Summary: There have been great leaders, but no one like Jesus!
That Same Jesus
Biblical Text: Acts 2: 36
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
It has been a very long time since Jesus walked this earth in human flesh. The truth is that Jesus was here from the beginning of Creation. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God. Jesus walked among the generations of humanity, as the third part of the Triune God.
In the Old Testament, Jesus showed up in a fiery furnace to squelch the heat for three young Hebrew boys named Shadrach, Meshack and Abednedgo.
Jesus didn’t just visit the earth. He is the owner of the earth, made flesh. And even though thousands of years have come and gone, there has never been and there never will be anyone like Jesus.
There have been great leaders, but no one like Jesus.
There have been great psychologists and sociologists, but no one like Jesus.
There have been great lawyers and doctors, but no one like Jesus.
There have been great ministers of the gospel, but no one like Jesus.
There have been great orators, but no one like Jesus.
There have been great architects, but no one like Jesus.
There have even been a few great politicians, but no one like Jesus.
And although we have seen a parade of great personalities that have decked our hallowed halls of human history, Jesus stands alone. He is just as influential today as He’s ever been. He’s THAT SAME JESUS that dwelt among the Israelites in the form of the Ten Commandments. You know, the Word we still try to live by!
His incredible personality not withstanding, Jesus daily works of wonder could fill volumes upon volumes of documented testimony.
For centuries, THAT SAME JESUS has turned the World upside down. Peter says He’s THAT SAME JESUS, who was crucified by sinners, and became Lord and Christ…..In other words, He became KING and SAVIOR…..RULER and REDEEMER.
Not an ordinary, run of the mill KING. Whether your African-American, Anglo-Saxon, Asian, Hebrew, male, female, Jew, Greek, black, white, brown, straight hair, kinky hair, blue eyed, brown eyed, tall, short, rich, or poor; you are saved by THAT SAME JESUS.
Journey back to the days before your Salvation….before Confession, and redemption, and justification. Remember those rebellious years when each day held a series of choices, and you chose to take the broad road to destruction. There you were, time after time, wallowing in your own sin, and THAT SAME JESUS was there with you, pulling and tugging, drawing you to Him.
Remember the guilt you felt at those moments when His message managed to penetrate your tough exterior? It was THAT SAME JESUS, standing in the gap, praying for your liberation from sin.
Remember the fiascos, when you tried it YOUR WAY and failed. And our God of love and mercy preordained that a loving Savior should draw you into the family anyway. And somehow, God managed to get His Word to you…THAT SAME WORD that was made flesh and dwelt among us so many years ago. There was no problem too great for Him….no request to great for Him….no failure too difficult to overcome.
You couldn’t do anything to stop the runaway traffic of sin in your life, but THAT SAME JESUS did!
You couldn’t lift yourself off your sickbed, but THAT SAME JESUS did.
You couldn’t manage to restore your own fractured family, but THAT SAME JESUS did.
You couldn’t muster the strength to put down the needle or the bottle, but THAT SAME JESUS came along and rescued you.
In his first sermon after Pentecost, Peter, having been filled with the Holy Spirit, sets out to proclaim the good news about THAT SAME JESUS. He joins a small band of men who spread through the streets of Jerusalem and surrounding cities in the Greek-Roman world, and proclaims the Gospel, the good news of Salvation. They were fearless in their proclamation and on fire with their message. They told their story without faltering, conscious of the fact that it was not their power that fueled them.
And oh, what a story it is! It was not so much information about God’s nature as proclamation of God’s act. It was the affirmation that God had done something new and wonderful: he had acted in and through Jesus of Nazareth, so that whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins. Life received new meaning; men were empowered from on high; a new creation was established by God’s deed. This was the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who hath visited and redeemed His people.
Peter’s paraphrased sermon went like this:
“This zeal and enthusiasm which you see, has come because the promises made to the Old Testament Prophets are being fulfilled. God has sent His Spirit upon us, so that we may preach the mighty working by which He has redeemed the Word. You know of Jesus of Nazareth, who your rulers crucified. THAT SAME JESUS, who was sent forth from God and approved among you by the signs that He performed, has now, by God’s Almighty Hand, been raised from the dead. Because He is risen, He has shed forth the Holy Spirit; and in the power of the Spirit, we are sent out to call men to repentance and to acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Christ….Ruler and Redeemer.