And the other apostles up until this point, John 11:16, when the other apostles were afraid of going out in public because of the threats by the rabbis and the leaders, Thomas was ready to risk death with Jesus Christ. In order to minister to Lazarus, I think is that after Jesus died was caused by confusion about who he thought Jesus was like many Jews of the time. He was ready to accept Jesus as an anointed leader, he was ready to accept him as a special prophet, but he wasn't ready to accept him as God himself. It took the resurrection to convince him that Jesus was more than a prophet or a teacher or some miracle worker, but was indeed as his confession stated, Lord, and God.
You know, psychologists tell us that many people see God as a reflection of their better selves, a reflection of their better selves. For example, if we're laid back and we're patient types, while our God is all patients and calmness. On the other hand, if we are type A's full of enthusiasm and take charge, our God is a working God, an organized God, a zealous God.
The danger, of course, in these self defined versions of God is that we end up making God the servant of our desires and we reduce him to human dimensions. In other words, our God becomes way too small.
Today, during our worship service, we are celebrating Jesus. In doing so we are attempting to honor the Lord for who He really is. Not just our version of Him in our own minds or in our own fellowship.
Perhaps, if we expand our understanding of who Jesus is, according to the Bible, we will appreciate Him more and more. And we will find greater reasons and motivation to celebrate Him Every day. And not just on Sundays.
I know it is comforting And even popular at times for preachers to refer to the Lord as my Jesus. You ever hear a sermon like that? The preacher goes on "my Jesus," "this is my Jesus," as if a person had a particular insight or a special exclusive relationship with the Lord, but the truth is that we all have the same relationship with the Lord. And he is the Jesus of the Bible. He's not my Jesus or your Jesus. God's word is what defines who He is. Not my feelings, not my imagination.
Who is Jesus?
What does the Bible say about this Jesus? Well, it says more than we can cover in this lesson, I guarantee you. He has more attributes than we can list, but let us celebrate, His greatness by noting just a few.
In the Old Testament, the testament speaks of Jesus long before He makes an appearance on Earth.
- Moses refers To Him as the seed who would put enmity between Satan and mankind, Genesis 3.
- And again says that he would be a great prophet among his brethren - Deuteronomy 18
- David, the Psalmist calls him the King of glory as well as the son of God - Psalm 24:2
- Isaiah, the prophet speaks poignantly of his suffering as a lamb who was brought to the slaughter and who soul was an offering for sin - Isaiah 53:7-ff
- And David rejoiced to see that resurrection was God's purpose for Jesus - Psalm 16
- Malachi the prophet ended the age of prophecy telling of him when he would return to judge.
"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.
- Malachi 3:2
So references to Jesus as God's son, as judge, as savior, as Prince, as creator to prepare the way for His coming when the time was right. And the time is now, shall we say. In Luke 3, we read the following,
2in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. 3And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; 4as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
'Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.
- John 3:2-4
John, the Baptist, sounded of the call for those who had awaited, the arrival of Christ while on earth, they knew him, the people who lived there with him and traveled with him and touched him and spoke to him and were affected by him while he was on earth, knew him in so many ways.
- He was a carpenter - Mark 6
- He was the King of Israel - John 1
- He was true light - John 8
- He was the living bread - John 6
- He became the one betrayed - Matthew 26
- He said that there was time and His time was at hand - Matthew 26
- He said now He would be the son of man delivered into the hands of man - Mark 9
- He called himself the good shepherd who gave up his life for his sheep to impress upon his disciples, the significance of his sacrifice - John 10
- He also became for generations to come the bread that they ate and the cup that they shared in remembrance of him - Matthew 26:28
6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
- Romans 5:6-11
And so as we do each Lord's day and as Christians do around the world, we remember the Lord, the Christ who died for us.
So what else can we say about Jesus, our Lord and celebrate him, celebrating him today.
- John, the apostle said that if everything Jesus did were written down, the world could not contain the books (John 2:25; John 21:25).
