Summary: How Jesus met what we needed to find God
What have we missed in our Church?
What first comes to your mind when you hear the name Jesus? There is a story that is going around of a son of a pastor whose mother told him he needed to go was his hands because they were covered with germs. He had heard this before. Not wanting to go wash he shook his head and said, “Germs and Jesus! Germs and Jesus! That is all I hear around this house and I have never seen either one of them.” SO WE WOULD SAY TO you today that there are very many opinions about Jesus in the world and in the Church. Did you know that the identity of Jesus is the most debated subject in the Christian faith? At the heart of our faith is the person Jesus Christ. Why is there a question about Him? Let us read about Him in the Apostles’ Creed. This is a point to be made that there is more to be said about Jesus than the other two persons of the Trinity. This creed speaks boldly about the divine being and the humanity of Christ. The debate that has been going on is whether Jesus is truly God? The other religions see him only as a prophet or a good man. As for Eastern religions and New Age they say that God is in Christ because God is in all things. So He is not unique or different. He is just another person in whom God dwells. This is strange but it was debated in the early centuries whether Jesus was really a man. OTHER RELIGIONS TALK ABOUT their gods visiting the earth but they have come only as visions and appear and disappear at their choosing. Some who were ancient philosophers wrote up a list that would tell if it was a true god. If he did not sweat or cast a shadow and the soles of his feet could not touch the ground. A heresy that was back in the 1st century said that matter is evil and spirit is good. The two can never interact with the other. So this would tell us that Jesus was divine but not human, He only appeared to be a man. No belief here that God could come in the form of a man. God could never become soiled with the dirtiness of this earth and surely not in childbirth. From these false beliefs came our creeds with words that say “born of the Virgin Mary.” This was to put an emphasis on the being born. This was to help understand that Jesus was truly God and was truly man. If Jesus was not truly a man what would that do to our faith? I. JESUS TRULY BECAME MAN TO SHOW US THE FATHER. JN 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” In the O. T. God used judges, prophets and priests to speak his word. They represented God but were only human and at times became a hindrance to our knowing God as we should. They wanted to give us God’s truth but could not do it perfectly or completely because they were only human. In their humanity and sinfulness they could only give a vague view of God. How many are the stories given that people used their positions for their own gain. It is in Jesus we get a clear picture of God for He even said JN 14:9 “The person who has seen me has seen the Father.” What importance that gives to us because in many ways we have seen God as taskmaster who only finds out our faults and condemns us. We have also likened Him to an earthly father that only brought pain to our lives with no love. If we desire to continue in sin we have found Him to be one that brought pain, frustration and disappointment into our lives. It was Jesus in our flesh that opens our eyes to the truth. Jesus revealed to us a Father who calls us by name welcomes us to his table, and offers us life which is not an escape from reality and truth but a life that can be lived in rest, with peace and joy in the midst of life whatever it brings to us. It is in Jesus’ words that we find that all people are of importance to God and that they have worth and are worthy of respect. He said what we have hoped for in God is true. When we see that Jesus cares for the outcasts, forgives sins, promises eternal and abundant life, deals seriously with sin and is honest with its consequences it shows a picture of our true heavenly Father in what He does, promises and deals in human life. It is this way it is only as we see God for who He truly is and know and believe the truth about Him that we will trust Him and enter a relationship with Him. To illustrate this there is story about a Chinese artist, a new Christians who wanted to paint the parable of the prodigal son. In his first attempt he painted the father standing at the gate with his arms folded looking sternly down the road at a son coming. Another Christian explained to him that was not the picture of our heavenly Father. “But most fathers are that way”, said the artist. He was told that Jesus was trying to show what god was like with an unconditional love to those who come to Him. He repainted the picture and this time the father was running toward the son with his robes flapping in the wind and a look of joy on his face. There was one thing the other did not understand this time for the father did not have on matching shoes. So he asked why? The artist simple replied that the father was so excited about reaching his son he grabbed the shoes nearest to him and ran for he did not care if the shoes matched or not. All that mattered was that his son was now found. Jesus showed us