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#TheLambOfGod

09.27.15 Nathaniel Wall

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#TheLambOfGod

09.27.15 Nathaniel Wall #Jesus Series

If you’re here this morning I just want to say, thank you for spending the day with us. I hope you’re here this morning, right? Maybe physically, but I gonna ask you to mentally checked in with us to. If you’re visiting with us, I want to encourage you. We’re going through a series together called #JESUS and we’re simple looking at the nature of who Jesus is and what that means for us as people how it relates to us in life. And so we’re going to be in Matthew 26, I invite you to turn there in your Bible. We’re going to launch from John 1 into Matthew 26.

We are three weeks into this series together on identifying Jesus and I’ve got one goal for us this morning: we’re going to take a very specific look at Christ, step back for a moment and appreciate the panoramic view of Jesus from the Gospels, for the purpose of achieving one goal. When it comes to the nature of who Christ is, from a religious perspective,  too often our souls argue with her belief, rather than marveling at Christ. I want to take the opportunity we have this morning in teaching some theological truth about Jesus to marvel at the nature of who Jesus is. As we walk out this morning, if your heart feels more compelled and more in love with who Christ is then we’re going to call that a victory for us as a church.

When it comes to Jesus, there is little historical evidence on what Jesus look like. The Byzantines in the fourth century, in order to make him see more as a symbol of power, begin to illustrate Jesus with large beards. Isaiah 15:16 seems to indicate that Christ may have in fact had a beard. The Victorians, when they came along and begin to illustrate Christ, drew him as a blonde hair Jesus. Which doesn’t fit to where Jesus is even from. Over the 50 mainstream films that have been made about Christ, none of them have been played by a Jewish person. But we know for certain that Jesus was a man. The Bible tells us he was born of the woman, he had a normal body of flesh and blood and bone, he grew up as a boy, he had a family, he was obedient to his parents, he prayed, he worked as a carpenter, he got hungry and thirsty, he ask for information, he was stressed, he was astonished, he was happy, he told jokes, he had compassion, gave encouraging compliments, he loved children, he celebrating the holidays, he went to parties, and my personal favorite, he loved his mama.

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 53:3, he was a man of low view, the verse says this, “he was despised and forsaken of man. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and like one from whom men hide their faces, as he was despised and we did not esteem him. Jesus even had the opportunity to surround himself, being a human of low esteem, to look cool by the crowd he kept. And then when it came to keeping that crowd when, Jesus chose the 12 individuals that would follow him, they were not the prominent people of society. Like one time Jesus had the opportunity to look cool here and the people that you choose. In his life, when a rabbi would choose disciples to follow them, during this time which Christ was walking the earth, there were famous teachers throughout the land of Israel known as rabbis and disciples would flock to the rabbis, especially if they are good ones, and they would sign up to follow this rabbi. Then the rabbi would get to choose from the pickings of who he desired to follow after him. When it came to Jesus, people didn’t choose him. He chose them. On one end of the spectrum, he chooses one of the most hated individuals in Jewish society, the tax collector Matthew. And on the other side of that, he chooses the zealot who opposes the extreme that the tax collector represents with Peter, who is always shooting off at the mouth and getting him in trouble. And in between that he has a bunch of fishermen.

The Bible tells us, that Jesus was indeed a man. Jesus was more than a man. Sometimes when you hear people talk about Jesus, they present him more like as if he were a boring individual, more often at times people talking about Christ sound more excited about an upcoming root canal then Jesus. Yet, when you read about Jesus in the Bible, no one was ever bored with Jesus. And when you see Christ for who he is, he is profound and he is worthy of worship. We don’t need to know the specifics of how he looked to know that he was incredible. In John 1:14, if you haven’t memorized this yet, you will by the time we’re over because we pick this is a launching point every time we start, but it says this, “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw his glory,” some translation say, “and we beheld his glory.” As we’ve gone through this text together, we see two nature’s of Jesus colliding within these phrases. Jesus became flesh. He became man. Hebrews 1:3 says, “he is the radiance of the Father, the exact imprint of of his nature.” Jesus became flesh and at the same time, we saw his glory. In the Bible, it tells us in Isaiah 40 that God desires to give his glory to no other, and by noting that Jesus is glorious, the Bible’s pointing to his deity. In fact, in John 1, John says, “that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

