, and you shall go forth and gambol like calves [released] from the stall and leap for joy.

JESUS is called the Sun of Righteousness…

His LIGHT opens our eyes in a sometimes dim view in what is right.  And…His LIGHT brings healing into our lives spiritually and physically.

The LIGHT of the World –

[12] When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”  (John 8:12).

He is our Arbitrator (Job 9:33 NIV):

[33] If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both,

I love how the King James Version reads.  It uses the term “Daysman” and after doing a little investigation, I found“Daysman” especially appropriate in describing the mediation of Jesus. 

A “Daysman” was a mediator, or umpire, whose work was to settle disputes or grievances between two parties.  But more than that, the “Daysman” had exclusive authority in when and where the matter was to be handled.  This description reminded me of 2 Corinthians 6:2:

[2] For He says, “In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!”  (Amplified Bible).

As the “Daysman” who alone can reconcile God to man, His day is today!  No appointment necessary!  No waiting for a court docket to be set!

Our Advocate (1 John 2:1-2 AMP):

[1] But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father–[it is] Jesus Christ…  [2] And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

ADVOCATE – (Greek. parakletos, one who pleads another’s cause, who helps another in defending or comforting him.)

It is a name given by Jews three times to the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7) where the Greek word is rendered “Comforter”).  It is applied to JESUS in 1 John 2:1, where the same Greek word is rendered “Advocate”.

Jesus not only stands in the gap for us as an arbitrator…He also is an advocate for us in speaking to the Father pleading our case.

Our Reconciliation (Colossians 1:21-22 NLT):

images[21] This includes you who are once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.  [22] Yet now he has RECONCILED you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

BANK RECONCILIATION, most of us know: The analyses and adjustment of differences between the cash balance shown on a bank statement, and the account holder’s records.

My wife has been reconciling our bank statement now for over 50 years now.  When the account doesn’t balance, and that seldom occurs, it is usually because of a mathematical mistake on our part and not the banks.  But since we are both human, mistakes will happen, and it never seems to be a “deposit” error.  Go figure!

When it comes to reconciling our spiritual account with God however, the “bank” is never wrong!

God’s Reconciliation is a change from enmity to friendship.  It is mutual, i.e. , it is a change in relationship where both parties have been at enmity.

In verses 21-22, the word used there refers to a change in the character of the sinner who ceases to be an enemy to God and yields to Him with his fullest confidence, trust and love.

In 2 Corinthians 5:20, the apostle Paul appeals to the Corinthians to be “reconciled to God”.

Jesus stands in the gap as an ARBITRATOR…He is and ADVOCATE pleading our case…And He is our RECONCILIATION so we can be joined together in our relationship with God.

He is other things too!

Zechariah 6:12:  Judah’s BRANCH

“Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord’ (NIV).

12832310_499659870242323_30992538862626766_n

Jesus is the BRANCH of God and extends from the house of Judah and to all the peoples of the earth.

The BRANCH represents humility: “branching out from His place” – that the true Messiah will be a Jew reaching out to the peoples of the earth and not a foreigner reaching into assist the Jewish people.

The Gate–the DOOR (John 10:7-11):

The only way to enter the kingdom of God in the present or in eternity is through Door #! only–JESUS!

[9] “I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved”

Also, all true earthly SHEPHERDS (pastors, teachers, etc.) must enter through the Gate–anyone who teaches what is contrary to Jesus’ teaching is a “crook or robber, who climbed over the wall” (verse 10)–and not a shepherd.

False teachers can be identified by their way of entry into the flock.  Anyone, any “religion” who denies Jesus has not entered the kingdom of God:

  • false shepherd
  • false sheep

And the A.K.A. List goes on in the bible!

The Son of God, called IMMANUEL – God with us (Isaiah 7:14) –

“God with us,” what does that really mean to people today?

The Latin verb, INCARNATE means, “to make flesh.”

When we say that Jesus Christ is God, “incarnate,” we mean the Son of God took on a fleshly, bodily form (John 1:14).  However, when this happened in the womb of Mary, Jesus’ earthly mother, He didn’t stop being deity.

Although Jesus is able to be both man and God at the same time, one of the great mysteries of Christianity, nevertheless a test of accepted orthodoxy (1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7).

Jesus has TWO distinct natures…DIVINE and HUMAN (John 14:11).

When Jesus took on the form of a human, His nature did not change, but His position did!

Jesus in His original nature of God in spirit form, humbled Himself by laying aside His glory and privileges (Philippians 2:6-8).  

God can never stop being God (Hebrews 13:8).

If Jesus stopped being fully God for even a split second, ALL LIFE would cease (see Acts 17:28).