that love as He took on the form of a man. II. JESUS BECAME A MAN TO MAKE KNOWN TO US THE ROCK BOTTOM OF GOD’S LOVE TO US. JN 1:14 “The Word became human and lived among us. We saw his glory. It was the glory that the Father shares with his only Son, a glory full of kindness and truth.” This word became is definite past action. He who was and is forever at one point in time BECAME. He came into our world, a part of history, to live among us. He left heaven to enter the womb of a woman. He was born as a baby who needed the support of others to survive. He who was in the creation of all things came under the authority of earthly parents. They were His creation. He who could heal and give life lived now in the body that was subject to sickness, aches, pains, colds and flu. He who said He was the Bread and the Water of life had to eat food and drink water to live. He who is the Judge subjected himself to being rejected, hearing awful things said about him, grief and His friends failing Him. For who He was people still rejected him, ignored him, hated him and had him put to death to protect heir own rights. A good illustration of this comes from an old parable of the end time judgment with all the people who have ever lived being brought before God. Not submitting to God they come with a complaint. One group made the claim that they suffered persecution. They had died in gas chambers and concentration camps. They wanted to know how God could judge them. What would he know about their suffering? Another group were ones who had been slaves and suffered. They had no homes and no place to lie down to sleep. They had been poor and just had made enough to pay for their needs. There were others who had been sick most of their lives. How could God judge them? God lived in heaven where there is only goodness and light, no tears, no worries, no fears, no hungers, no mistreatments. These groups appointed a committee to draw up a case before God. They stated that before God could Judge them he must first endure what they went through. They said He would have to live on earth and be subject to all they had gone through. They cried out, “Let him be born a Jew! Let Him be poor! Let him be rejected by his people! Let him have friends who betray him! Let him have false charges brought on him! Tried before a jury! Convicted by a judge! Abandoned by his friend! Let him be lonely! Let him be tortured! Let him die at the hands of enemies!” The crowd stood back and gave approval to each sentence. Then there was hush to be heard all over the room, for they then realized God already had served that sentence. For Jesus in His coming as a man identified with us, in his sufferings, in struggles and temptations, in his pain of body, mind and spirit. He felt it all completely, totally and personally just as we have. So we ask WHY? It was so we could know the depth of God’s love for us. So we could know how far God was willing to go to prove He loved us. So that in all that we go through we can turn to God and see one who has proven his love for us in His Son Jesus Christ. 1 JN 4:10 “This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins.” III. JESUS BCAME A MAN SO HE COULD BE OUR WAY OF SALVATION. JN 10:10 “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” We were meant to have fellowship with God. It is only by that fellowship that our deepest longings and desire are met. It is because of our sin that we have been separated from God. Sin makes us slaves to ourselves, putting down people for our advancement, making us liars, wanting to cheat to get what we want, hurt others with no feeling, and take advantage of others for our benefit. Sin makes us try al things to fill in the void that we feel in our lives. We fill our lives with wealth and possessions. We climb up a ladder to find success and fame. We grab for power to lord it over others. We use sex to fulfill our lust. We are always looking for a higher and exhilarating thrill to make life exciting. We search, we look, and we long for that next thing that we hope will meet our deepest need. All these ways the Bible says only lead to death and separation from God who loves us. It was into this world that shows us our helplessness and hopelessness that Jesus came. He was born to a virgin named Mary who was to give him the name Jesus or “God saves.” He became the perfect sacrifice and took on him all the sin, guilt and shame of all persons who ever lived. Jesus became human so that he cross would be a reality for the sins of mankind. It is in Him that we find peace with God, sins forgiven and freedom from a past life of wrong. Charles Wesley wrote a song that says: “Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light: My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed Thee.” Jesus does not just reveal the way of salvation, He is the way of salvation. It is that Christ died for our sins that is the gospel in a simple way. Jesus took on the human body not to see if he was strong enough to be a human but that we might have salvation. Knowing what Christ has done for you makes it possible for you to bow in adoration and worship, submitting your life to Him and finding all you have longed for. He did that for you. You must respond for it to have effect.