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HOPE RISING!

What would Jesus be like if you were to meet Him today? 

I am not talking about the Jesus who lived among us as a human being for 33 years. 

I am not talking about the Jesus who died on the cross to take away and save us from the power of sin in our lives.

What would it be like to see the resurrected Jesus who is alive today?

What would it be like to be in heaven and see Jesus in His glory in heaven?

What if we didn’t have “to imagine?”

What if we could get a clear picture of what that would look like?  The good news is we can.

The Historical Context

It was about 95 A.D., and the last of the original disciples is now exiled on a remote island and awaiting death. The 120 Christfollowers that Jesus left on this earth when He went back to heaven have now turned into millions of followers and have spread around the known world. The Roman government has decided to stamp out this new religion and the term used to describe Christians is atheist. They are referred to as atheists because they refused to worship or acknowledge Roman gods. They are accused of turning the world upside down. Rumor has it that they have sacrifices or rituals that include blood and the body of Christ. There are false teachers that are teaching things about Jesus that are not true, false doctrine is everywhere and on top of that followers of Jesus Christ in 95 A.D. are being tortured and killed for their faith.

You might be tempted to be a little discouraged. You might wonder if Jesus really was real.

It was at this time that John the disciple that Jesus loved, had a visitor. He was visited by the angel of the Lord and was given a vision to write the last book of what would become the New Testament. He was to unveil or apocalypse the Christ of heaven and the returning Christ.

 9 I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. 10 It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit.  Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. 11 It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”  Revelation 1:9-11 NLT

He is about to see Jesus in a way never seen by men before. He is about to have a revelation that will define who Jesus really is and be a source of encouragement to not only the generation of people dying and being persecuted in that day but for every generation of Christfollower who decided to follow the Lord.

The “Unveiling” of the Resurrected Jesus

 12 When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lamp stands. 13 And standing in the middle of the lamp stands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.” Revelation 1:12-16 NLT  

This is a vision that will take you back a step or two. This is not a vision of a cross with fabric, flowers and candles. This is not a picture of Easter lilies, Easter eggs, bunnies or even an empty tomb. 

This is drop open your jaw, fall on the ground because you have just seen Jesus in all of His fullness and glory. Whatever you are carrying around with you needs to end right now. Whatever sin you are coddling in your life will come crashing down around you when you see this Jesus. 

What Jesus is saying to John in this passage is write a clear picture of who I am because this is the only thing that will sustain you. Nothing else on this earth is sure. Your job, your relationships, your health, or your wealth could disappear at any time. The only stable reference point is Jesus. It is an amazing description to read through because many of the images have been taken directly from the Old Testament. Many of them are also not only about who Jesus is but who He will be when He returns to this earth.
Who do men say that I am?

Some said He was Elijah the prophet or even John the Baptist come back from the dead.

Who do you say that I am?

Peter the disciple who most often had something to say responded to this question with the simple truth. “You are the Christ.”

Who Does Jesus Say That He Is?

A Picture of the Risen Christ

1. General Appearance – “Son of Man” I AM the Messiah, the Son of God and “Son of Man” the sovereign Ruler of all people, and nations and men of every language will worship me. This phrase “Son of Man” comes from Daniel and on this one we will look at the scripture together. Imagine if you will the prophet Daniel looking ahead hundreds of years and getting a glimpse of Jesus.

“As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.”  Daniel 7:13-14

John is overwhelmed but He is seeing the Son of Man that is very unlike the Jesus that he knew and loved. He looks nothing like the Jesus that he sat beside at the last supper. John reaches all the way back into the Old Testament and pulls this description first used by Daniel. Jesus often used this phrase as well.

2. His Dress – “Robe/Golden Sash” Only worn by the high priest, princes or kings and some think that Daniel wore this kind of robe when he spoke his word so of prophecy in the O.T.

I AM the greatly honored One who exercises all authority and judgment as the once and for all High Priest, Judge/King, and Prophet/Messiah and Messenger of God.

When you read Hebrews 5 you are going to discover that Jesus cried out as a man on this earth in anguish to His heavenly Father. 

5 That is why Christ did not honor himself by assuming he could become High Priest. No, he was chosen by God, who said to him, “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” And in another passage God said to him, You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

 7 While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9 In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. 10 And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
Hebrews 5:5-10 NLT

Jesus is saying to John, “I am the one and only great High Priest that is the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him.” 

You may think that God doesn’t care but Jesus would remind you today that He cares enough about you to be daily taking your needs to the Father as the High priest He is. 

3. His Head and Hair – “White as Wool” This speaks of His Holiness and Righteousness. (Dan. 7:9)

I AM the Holy, Eternal One who is before all things, the all-wise, all-knowing God of time and eternity.

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.  He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.

Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth  by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” Colossians 1:15-20 NLT

Jesus came to explain the father and to show who He really is. He is one with the Father. He is saying don’t worry about it, we have it under control. Trust me. I am in charge just trust me. He broke the power of sin and the power of Satan. He conquered death and the grave so that we really have nothing to fear.

4. His Eyes – “Blazing Fire” It is the picture of intensity.

I AM the Righteous Judge of all the earth, whose judgment is just because I see all things as they really are, not as they appear to be.

