2011-11-18 - Our Image of Jesus
One of the biggest failings of the church is that we teach all about baby Jesus, bathrobe Jesus, crucified Jesus, and risen Jesus all the past Jesuses but we never really stop to think about what he is up to right now. Lets examine a few verses.
Acts 7:55-56 (NASB) But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
Jesus stood up for Stephen wow a standing ovation from Jesus. That's incredible but that's not what I want us to think about. Instead let's look at another passage to help with the current vision of Jesus.
Hebrews 1:3 says, "when he purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of God on high." Jesus is on Gods right hand. The right hand indicates a place of prominence. What is he doing there? To answer that let's look back to the Old Testament book of Psalms.
Do you see this incredible image of Jesus sitting on a throne in absolute power. J Vernon McGee in his Through the Bible series writes, "[Psalm 110] is a messianic psalm. It speaks of the exaltation of Christ and begins with the ascension of Christ".
Look at verse one. The Capital LORD (Jehovah) tells Lord (Adonai) hey take this throne beside me. God the Father tells Jesus sit here on the throne and reign with me. And the Father promises him that one day his enemies will be a footstool for him. I am his subject or one day I will be his footstool. Either way, I submit to him.
In verse two, God gives him a rod of strength a rod may be a weapon to beat things with or a scepter but either way it belongs to a king - the king the king of kings. Wherever we go even in the presence of our enemies Jesus has set up his throne. I follow him.
Continue on to verses three and four. We get to be volunteers in his army. We are priestly warriors adorned in the beauties of holiness serving the greatest priest and king of all times. Just as Melchizidek in Genesis 14:18 was both priest and king, God has promised that Jesus would forever be high priest and king over all. We follow and serve Jesus.
In verses five to seven we see that when he comes back in his day of wrath he will kick the butts of his enemies and take no prisoners. He will hold his head high in victory over all.
I submit to you that the correct image of Jesus is not a baby, a man, a dying savior, or even a risen savior but that of a king. He is King Jesus. Jesus is our king. Have you ever seen Braveheart or King Arthur, you know in the big speech scenes before battle everyone is staring at the king and they are thrilled to be out there on the field serving him. That's what we should feel like. Angels and people in heaven aren't walking past Jesus telling him, "Good job on that baby thing" or "Atta boy on that whole cross death resurrection thing". Those that he healed on earth as he walked among us aren't commenting to him on his smile or fashion sense. No they are bowing before him crying out, "Worthy is the Lamb!" They are worshipping Jesus for who he is not for what he does for them.
So what? What about me? Are you satisfied with Jesus with benefits or do you want more? Jesus is that more that you are craving but first we have to surrender to him. We must come to him as he is. I think sometimes when preachers (and I'm guilty of it too) say things like so and so received Jesus in their heart. So and so got saved. Brother John accepted Christ. That it kind of belittles the big hugeness of God. Before we can accept him he must choose us. We get to be on his team. He doesn't join our team.
I challenge you this week to think of God as king in your life this week as you pray to him. Take the images in your head and toss them out. Scribble them out on the paper you wrote them down on earlier. Tear down these false images of God. Destroy them. When you enter your local church and you look at the fancy chairs that are common on many platforms, think about the thrones that both the Father and Jesus are sitting on and prepare your hearts to enter into his court. Come with praise and a servant's heart. Make your life all about Jesus rather than making Jesus all about your life!
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted