Monday, February 2, 2009

Jesus in "Hi Def"


Let me say first thing that I took this title from the the 180 weekend that just occurred at our church.. 180 weekend is an event for the middle and high school kids of the area...and this years theme was titled "Jesus in Hi Def"..Now the reason I wanted to write about this because I believe it offers a clarity to Jesus that many of us do not know or understand..
Ok..Now take the three pictures above..This is the scene on display as we walked into Sunday Service yesterday except they had many more TVs than just the three above..but these were the only three pictures on the TVs..These TVs depict our knowledge of Jesus Christ..Who He is, What he came for, what he stands for and What it means to follow him.
TV #1 - This set has no picture at all..This would be those individuals who have no knowledge at all of God..No interest or desire to know him and therefore just a blank slate..These folks more than likely have never been exposed to Jesus or if they have, their exposure was skewed so wrongly that they saw no need to get a clearer picture of Him..
TV #2 - This set represents the cloudy view that many of us have about Jesus..This in my opinion is where the majority of people fall into..If you were to survey most people, including those in powerful positions, they would say things like "He was a good man", " He was a prophet", "He was a moral teacher", "He was an image, not a real person", He was just a man", "He represents goodness"..etc etc etc..You will find a wide array of beliefs when asking WHO IS JESUS? and sadly many have misguided beliefs about Who Jesus was and therefore have a cloudy view of life..because he represents Life..Life in abundance..Remember my quote from an earlier post where RC Sproul said "The more we know Him, the more we are able to Love Him. The more we love Him, the more we seek to know Him". We will not be more Christ like if we don't know more of what Christ is like.. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says " The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (living in sin and denial of Christ), but to those who are being saved it is the power of God"
TV #3 - This is Christ in Hi Def..This is a very clear picture of Who Jesus is, What He came for, what He stands for and what it means to follow lets take this picture of Jesus and see if we can bring Him clearer to us and remove some of the misguided notions that many have..
First and foremost is Jesus is the bearer of the sin of mankind and He came to take the punishment of God on sin in our place( every single one of us, not just those of that time) so that we might be counted righteous in the sight of God because of His imputed perfection and sinlessness..That is central to who Jesus is...We cant go any further if we cant get this part down..We must understand that ..2 Corinthians 5:21 says " For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him".. Mark 8:31 says this "And He began to teach them that the Son of Man MUST suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes and be killed and after three days rise again"..This flew in the face of his disciples..They had envisioned Jesus as this Great King that would come and conquer all those who opposed Him and He would rule with might..instead Jesus depicts a totally different outcome and that was upsetting to them, especially Peter, who Jesus had to rebuke because Peter tried to convince Jesus what His purpose should be instead of what it was..They wanted a ruling, conquering King and instead they were getting a suffering servant, who came to save, not condemn..Don't miss that..Jesus came to save, not condemn..We are all already dead without Jesus and will suffer the wrath of God without Jesus..But Jesus came to save us from certain bearing the sins of mankind and to make intercession for us to the Father..The last part of Jesus is that he was raised from the dead three days later..Why is that significant..because it is evidence that God saw the payment of Jesus' death as acceptable and therefore the sacrifice was once and for all..Because he was risen, He is an eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek..and this ushered in a New Covenant with God's people, essentially placing aside the Old Mosaic Covenant (Law) and replacing it with Faith..Faith in Jesus Christ as our pathway to a relationship with God the Father and a place in eternal Heaven..
Now what does it mean to Follow Jesus..We have explained Who Jesus was, what He stood for and why He came...SO WHAT? Mark 8:34-38 ( Also Matthew 16:24-27) "Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
"If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I'm leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you'll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels".
The Message - I use this translation only to try and add Hi Def clarity to our modern minds)..
In order to bring Jesus into Hi def clarity, we must understand the reason He came...the knowledge of his death and resurrection..that is paramount..Yes Jesus was prophetic, yes He was a good man,Yes He healed the sick and helped the poor, Yes He was a Good Moral Teacher...but all that is insignificant if we miss His suffering and death on the cross for our sake...Jesus was final payment for the sins of mankind and without Jesus being crucified and resurrected, there is no Christianity..Once you come to understand this, then and only then can your blind eyes be opened and your deaf ears unplugged to be able to understand the rest of what our Triune God is trying to teach us and share with us!!
I know this message seems simple, particularly for those who have been in the Faith for a long period of time..but just as I was sitting there listening to this on Sunday, knowing it was designed for the youth of our reminded me once again in a very clear and concise way, my need for Jesus Christ in my life..and helps to put the proper perspective on why?
God is an awesome God and His word will never return void for those who truly seek to know him and allow themselves to get out of the way..Matthew 7:7-8 summarizes this post "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
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