Summary: From beginning to end, Jesus is the main character in the Bible story.
The Bible’s Main Character Col. 1:15-20 You Can Understand the Bible 3)
INTRO.: Our text speaks in very lofty terms about Jesus. The Apostle Paul must be in a deeply worshipful mood as he describes the Son of God. He is the image of the invisible God, the heir (firstborn) of all creation.
In verse 16, He is Creator of all things. God created the universe through His Word that became incarnate.
In 17, His eternal existence is stated and we are told He is sustainer of the universe.
In 18, He is head of His body, the Church and the first to rise from the dead. He is supreme in everything.
In 19, we learn He is fully God.
In 20, He is the reconciler of all things to God.
ILLUS.: Sherlock Holmes story.
Today, I want to remind you of something that is very obvious, yet often forgotten when we study the Bible. It will help us understand the Bible if we remember Jesus is the main character.
I. In the Patriarchal Age and even before:
A. Present in creation as the Word Jn. 1:1, 14
1. He was the power through which God spoke the worlds into existence.
2. This is deeply philosophical, but means God communicates with us through Jesus.
3. God’s Word is so powerful. When He speaks things happen.
4. God sent His Word in flesh to show us just what God is like.
B. There are glimpses of Jesus and His ministry even in Genesis.
1. The first prophecy: Gen. 3:15
2. Promised Abraham to bless all the earth through his descendants. This was a prediction of the coming of Jesus and salvation through Him.
3. Sacrifice of Isaac shows penalty of sin and principle of substitution. Gen. 22
II. In the Jewish Age:
A. Recall the Jewish age began when God led His people out of captivity and gave them the Law.
1. When God killed the firstborn of Egypt, the Jews killed a lamb and sprinkled its blood on the frames of their doors.
2. The blood told the death angel to pass over their homes, sparing their children.
3. The lamb was a substitute sacrifice. Thousands more lambs were offered thru the years along with bulls and goats, etc.
4. John the Baptist referred to this in John 1:29.
B. He traveled with Israel in the desert. I C. 10:4
1. The Jews in the wilderness had every advantage, even the Presence of Christ.
2. There are many other instances where we infer Christ’s Presence, but this is stated.
3. He appeared in the fire with the 3 Hebrew youth in Dan. 3:24, 25
C. Hundreds of O.T. prophecies point to Jesus.
1. Deut. 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.”
2. Isa. 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
3. Isa. 52 & 53 tell of His suffering.
4. Ps. 16:10 predicts His resurrection. “because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”
III. In the Christian age and ages to come. Jn. 20:30, 31
A. The N. T. Story centers in Him altogether:
1. The Gospels record His birth and the events of His life, death, resurrection, & ascension.
2. Acts tells how His plan to save humanity is being executed.
3. The epistles show us how to live for Him.
4. Revelation tells of His return in glory.
B. He is called firstborn from the dead.
1. Because He was the first of many to arise.
2. If we share in His death, we will also share in His resurrection. Rom. 6:3-5
3. He was before all things. He was first to rise from the dead, He has first place in the Church, so that He is first of the first.
4. He also wants first place in our hearts.
C. He lives today amidst His Church. Rev. 1:12-15
1. Acts 18:6-10 - as He was with His apostles, He is with us today.
2. 2 Cor . 13:11 “Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
3. Matt. 18:20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
CONC.: Illus.: Unused Spiritual Resources.
So many times we fail to take advantage of the guidance and strength we can obtain in the Scriptures. We need to make ourselves familiar with God’s word and with its main character, Jesus.