Summary: There is no other name in heaven or on earth that is more loved, more revered or more controversial than Jesus. This three-part sermon series answers the question, "Who is Jesus?" by examining three descriptions of Jesus given in Revelation.
Jesus Revealed: Part 2
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 2/17/2012
Jesus is the world’s preeminent person. The greatest event in human history was the coming of Jesus into this world. The greatest words ever spoken were his words. The greatest deeds ever done were accomplished by his hands. The greatest gift ever offered was his blood at Calvary. Jesus stands alone in all of history—the single most significant person who ever lived.
Yet countless people across the globe have no idea who Jesus really is. Mormons believe Jesus to be the spirit-brother of Lucifer. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that he’s the Archangel Michael. Muslims claim that he was a prophet of Allah, but certainly not the Son of God. There are a lot of different interpretations of Jesus out there. A cartoon version of Jesus has made several appearances on long-running TV shows like The Simpsons and South Park. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Ben Affleck, and Brad Pitt have all been spotted wearing “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirts. In the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, comedian Will Ferrell leads his family in prayer to an “8-pound, 6-ounce, newborn infant Jesus” wearing “golden fleece diapers” and watching developmental video about shapes and colors. Apparently, he liked the Christmas Jesus best. There was even a bizarre Canadian kung-fu/comedy/horror/musical about the second coming, called Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, which pairs Jesus with Mexican Wrestling hero El Santos to battle an army of vampires!
The point is—how we see Jesus defines our relationship with him. In his book, The Jesus You Can’t Ignore, John MacArthur writes, “What you think of Jesus will thoroughly color how you think about everything else… Our view of Jesus affects our view of God, the world, ourselves, and every one of our decisions.”
So who is Jesus really? How should we see him?
Last Sunday, we peered into the first chapter of Revelation, in which John sees a vision of Jesus in heaven and Jesus reveals himself to be ageless, alive, and authoritative. The second vision John has of Jesus in heaven in found in Revelation 5. Please listen as Levar Burton on The Bible Experience Audio Bible reads this chapter to us:
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Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center before the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God members of every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Revelation 5:1-14 TNIV)
The scroll with the seven seals that John sees in the beginning of the chapter represents a series of events in the history of the church that would soon unfold, and Jesus was the only one worthy to set those events in motion. And as Jesus makes his appearance here, we see three different depiction or images that reveal who Jesus is.