There are some theological terms they have placed on passages of the Bible like this that reference the nature of who Jesus is. Some of the terms they’ve used is this phase, “hypostatic union” in talking about the coming of Jesus in the flesh. It’s the “kenosis” of Christ which, to me sounds like my future superhero name. Captain Kenosis who has the super power of the hypostatic union, right? But when it comes to Jesus, in it’s definition it’s simplistic in helping us understand who Christ is, in his coming to the earth. This hypostatic union represents the two natures of Jesus being demonstrated in his flesh. He is 100% God and he is 100% man, having become flesh. In Jesus, these natures collide perfectly in his identity. And the kenosis of Christ is the emptying of Jesus. He is the nature of God, but in that he’s living as a servant, he is limited in his deity, but he is not eliminated from his deity. Philippians 2 speaks beautifully and to the nature of who Jesus is beginning in verse 5. Though being in the form of God, because this is something in which he doesn’t have as grasp, but rather comes into the form of a servant becomes obedient to death. even death on the cross. These two nature’s demonstrated in the kenosis of who Christ is.

To explain this hypostatic union, let me just give a few thoughts on this God man coming together. The Bible teaches us that if he had not been fully man he would not have been able to die for men. Had he not been fully God, he would not have been able to conquer sin sin, Satan and death and give life to all who believe. Because he was the Son of Man, he became hungry. Because he was the son of God, he fed thousands with loafs. Because he was the Son of Man, he became thirsty. Because he was the son of God, he turned water into wine. Because he was the Son of Man, he grew weary. Because he was the son of God, he could raise the dead. Because he was the Son of Man, he grew older. Because he is the son of God, he is ageless, the Alpha and Omega. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory.

In an article written from the researchers of the World Almanac Book of Facts, they asked 2,000 eighth graders to name some prominent people they had admired in life. After the results were published, a  columnist by the name of a Sydney Harris lamented over the results and the state of America that he saw from what he read from the results of these 2,000 eighth graders who were asked to name a prominent person that they had admire. He recognize from the list of the top 30 individuals in which young people had recognized in their lives, there was no one beyond the realm of actors and athletes of which they had admired. To which the columnist said this to the children, “heroes and heroines to the kids are people who have made it big, not necessarily people who have done big things.”

Jesus becoming flesh, no doubt, He is God. But the way Jesus demonstrates himself on this earth wasn’t by lifting and elevating himself above people, but rather serving beneath them for their benefit, into His glory. When Jesus became the nature of God in the flesh, having emptied himself in the kenosis, we refer to this as the incarnation of Christ. Emmanuel, which means God with us. John recognized, not only that Jesus being the God man in his nature, he tells us why this was important. He says in 1 John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” He explains to us the significance of this carnation, when God now becoming flesh, he says, “No one has seen God at any time,” in verse 18. That previous this, God had not been flesh, but now God has become personal, God has become real, God has has become for us something that we can look at and behold with our own eyes. God had not been flesh and now Jesus takes on the form of flesh. In fact, some have even asked as it relates to the Father, didn’t the father have flesh and bone? Well, the Bible tells us, “No one has seen God at any time,” but you look further within scripture, it tells us in John 14:24 that God is spirit. And in Luke 24:39, that a spirit has no flesh and bones but now in Jesus, God has become flesh. And we beheld His glory. The glory as the only begotten, full of grace and truth.

I think it’s important in recognizing the significance of Jesus in serving us, to see him for who he is. There is this passage in the book of Matthew 26:39 and which I’m just going to highlight for us the significance of it for our lives and identifying the importance of who Christ is and why this passage is important to us in revealing the humanity and deity of Jesus. In colliding together, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane and seeing Christ for who he is, there is no passage, maybe for me especially, that speaks more crucially to the nature of Christ than this statement. Not only does it unfold for me who he is, but it also shares with us why he came. What is Jesus saying here? It says in Matthew 26:39, “and he went a little beyond them in the Garden of Gethsemane.” The disciples were with him and he asked them to pray for him. He’s about to take sin upon his shoulders, and he goes off and he prays, and he fell on his face and prayed, saying to the father, “My father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” This is the night in which Jesus will be betrayed, and the night for which Christ was about to be crucified. His prayer to the Father is to let this cup pass from him. For years I’ve look at this passage and I often thought, “Oh, I think Jesus is praying for the cross. He doesn’t want to endure the cross. And so looking at this, I begin to see the humanity of Christ and praying that God doesn’t seem to the cross. But the more I thought about it, the less I was inclined to embrace that answer. And the reason is because Jesus and his entire life was centered around his death. And John said in John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, who comes to take away the sins of the world.”