All we can do is look at him and Marvel at what is written about him by those whom God inspired to do so. And those who were blessed to be in his presence.
- Paul called him Adam - I Corinthians 15
- John called him advocate - I John 2
- He is the alpha and the Omega - Revelation 1
- They refer to him as anointed - Psalm 2
- Apostle - Hebrews 3
- Arm of the Lord - Isaiah 51
- He is the author and finisher of our faith - Hebrews 12
- He is the blessing and only potentate - I Timothy 6
- The branch - Jeremiah 23
- The bridegroom - Matthew 9
- The bright and morning star - Revelation 22:16
- Jesus has been called the captain of the Lord's loss - Joshua 5
- The captain of salvation - Hebrews 2
- The good shepherd - I Peter
- The chief shepherd - I Peter 5
- The chief cornerstone - I Peter 2
- The chiefest among 10,000 - Song of Solomon 5:10
- He is definitely the Christ - Matthew 16:20
You can celebrate all of these things say, amen.
There's not enough time to mention that
- He is the day star - II Peter
- The dayspring - Luke 1
- The door - John 10
- The deliver - Romans 11
- The desire of all nations - Haggai 2
- Emmanuel - Isaiah 7
- Eternal life - I John 5
- Everlasting Father - Isaiah 9
- Faithful and true, first and last, finisher of faith, firstborn, and most importantly, friend of sinners - Matthew 11:9
If you are a sinner, can you trust a person such as this? Can you give your life to one such as this? If you've wandered away and you need forgiveness or help, can you feel secure in coming to the One that they call:
And who could not submit to the one that they call:
- Head of the church - Ephesians 5
- image of God - Hebrews 1
- The just one - Acts 3
- the King of Kings - I Timothy 6
- the Lord of Lords - Revelation 17
- Messiah - John 1
- Mighty God - Isaiah 9
- Morningstar - Revelation 22
- Priest - Hebrew 7
- Prince - Acts 5
- Redeemer - Isaiah 59
- Rock - I Corinthians
- Ruler - Micah 5:2
- Savior of the world - John 1
I've only read some of the titles given to Jesus Christ by God through the Holy Spirit recorded in the Bible. And I've done so to celebrate with you, how majestic is the name and the person of Christ our Lord.
Some of you may not be used to the reading of one scripture after another, without my commentary, but this is the whole point.
The whole point is words cannot be found in our minds to express how wonderful He is. We do not have the time or the strength to examine the meaning and significance of each title, a testimony to the greatness of our Lord, or as He has been called
- The son of righteousness - Malachi 4
- The sure foundation - Isaiah 28
- The true vine - John 15
- The way - John 14
- The wisdom of God - I Corinthians 1
And if we wanted to start the alphabet and not repeat ourselves, we could go back and call Him:
- The Almighty - Revelation 1
- The brightness of the father's glory - Hebrews 1
- The counselor - Isaiah 9
- The daysman - Job 9
- The elect - Isaiah 42
- The first begotten - Hebrews 1:6
and go all the way down to the Word of life - I John 1:1 and we could keep on doing this back and forth over and over again until we were too exhausted to continue.
But we have alloted a certain time to celebrate Jesus today and as we come to the end of this time, I offer you this invitation and this encouragement. When we sing our final song, sing with your heart full of appreciation and respect for Jesus, the Savior and the Lord.
And as we do this, make the decision that you will never again use his name in vain.
"Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness."
- II Timothy 2:19
Let us not brothers and sisters use this wonderful Holy name without respect and let those of us who use His name honor it by the way that we live.
Realize that there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12) because no other person has the honor and the power and the divinity like Jesus Christ does.
So we encourage you to come and to confess your faith in Jesus, by repenting, by being baptized so that Jesus Christ, this wonderful person of whom we have spoken and celebrated today that this person can actually confess your name. How wonderful is that? That the One we've spoken about today in such lofty terms has agreed to speak our name before the Father in heaven. And He says, if you confess my name, I will confess your name before the father in heaven.
Jesus can confess your name and call you His disciple before the Father in heaven today.