Summary: A good overview of Jesus’ awesomeness is like a tonic for the soul.
The Person and Work of Christ -- Express
1. We have been reviewing our learning some basic Christian facts these past Sunday mornings; very much like material we cover in AWANA. 10 Commandments…
2.Love is another basic. It is also an amazing motivator. Take this account:
Alvin Straight, age seventy-three, lived in Laurens, Iowa. His brother, age eighty, lived several hundred miles away in Blue River, Wisconsin.
According to the Associated Press, Alvin’s brother had suffered a stroke, and Alvin wanted to see him, but he had a transportation problem.
He didn’t have a driver’s license because his eyesight was bad and he apparently had an aversion to taking a plane, train, or bus. [Source: Sermon Central, Ryan Johnson]
But Alvin didn’t let that stop him. In 1994 he climbed aboard his 1966 John Deere tractor lawn mower and drove it all the way to Blue River, Wisconsin.
3. Sometimes it is good to review the basics, like Who Jesus is and what He did.
Main Idea: A good overview of Jesus’ awesomeness is like a tonic for the soul.
I. Jesus: WHERE is He? (4-5a)
A. To the SEVEN churches in Asia Minor
B. From HEAVEN
1. John, who was CAUGHT up
3. The SEVEN spirits
Ben Witherington III writes: "According to Rev. 5:6 the seven spirits are something Jesus sent throughout the earth and are equated with the Lamb’s seven eyes. At 4:5 they are equated with the blazing lamps. At 3:1, they are associated with the seven stars, which we have already been told are the angels of the seven churches. It seems unlikely that John is referring to a sevenfold division of the Holy Spirit…Early Jewish texts clearly refer to seven archangels before the throne of God (Tob. 12:15; I En. 20:1-8; 4 Qserk)." From Revelation, p. 75).
Here is the text from I Enoch 20:1-8, "And these are the names of the holy angels who watch. Uriel, one of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus. Raphael, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men. Raguel, one of the holy angels who †takes vengeance on† the world of the luminaries. Michael, one of the holy angels, to wit, he that is set over the best part of mankind ⌈⌈and⌉⌉ over chaos. Saraqâêl, one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit. Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim. Remiel, one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise."
Jesus sat down at the Father’s right hand because His work of salvation is done. He died once for all time, rose again, and, after 40 days, ascended back into heaven.
II. Jesus: Who is He and What Did He Do? (5b-6, 8)
A. His PERSON (5b, 8)
1. Faithful WITNESS
2. FIRSTBORN from the dead
Not simply first raised, pertaining to His human nature, the best and most honored. Explain two natures.
Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).
The ancient Rabbis called Yahweh Himself "Firstborn of the World" (Rabbi Bechai cited in Lightfoot’s commentary on Colossians). Rabbis also used firstborn as a Messianic title. "God said, ’As I made Jacob a first-born (Exodus 4:22), so also will I make king Messiah a first-born’ (Psalm 89:28)." (R. Nathan in Shemoth Rabba, cited by Lightfoot in his commentary on Colossians) [David Guzik]