From the beginning of the Genesis 3, the coming of Jesus for the sins of mankind as a sacrifice has been foretold. Jesus knew this moment was going to arrive. In Hebrews 12:2, it says, “For the joy set before him, he endured the cross.” And it was ridiculous for me to conceive of Jesus now decided he didn’t want the cross.” In fact, he willingly walks to Jerusalem and he willingly takes on the nails. And the Bible tells us, at any moment he could have called a company of angels to rescue him from those moments. I don’t think Jesus is praying, “God keep the cross from me.” I think Jesus was even honest to us when he told us as individuals that we will endure tribulation because of our faith in Christ. Coming to Jesus doesn’t necessarily always make life easier. In fact, some of the things that Christ calls us to in this world and crucifying our flesh, you may recognize, and in some ways it may make it difficult. It may make relationships difficult. Now Jesus may be recognizing in this passes that the cross ahead of him is a challenge. But I think the prayer that Jesus is praying goes far deeper than the cross is about to endure.

In Matthew 27 it gives us a little bit of a background to Jesus’ statement. In verse 46, this is the last statement Jesus utters before the Bible tells us, “and he gives up his life,” in Matthew 27. It says in Matthew 27:46, “About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, ‘my God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?'” Jesus in these moments is recognizing for us what’s truly at stake through his crucifixion on the cross. The Bible told us in John 1, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God.” It is talking about the relationship of the triune God. In Genesis chapter 1:26-27, it says, “Let us make man in our image.” Then in the verse 27 says, “in the image of God, he made him.” The triune God formulating man in His image. And so when Jesus is praying this prayer, “My father, if it’s possible, let this cup pass from me.” Jesus reveals the nature behind why he would pray such a prayer in Matthew 27:46, when he says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” Jesus himself is taking upon the sins of the world. And to this point, he and the father have experience perfect harmony in their relationship with one another. They are united. In fact, Jesus says in John 10:30 that, “I and the Father are one,” and now for the first time in all of history, Jesus is going to take on sin, and the father is going to turn his back on Jesus as he becomes the propitiation for sin on our behalf. There is a separation between the relationship of the Father and the Son. I don’t understand how it happens. I have no idea how to even explain it or to grasp it, but Jesus and these moments is quoting from Scripture, “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?” Giving insight to the passage, “Let this cup pass from me.”

The reality is, separation in relationships is painful. It cuts at you. It can keep you up at night. And some of the ignorant things we do is people in life come after a division in relationships. We say foolish things out of hurt feelings. We react in hate because we hurt. And all of this points to the fact that separation is painful and relationships are important. In your life have you ever lost something you didn’t want to give up? In these moments you can relate to Jesus. But the good news in Christianity is that losing isn’t the end. In every religion in the world, when it comes to losing, you when it comes to evil, when it comes to the feeling of suffering, especially in separation – every believe in the world has to give an account. You think of when it comes to death as Jesus is experiencing here. I think Christianity’s end is beautiful. The loss here in these moments isn’t the end of the story, but when it comes to philosophies like atheism or agnosticism, death wins in the end. When it comes to religion, it’s based on you and you have to get yourself out of purgatory by the way that you earn your stature. But when it comes to Christianity, it’s all based on Jesus and he wins and we get the opportunity to celebrate. It’s not saying to us: God gets glory in our sin, but rather, God gets the glory through the victory over sin. When we consider this passage, between relationship of God and man, look at it as relationship between Jesus and the Father. But we consider the relationship between God and man, Jesus and man, we can ask the question, why would Jesus endure such separation between the Father? Why would he take this sin upon himself? What would drive Jesus do this?