18 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:  19 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.

 20 “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols.”
  Revelation 2:18-20 NLT

Jesus always goes to the heart of the matter and He always demands purity. Sexual sin is the downfall of many people including some believers. Sexual sin and idolatry always go hand in hand. Sexual immorality is always an idol in your life pulling you into a land of grave danger. Sexual immorality is an idol because it is about you and your needs and fulfilling your fantasies no matter what God may have to say about the matter.

You will never grow in Christ and be engaged in this sin.

5. His Feet – “Bronze Glowing”

I AM the all powerful Judge, who will judge all creatures (visible and invisible) and trample the wicked under my feet.

11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.  12 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.

 14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15 In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching.” Revelation 20:11-15 NLT

We have made Jesus into a “good buddy” Jesus. A cosmic vending machine Jesus who is just in our lives to make sure that everything turn out right in our lives. Nothing could be further from the truth and if that is our picture of Jesus we are going to be in for a rude awakening some day. He is and will be a powerful judge when we throw ourselves down before Him someday. He is full of compassion but He will judge us based on His word. 

6. His Voice – “Many Waters”

“IAM the One who spoke the world into existence out of nothing and upholds it by the Word of My power.”

In the Old Testament God often spoke in a still small voice and in the New Testament He spoke in parables but there is coming a day when He will speak loudly and boldly. His voice will drown out all the garbage that has cluttered our brains and lives in our lifetime.

“ 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” Hebrews 11:3 NLT  Colossians 1:16-17

The one who spoke the world into existence is really BIG. We hear Him with reverence, fear and humility.

7. His Right Hand – “The Stars”

I AM the Good Shepherd who will protect and provide for my bride, the Church, and protect My messengers (angels) by My great power and strength.

It is as though He pauses here after all this talk about blazing eyes, bronze fire feet and loud voice to remind John and us that He is still the Good Shepherd.

25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.[d] No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.” John 10:25-28 NLT

8. His Mouth – “Two-edged Sword”

"I AM the Word made flesh who dwelt among you and explained the Father (full of truth and grace) and it is by My Word that I now judge you, My people." Hebrews 4:12-13, and by My Word destroy My enemies. Revelation 19:19-21

Your relationship to His word is a one to one relationship to your relationship with the Lord. You and I are not who we think we are with Him we are who His word says we are with Him. It was Jesus who said we would not live by bread alone but by ever word that proceeds from the Father’s mouth.

If all your getting is someone giving you about thirty minutes of teaching church and you are not self feeding on the word of God you are in real trouble. What promises are you claiming? (shooting a gun without bullets)

9. His Face – “As Sun Shining”

It is as though John is given a jolt to his memory about what it was like that day on the Mt. of Transfiguration when Jesus was transformed in front of John and the other two disciples with him. They saw Jesus whose very closes became white and glistening.

He is seeing the very same Jesus who called us His friends.

I AM the radiant, brilliant, glorified 2 nd Person of the Godhead, who did not consider it robbery to “veil” My glory for a season on the earth to purchase people from every tribe, nation, and tongue to spend eternity with Me forever. 

 “6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.7Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 

 9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:6-11 NLT
John’s Response to Jesus in His Glory

If you have any understanding of what Jesus was revealing here you will have the sense that for the most part we don’t have this vision of Jesus at all. Did John have a happy little time and give Jesus a high five and did he put Jesus stickers on the back of his chariot? Was he a happy little Christian running around with his big black Bible and a cheesy grin slapping people on the back talking about how cool it is to be a Christian? Do you think John would ask his fellow Christians if they had watched some immoral TV show like Desperate Housewives or any number of movies that are as unholy as the devil himself? Let me assure you there were on inconsistencies in John’s life. He lived like he actually believed in Jesus. 

 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” Revelation 1:17-18 NLT

He said, “I am the living one.” That means He’s available before church, after church, in the emergency room and the critical care unit. He’s available at the funeral home. He’s available when you get the bad report from the doctor and when the kids are sick and when the kids are well. He’s available when the job is great and when the job is bad. He is letting John know and us know He is available 24/7.
When you see Jesus you will be transformed from the inside out. Your life will change. Your relationships will change. Your addictions will dry up.
Life’s Biggest Question

Since we don’t have to imagine; How will you respond to the Living, Resurrected Christ who says, “Do not be afraid, I am alive forever. I hold the keys to death and Hades?”

For John the fear of God overwhelmed it as it should but the grace of God picked him up.

1. Are you ready to meet this Christ who provides us salvation? 

2. If you have never met Him would you be willing to believe that He brought you to this place today so that you can repent and turn from your sin and your old life into a new life in Christ? Will you ask Him into your life? 

3. Maybe you are a believer but somehow you have disconnected but you are here today and you need to make some adjustments in your life.

Own your stuff, Jesus won’t be surprised by anything you have to say to Him. Don’t you want to invest your life in something real?

There is enough power in the resurrected Jesus to bring peace into your life today.

Cardboard Testimonies

Prayer

Benediction: “ Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.” Hebrews 12:28 NLT



2009/04/12