He’s Our REDEEMER (Ephesians 1:7-8) –

He’s Our SACRIFICIAL LAMB (John 1:29) –

He’s Our AUTHORITY over the Enemy (Luke 10:19; Acts 16:18) –

Luke 10:19 – AMP. bible:  Behold! I have given you AUTHORITY and POWER to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.

The apostle Paul is confronted by a demonic spirit and in Acts 16:18 he demonstrates his given authority:  “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!”  Notice that the word used is not “ask” but “command”.  That is the authority that Jesus’ name can bring.

If we are connected with Jesus…our relationship with Him gives us the AUTHORITY over Satan!

What I have presented in this study, is but a taste of the characteristics of JESUS as described in the Bible.  Writers, Poets, Artists, Songwriters, and all Believers who have experienced the love of God, have always tried to express who Jesus is…all the names, titles and expressions in the world still fall short in describing the matchless CHARACTER of the man called JESUS.

He possesses the name above all names–which all human words fall short to describe Him!

Philippians 2:9-11 (AMP):

[9] Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name.  [10] That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.  [11] And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.

What an honor that we bear His name! – CHRISTIAN.

 

 


CREDITS;

got Questions?org  “What does incarnate mean?” gotquestions.org Home

Photo Credits:  Google Search IMAGES

 

 

 

 

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

Who is JESUS, Really?

00022902_hHebrews 1:1-3 (Amplified Bible):

IN MANY separate revelations [each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets.

[But] in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a ] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].

He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.

JESUS IS “BETTER” –

Jesus is BETTER, is mentioned thirteen times alone in the The Letter to the Hebrews— to show the superiority of JESUS to other religious systems.

  • Christ is “superior” than the angels (1:4).
  • Jesus brought a “better” hope (7:19), because He is the MEDIATOR of a “better” covenant…
  • Which was established upon “better” promises (8:6).

[Warren Wiersbe: “Be Confident” (Wheaton, Ill; Victor Books, 1982) p. 8]

THIS LETTER in Hebrews, is written to a group of people who are about ready to give up on their faith–

This group of Jewish Christians, who more than likely met together regularly, seemed to be at a standstill spiritually and in danger of going backwards (Hebrews 5:12).

They are urged strongly by the writer of the LETTER–take stock of what JESUS has to offer and not give into FEAR or DOUBT and stay the course:

“God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets, in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a ] Son…”  (verses 1 b. & 2 a.).

Ever since the world began, God has been speaking to His creation at different times and different ways; sometimes by direct communication, and sometimes through DREAMS & VISIONS.

But most of all, through His prophets.

IN BIBLICAL TIMES when a prophet of God spoke…His people listened.  The reason was simple:  When a prophet spoke, the people knew they were hearing from God.

The Apostle Peter says,

“For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it [to do so–it never came by human impulse], but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit”  (2 Peter 1:21).

During the Old Testament Period…

GOD SPOKE to His people through the prophets.  This self-disclosure was timely and partial in nature and was spread over a period of at least 10 centuries and…it was given in a variety of means.

Today, GOD’S MESSAGE is no longer spoken through the prophets but is spoken through God’s very own Son, JESUS.

The prophets of old were merely instruments in the hand of God BUT…

He was the VISIBLE presence of the INVISIBLE God–

Formally, the REVELATION OF GOD was fragmentary but now it is COMPLETE!

Formally, it was PARTIAL, and now it is PERFECT!

Formally, it was PREPARATORY, but now it is FULFILLED!

God did not entrust His FULL REVELATION to be given by man…

God took the initiative to DECLARE it Himself through His Son.

As John MacArthur states in his commentary, “Every religion is but man’s attempt to discover God.  Christianity is God bursting into man’s world and showing and telling man what He is like.”  [John MacArthur: MacArthur’s New Testament Commentary – Hebrews (Chicago Moody Press 1983) p. 3 ]

THE “SEVEN GOOD REASONS” THAT JESUS IS SO MUCH BETTER!

While reading the three verses in Hebrews in study, I wrote down the reasons I found in my study notebook.

VERSE 2 –  “Who He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of ALL THINGS, also by and through Whom He created the world…”

VERSE 3 –  “the sole expression of the glory of God…upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His word of power…”

FIRST, He is Heir of All Things! (verse 2)

Since Jesus Christ is the Son and particularly the ONLY Son of God, He is also the HEIR, the sole HEIR of ALL THINGS.

 He is the HEIR because and He is…

SECOND, He is the CREATOR of All Things!  (verse 2)

Colossians 1:16-17:

[16] For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him. 

[17] And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).

The Apostle Paul explains that ALL THINGS were created by Him and for Him.

John says, in the Gospel of John, that “All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being” (1:3).

Interestingly, it says in HEBREWS, “He created the worlds”.