There was a the story that I read recently about Babe Ruth. 714 home runs. The idol of American baseball. And towards the end of his career he wasn’t quite the individual he was in his prime. And this particular story, Babe Ruth takes the field and he goes out and his team is on the field, and the opposing team’s batting. And Babe Ruth has so many horrific errors within that inning particularly that it allowed the other team to score five runs because of his mistakes. The story goes, at the end of his career, as he’s walking back to the dugout, the crowd just boo’s at his performance and they didn’t want to embrace. And this young boy is in the audience, and tears start streaming down his face and he’s looking at his childhood hero being shamed, and any runs out on the field and he just runs to Babe Ruth and the story tells us that Babe Ruth looks at this young boy running at him and he picks him up and he lifts him up and he just hugs him and the crowd goes silent. On the field, they were booing the performance of who Babe Ruth was, but in these moments they see different side of him. They see the significance of who he is as a human being. More than just performance they see him as a person. The crowd in these moments look on as Babe Ruth takes the time to love on this child during the game.

When it comes to Jesus, I think we have that certain tendency within us to treat him a lot like Babe Ruth. People have these horrific and hateful thoughts about who Christ is. Bit when you just take the moment to see why Christ came. And you just read the stories about the compassion of who Christ is, you can’t help but behold the glory of his identity being revealed to us as people. We deal with this passage from a relational perspective, not just between God the Father and God who is Jesus, but what this means for humanity, why Jesus was endure this on the cross. The Bible tells us in Luke 19:10 he had compassion for the lost. It says, “He came to seek and save that was lost.” In John 11:35 and the compassion of Jesus he weeps at the passing of his friend Lazarus. It gives us the shortest verse in the Bible, “and Jesus wept.” Even at the cross, in Luke 23:34, while Jesus is being crucified Jesus prays the prayer, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In Luke 31:34, he weeps after Jerusalem. He says, “Father, how I long to gather them. All Jerusalem, Jerusalem, I long to gather you as a mother hen gathers for chicks under her wings. Or even my favorite passage, that I didn’t understand for the longest time. In John 2, Jesus goes into the temple with whips and he drives people out of the temple. I call that going “Old Testament”, right? For the longest time I’ve looked and looked at angry Jesus and wonder, well how can I see a compassionate Jesus when when he’s going into the temple and he’s whipping people out of the temple. Then I begin to study that particular section of Scripture and recognize what Jesus was doing here.

In the temple there were three sections of gathering places – three courtyards. One was for the Jewish men, one was for the Jewish women, and the the outside of that was for the Gentiles. The Gentile location was for the place of those who were God fearers. Those that hadn’t converted to Judaism, but wanted of the opportunity to gather near this temple and learn more about this God. During particular holidays, especially for the nation of Israel, they would go into the court of the Gentiles, and when Jews would come to celebrate like for instance at the Passover, they would have a place to exchange currency. They would have a place to buy animals to sacrifice, and the Jews would put such a taxation or such an increase in charges when people would wait to get to Jerusalem to buy this, that they’re really robbing one another. You would come in to exchange your currency from where you were from to the currency of the city of Jerusalem so you could use your currency there and they would charge you a large amount of money. Or you would go to get an animal to make a sacrifice and because you’re close to the temple, they could charge you a lot of money and so they where taking advantage of each other. So much so that this area of the court of the Court of the Gentiles became a place of commerce, so that if a Gentile even want to gather around during these important festivals, to recognize this God, they couldn’t even get into this place because of all the sales that were taking place in the court of the Gentiles. And so Jesus goes into this court and drives people out. Not because he didn’t want people to be there, but because he wanted to be a God who welcomes all people to embrace him.

To get a full picture of the gospel perspective on the goodness of Jesus, when, just for a moment, you can take a step back and see how these stories connect together and the nature of who Christ is. You know, sometimes we look at specific stories of Christ, and that’s good, but other times we fail to see how those stories connect together and identifying for us the beauty of who Jesus is. Stories in Scripture tell us things like this, “He is greater than creation.” In Matthew 8, “But the men marveled, saying, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'” The Bible tells us he is greater than spiritual forces. In Mark 1, “and he casted out many demons.” The Bible tells us he is greater than religion. He tells us in Matthew 5, he didn’t come to abolish the law or the prophets, but rather to fulfill it. And in Luke 4, sitting in the Jewish synagogue, he reads from Isaiah 61, and as he reads he closes it and sits down and says, “This passage is being fulfilled before you today in me.”

