Summary: When people can see Jesus for who He really is, they will be drawn to Him and can experience life transformation as they respond to Him.
Looking at Jesus
Intro: Hebrews 12:2 “…looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.” There are numerous places in Scripture where people look at Jesus. Even though the Bible indicates there would be nothing about His physical appearance that would draw people to Him, still people at times were found gazing at Him. Here are a few examples from John’s gospel:
John 1:36 When he (John) saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
John 3:14-15 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
John 12:20-21 20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus."
John 20:25 So the other disciples told him [Thomas], "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." Well, he got his wish and saw Jesus and experienced Him and fell down and said, “My Lord and my God!”
-I believe that when people can see Jesus for who He really is, they will be drawn to Him and can experience life transformation as they respond to Him.
-Let’s take a look at Jesus today. I’d like to focus on 3 main areas as we do that.
1. See His Love
-John 3:16-17 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
-God is not a vengeful God demanding human sacrifice, but a loving God who wants to include us in His life. He wants to include us in His love, in relationship!
-Have you thought about the fact that the Son of God loved us every bit as much as God the Father? That is why He was willing to die for us, a plan that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit shared long before they created the first human.
John 15:12-13 “Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus went on to show how great His love was for us!
1 John 3:1 “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God.” We are invited to observe His love, to notice it and look more deeply into it!
-When we read about the life of Jesus in the gospels, He demonstrated His love to those He ministered to. He helped them, healed them, taught them, led them, fed them, and gave them hope for tomorrow!
2. See His Sacrifice
-The Cross – shows how far He was willing to go for you.
[Show clip, 4:13)
3. See His Power
-Resurrection Power – proved His identity. Proved that He as power over sin and death.
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
-Changed lives are also the proof of His power! I’m not the man I used to be! Since I met Jesus I have a new life, a new capacity to love, a new destiny!
Conclusion: As we read the biblical account of the resurrection, we find that people were looking for Jesus. Where is He? What happened to Him? Is He really alive? But then they moved from looking for Him to looking at Him. Jesus actually appeared to His followers: 1 Corinthians 15:5-6 he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time.
-Now, they could have stopped there and been content with looking for Him and when they found Him they looked at Him. But that wasn’t enough. They looked to Him, as their Lord and Savior. They looked to Him as the answer for their sin problem. They looked to Jesus and found what they needed in Him!
-Maybe you are still looking for Jesus, trying to find something to hold onto in the middle of the chaos and uncertainty of life. Or maybe you’ve begun to look at Him, to figure out if He really was who He claimed to be and what that has to do with you today. Possibly, you’ve begun to look to Jesus as your Forgiver and Leader, the author and finisher of your faith.