The word translated “world” here is not the normal Greek word (kosmos), but rather (aionos), which means “the ages”.

JESUS not only made the universe but He brought SPACE, TIME AND MATTER into existence.

JESUS is He, Who was before history, at the beginning of history and will be at the end of history.

He is not only the OPERATOR of the Universe, but…

THIRD, He is the SUSTAINER of the Universe!  (verse 2)

Not only did JESUS “CREATE” ALL THINGS by His Word (John 1:1-5), but He also “UPHOLDS” ALL THINGS by the same powerful WORD.

“Consider…what instant destruction would happen if the earth’s rotation slowed down just a little.  The sun has a surface temperature of 12,000 degrees F.  If it were any closer to us we would burn up, it were any further away we would freeze.  Our globe is tilted on an exact angle of 23 degree, providing us with four seasons.  If it were not tilted, vapors from the oceans would move north and south and develop into monstrous continents of ice.  If the moon did not retain its exact distance from the earth, tides would flood the land completely, twice a day…If the atmosphere did not remain at its present density, but thinned out even a little, many of the meteors which now harmlessly burn up when they hit the atmosphere would constantly bombard us…How does the universe stay in this kind of fantastically delicate balance?  [MacArthur p. 17]

Photo by Chad Blotner @ Bass Pro Shop
Photo by Chad Blotner @ Bass Pro Shop

You can choose to “BELIEVE IT OR NOT”…But the evidence is laid out plainly in the Bible and that’s what I believe when the Word says, “Jesus maintains and sustains the balance of the universe.”

He is not only the SUSTAINER of the Universe, but…

FOURTH, He is the RADIANCE of God’s Glory!  (verse 3)

“He is the sole expression of the glory of God”

No mere prophet could ever make the claim.

FIFTH, He is the EXACT REPRESENTATION Of His Father!

“He is the PERFECT imprint and very IMAGE of [God’s] nature”

The word translated “IMAGE” (character) carries the idea that JESUS is the EXACTNESS of the very substance of God.  What we know of the CHARACTER OF GOD, we know through Christ Jesus!

At the beginning of the Gospel of John, an explanation is given to us clearly:

No man has ever seen God at anytime; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God,  Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has DECLARED Him…  (John 1:18).

The word translated “declared” is literally (exegeomai – Greek), meaning He “exegeted”, or “explained” (New American Standard bible – NAS) Him.

The goal should be for every Bible Teacher, myself included, is to “exegete” or explain the Scripture,  JESUS exegeted or explained God.

Later in the Gospel, when the disciple Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, He replied, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father…”  (John 14:9).

There is not one feature of God’s character that JESUS doesn’t reveal.

He not only is the EXACT REPRESENTATION of God the Father, BUT…

SIXTH, He is the REDEEMER of All Men!

“Offering Himself…cleansing us from our sins…”

When JESUS went to the CROSS, He solved the problem of SIN…Forever, Once for all time!

The apostle Peter puts it this way in 1 Peter 1:18-19:

[18] “You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold.

[19] But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.”

JESUS is not only the REDEEMER OF MANKIND, but…

SEVENTH, He is RULER of the Universe!

“when He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high”

That phrase is ‘mind-blowing’ to me as I began to think and meditate deeply of its implications to all of mankind.

“He sat down.” 

Few other statements in the Bible are filled with such great importance.  In my research, I came upon the following noteworthy commentary by Marv Rosenthal:

“We know a great deal about the temple (in Jerusalem) and its furnishings, but fascinately, there were no chairs in this billion dollar building that took 48 years to complete.  There were no chairs because the priests of Israel never sat down.  They never sat down because their work was never done.  Their work was never done because the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin.  It was a stop-gap, it was temporary, it was incomplete.  And so, priest after priest, course after course, year after yer, century after century, with monotonous repetition, would come to the Temple and they would function, but they would never sit down.  They could never rest for their work was never done, the task was never complete”  [See Footnote [i]].

BUT JESUS once for all time paid the PENALTY FOR SIN!

And so Jesus offered Himself as the “once for all time” SACRIFICE for sin.

The work was  now completed and never gain to be repeated.  

“He sat down”–that the significance of Christ’s Words from the Cross when He shouted (telestai)

“It is finished” (John 19:30).

And then “He sat down”–His work is finished.  

“He sat down”–His position is fixed.

None of the angels held such a position of honor in heaven.

Seated in Honor JESUS remains SUPERIOR!

4_jesus-throne

 


FOOTNOTES & CREDITS –

Footnote [i] :  Israel My Glory: “He Sat Down” (April/May 1987) p. 4

Photo Credits:  Google Image, except where noted below photo.

Bible Translation Used:  Amplified Bible.

Commentaries used as note in the text.