One of my favorite stories happens in Luke 8, when Jesus is walking through the streets and it tells us of a woman who has been bleeding for years, comes, and touches the cloak or the fringe of Jesus’s garment and she’s healed. But the important point of that story is not that this woman is healed by Jesus, but that this woman would have been defiled her whole life. She should have walked around in the streets of Jerusalem shouting, “Unclean! Unclean!” according to the law, and people wouldn’t get near her. They wouldn’t touch her. They wouldn’t meet her needs, because if they were to do so, they themselves would be unclean by the religious law. But yet, this lady comes and touches Jesus and rather than Jesus becoming unclean, this lady is now healed, and to validate it, the story goes on. In Luke 8:55, Jesus goes into the room of a dead girl and he raises her from the dead. Not only does he touch a dead girl, who is also considered unclean, Jesus has the power to resurrect because Jesus is greater than religion. Jesus said he’s greater than the temple. Being in the temple he calls himself, “The Living Water.” Jesus says he’s greater than a light, being in the temple of which there is a dedication of lights, Jesus says he is greater than the light. Jesus in reference to the temple itself says, he is the way the truth and the life, which was the name of the door into the temple entryways. Jesus said in John 2, he would destroy the temple and in three days he will build it up again. Jesus, rather than encouraging people to the temple says, “Come unto to me, you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Jesus is greater than sin and death. In John 16 it says, after his resurrection, “I have overcome the world.”

Jesus fulfills all, everything when all else fails. Adam failed in the temptation from Satan in the garden. Jesus doesn’t give into the temptation from Satan in Matthew 4. Israel goes through the Jordan and desserts God. Jesus goes through the Jordan and follows the Father. Israel wanders for 40 years in falters. Jesus wanders in the wilderness for 40 days and follows. Israel reject nations around them and Jesus embraces the nations to him. Man dies in sin and Jesus overcomes the grave. In all the stories connecting the importance of who Jesus is and the compassion of which he is given and the reason he endures this cup. The Bible tells us that Jesus came for both the Jew and the Gentile. In Luke 16:13, Jesus calls the twelve disciples. Twelve disciples represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The Bible goes on and tells us in Luke 10, “Jesus then calls the seventy.” The seventy represents the world. In Genesis, the Tower of Babel. When man was building the Tower of Babel, the Bible tells us that God created the languages to confuse the people. They were pursuing their own glory rather than pursuing God, and God confuses their languages and they disperse into different people groups throughout the world. Jewish custom has taught that from those people groups came seventy languages. Seventy nations. In Luke 10, when Jesus calls the seventy, Jesus is saying He is coming for the nations.

Perhaps one of the most interesting passages that communicates Jesus’ desire for people, happens in Mark 8. In Mark 6, at the end of the end of March 6:43, it specifically tells us that Jesus fed 5,000 from a few loaves of bread. In Mark 8:8, it tells us that Jesus feeds 4,000 with a few loads of bread. Why these two miracles and why are they tied so closely together? Jesus gives insight to that in Mark 8:19. He says, “When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up? And they said to him, ‘Twelve.’ And when I broke the seven for the 4,000, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up? And they said to him, ‘seven’. And he was saying to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?'” No, I don’t know. What does that mean? The key behind what Jesus is communicating is 1), found in the number of baskets he picks up, and 2) found in the location in which this miracle takes place. You know, when Jesus performed this miracle of feeding thousands, you think in the context of what happens here. They didn’t have commercial refrigerator’s and commercial ovens. To fix food for more than 10 people would have been miraculous. To throw a party for 50 people would have been a miracle. But to do this for thousands. How could Jesus do that, and what does it say? Some people take this passage and say, it tells us that Jesus is sufficient. Jesus with no possibility of meeting with people’s needs by human ability, he still does, and points the nature of his deity. And Jesus is sufficient, and so trust in Jesus because he is sufficient to meet all of your needs.” I would say, “Yes, yes. that’s true.”

