Summary: When we talk about Christ being exalted at the Father's right hand, most of us have a pretty feeble picture in our minds; yet we do not serve a tired and shy Messiah who is but a man; we serve the Son of Man Who is the Son of God.
Jesus As He NOW Is: The Glorified Christ
1. What is your Jesus like?
2. Weak Jesus or strong Jesus? Is He kind or nice, or both? Does He get angry? Is He a victim to our choices? Is He both man and God, or something less?
3. If you saw His face as it now is, would you recognize it? Is He absentee, passing the time at the Father's right hand, or is He actively involved in our daily happenings? Has he abdicated His headship over the church to a committee, organization, or man?
Main Idea: When we talk about Christ being exalted at the Father's right hand, most of us have a pretty feeble picture in our minds; yet we do not serve a tired and shy Messiah who is but a man; we serve the Son of Man Who is the Son of God.
I. The Son of Man Among the LAMPSTANDS (12-13a)
A. The SEVEN Lampstands and the nature of the church
(show picture here-- download off internet)
1. The lampstands are individual churches, but they are not the light; instead, they hold up the light! The oil and flame are God's doing…
2. Jesus is the true head of the church and is in our midst!
3. OT Israel, before kings, a theocracy; God was to rule through the written Word as enforced by the elders of the city; this principle has not changed.
4. When something is a mess, is it always the leader's fault?
5. Pastor friend: when the church wasn't doing well, people considered it his fault; when it started doing well, they said the credit should all go to the Lord…do you see what's wrong with thinking?
6. The "stars" are mentioned later; Jesus is holding them; these are the 7 angels who watch over the 7 churches…many truths about the church….Christ leads, his instructions in the Word, assisted by angels, the Word executed by the elders.
7. In our day and age, we tend to so emphasize the individual so much that we fail to understand that God has special blessings for us only in the context of the church gathered…the lampstands are not individuals
B. The Old Testament IMAGERY of the Son of Man
Application: What is your Jesus like? This Jesus is a hands-on Jesus; He is not a distant armchair general, but He walks among His troops in the heat of battle.
II. The True NATURE of the Son of Man Revealed (13b-16)
A. The GOLDEN sash: righteous and faithful
Isaiah 11:5, " Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist."
My good friend Charlie died about 3 years ago; he was 89 years old, and we were like family. Charlie was interesting, open-minded, and a great conversationalist. One day I called him and he had just gotten back from the dentist. 35 years earlier, he had his dentist put on a temporary aluminum crown. It finally gave way, and he had to fork out the cash for a gold one. That crown had been faithful for 35 years, but not forever.
Sometimes people are righteous in character, but they eventually fail. Jesus is perfectly righteous and his faithfulness guarantees the stability of that righteousness.
B. His WHITE hair: the Ancient of Days
Daniel 7:9-10, "As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.
"A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated,
and the books were opened."
• You see, God is both One and Three…
• His white hair suggest wisdom, the missing pursuit in our day
• People do not believe in absolute truth or generalizations…
• The pursuit of wisdom includes accumulating generalizations
C. His BLAZING eyes: holy and piercing
• He sees right through our insincere images, the impressions we are so careful to create….he sees us as scared children, hurt and damaged, or control freaks or lustful or manipulative people, or some of all of the above…
• You cannot offer him spin or pat answers or excuses; if you try to sell him a bill of goods, you will see what a fool you are.
D. His GLOWING bronze feet, not clay
E. His MIGHTY voice: intimidation
• Like the sound of a giant waterfall
• God, by nature, is intimidating; In his love, he condescends so we are no longer intimidated but welcomed into his family
• Imagine a molecule…and atom, a proton. The size of that proton might be the size of planet earth compared to the universe. Now imagine a tiny many on that proton so small that he is equivalent to one man on earth. He is shaking his fist at God who created all by speaking a word. That's how puny our defiance is.