But why exactly did Jesus point to the results of these baskets? Twelve baskets and seven baskets. When Jesus feed the people and they collect twelve baskets, he’s in a predominately Jewish area. He’s teaching the twelve tribes of Israel. His sufficiency as the God-Man, to provide for them what they need. When Jesus retrieves the seven baskets, now he’s in a Gentile area. He’s just returned from Tier. And Gentile’s are following him on the trip from Tier back to Jerusalem. And the number of seven, in the Bible, is a number of completeness. It’s a number for the world. it’s a number to recognize the fullness of God. And not only is Jesus saying to the Jewish world that he is more than enough, he is now saying to the Gentiles as well, “I provide. I am what you need.” It’s incredible to me that Jesus does this for us, when you consider we’re enemies to him.  In Romans 5:10, the Bible says this, “For a while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of a son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” If your prayer is, “Father, why have you forsaken me,” and you are looking at this cup and there is such anguish in it, why in the world would you can endure that? The answer is because Jesus, in his compassion, is compelled by his love to give his live for you, and the Gospels illustrate that all the way through, and the sufficiency of who Christ is, in being able to meet the needs of both Jew and Gentile on our behalf, even while we are enemies of God, he reconcile us to him through his death on the cross.

Maybe I should say for me, one the most beautiful pictures in all of the Bible is in Revelation. And can I tell you, when it comes to Revelation, please remember it’s not Revelations, it’s  Revelation. We butcher this book with things like blood moons. The beauty of this book, is that it is a worship book. When God gives us a future picture of who he is, for us as people that follow Jesus, it’s intended to be a picture of hope. And for those who reject Jesus, it’s intended me a picture of warning. But Revelation, more than anything, is about God’s glory. It’s a worship book of Jesus. I don’t think there’s any better way John could have painted the picture of Jesus and eternity then what he does in the Book of Revelation. We see him face to face. And the reason is when you read the Book of Revelation, over 25 times within the book, Jesus is referred to as a lamb. In Revelation 5:13 it says this, “and every created thing, which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying to him who sits on the throne, and to the lamb be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” The picture of Revelation 5, it’s all things created now worshipping our creator. And Jesus’s picture as a Lamb. In John 1:29, John started his book, “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” And in Revelation, when John writes Revelation he goes back to the reference of this Lamb and he recognizes the glory of this Lamb, though he was slain, how glorious he has become.

Why is this important for us? When you consider this Lamb and you think of all of the things that makes Jesus worthy of praise and provokes our heart to worship. I think this phrase, “Lamb” best identifies it for us as people. When the Bible tells us, “we love Him because He first loved us.” Jesus was a leader, Jesus was a king, but Jesus also came to serve. He was big and he also did big things. We call the type of thing that Jesus did, I know we’ve used “hypostatic union” and “kenosis” and “incarnation”, but when you look what Jesus has done and the way that he gets off his throne in the form of flash to serve us has people, we call that servant leadership. In fact, in Christianity, sometimes will say, you need to be a servant leader. You need to be a servant leader for Christ–to demonstrate Him in this world, which we’re cool in saying that, until someone treats us like a servant. So I wanted to find out by my own terms, more from the words I say rather than by the life I lead, but servant leadership is that the hip term or phrase for ourselves as it relates to Jesus. But real servant leadership respect everyone including your enemies. In fact, what Jesus taught us to do is that Jesus is not about wiping out his enemies, rather, Jesus in His coming was about winning his enemies over, because myself would be included as an enemy of God needing reconciled to Him and thanks be to Christ for what he has done for me. The truth is if you resent someone you can’t win them over. Which is why the Bible says to us in 2 Timothy 2:24, “the Lords bond servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to all.” Not to resent those who hate us, and you will get resentful and not have ears to listen to reconcile enemies to God.

He is the king who conquered, yet He is the servant who was slaughtered. “Let this cup pass. Nevertheless, not my will, Father, but your will be done.” I think that passage speaks beautifully into the relationship between the Father and the Son. And it also speaks beautifully in the desire that Jesus has for you and experiencing a relationship with Him. How important that statement should say to all of us. God, I need to see you for who you are. God, I need to love you as you are. And Jesus, if this relationship was so important that you were willing to die for it, how important is it for me to embrace it, knowing what you endured on my behalf? So my encouragement for you this morning: take the opportunity, in the picture of who Christ is, to appreciate the opportunity you have to behold His glory.

He has come in the flesh for you.