Wed, 24 September 2014
Jesus is Better
“See Our Savior”
Key Verse: But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesue, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9).
1. See Jesus in the cradle
a. He is humble below angels
b. He is high above angels
2. See Jesus on the cross
a. His grace is great
b. His goal is global
3. See Jesus with the crown
a. Submit to him
b. Share with him
It is great to have all of you here. Take your bibles please and lets open together to Hebrews. Hebrews chapter 2 is where we are going to be. Were going through a series titled Jesus is better. That’s the theme of the book of Hebrews. In fact, I think the word better appears in the book thirteen times. Which is one for every chapter. There are thirteen chapters and it just says over and over again, Jesus is better. He is better.
And so today we are going to continue that series and I want to ask you a question before I start and it’s this. What did Jesus look like? Have you ever wondered that? Well there have been those who have tired to portray what he looked like and I going to put on the screen here some pictures, some portraits of Jesus, the first two are drawn by a fellow named Walter Salmon and his portraits are among the most famous a in our culture that have ever been drawn. The first one is a picture of Jesus knocking at a door and I wonder if I made you remember seeing this picture at some point maybe in a Sunday school classroom or in your grandmother's Bible or something of the sort. That’s a beautiful picture of Jesus and you may have noted before that when you look at that picture carefully the door does not have a knob on it and kind of the message of the portrait is that if Jesus is to come into your life and be your Savior and Lord you have to be the one who opens it up because the knobs not on the outside. He doesn’t barge his way in, you invite them in, you receive him and so that's the idea of that picture its very well known. There’s another one even better known. Again painted by this fellow Walter Salmon and it's called the “Head of Christ,” and you see the pictures here. I remember this from when I was a boy and you look very closely and it's very interesting he got blue eyes almost like blonde hair. It’s curious, Walter Salmon was himself from Norwegian descent it's almost as though he drew a picture of Jesus as he would be as if he were Scandinavian and I think that's the that's something that you observe across cultures and people portray Jesus, they often do in their image.
In fact, someone has said, they have quipped that in the beginning God created man and ever since then we've been returning the favor. We’re trying to create someone in our image and so I really doubt Jesus had blue eyes. As we know he was Jewish. He probably had deep Brown eyes. His skin was probably bronzed by the sun. If you how middle Easterners have that appearance and so for what ever its worth he depicted a picture of Jesus the best he thought.
There’s another one I’m going to put on the screen. This is really not painting but it is a portrait of sorts. Is actually on cloth and some of you may recognize this. Its from a burial shroud and it was discovered many years ago and it's somewhat mysterious because you see on the shroud, the visage of a man and some believe that what we're looking at there, is actually the visage of Jesus. It is a bit mysterious how this shroud ends up and this is way before the days of any kind of electronic reproduction. In fact this is of a believe some believe it was carbon dated to the medieval period. Others would say goes right back to Christ. But in any case, somehow this picture of a man gets imprinted, in a manner of speaking, on this shroud. So could this be what Jesus looked like?
What does Jesus look like? Well I want to surprise you this morning. I'm going to show you a portrait of Jesus. I going to dare to say it is 100% accurate and it's found right here in Hebrews chapter 2. Now before I read the passage, I was reminded of a story I heard about a kindergarten teacher. I know I some teachers here today of little kids. She had assigned the class to draw a picture of someone they love. And so, she was going up and down the aisles looking at the pictures the children were drawing. She went by this one little boy and she said, “Who is that you are drawing?” is my daddy. She says, that’s beautiful. Encouraging him and she walked on a little while by a little girl and said, “Honey, who is that you are drawing?” “Well this is a picture of my mama.” Oh my, that’s, beautiful. She came up to this one mischievous little boy and she couldn't quite make out what he was doing and so she said, “Johnny, whose portrait is that mature your drawing?” He said, “Well this Jesus.” the teacher said, “Johnny, nobody knows what Jesus looks like.” he didn't look up, he didn’t hesitate, “they'll know it looks like when I'm finished.” Well when I finish this message I hope that your going to say “I know what Jesus looks like.”
Alright, in honor of God's word let's stand up and read Hebrews chapter 2, verses five through nine, and verse nine the last going to be where we’re going to camp out. All right so let's get the running start there beginning with verse five. God's word says. Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come of which we are speaking it has been testified somewhere, what is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you care for him. You made him, for a little while, lower than the angels. You have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him, but we see him, who for a little while, was made lower than the angels. Namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death so that by the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone.
Now before we’re seated, look again there at verse nine, the very last words. He says, but we see him! We see him! You know you saw that movie avatar? I'm not backing its theology, but in the movie it says I see you. All right. We see him. He is portrayed for us here and I want us to ask the Lord to open our eyes and our hearts to see him. Lets pray. God, help us to see Jesus, in all of his glory and all of his beauty. In his humility, in his suffering, in his victory. Help us to see him. Help us once upon seeing him, to fall in love with him and to surrender our all to him. Do it Lord I pray, for Jesus sake, Amen.
Please be seated. The title of today's message is, see our Savior. See him. I want you to see him. And here we find a portrait of him. Now, the follow along, I want to encourage you to turn to the back of your worship guide, you’ve got an outline of the morning's message and you can fill it in. I think it will help you to pay attention and also at the head of that you'll see verse nine given to you there. That’s where were really going to focus, in verse nine. Now the portrait that I'm going to present to you, I'm going to show it to you from three angles, all right? Three features I'm going to highlight and here is the first.
If we’re going to see Jesus, our Savior, we got to see him first of all in the cradle. Now you wonder where I get the idea of Jesus in the manger Jesus in the cradle, from this verse. Notice how it begins verse nine. It says. “But we see him, but for a little while, was made lower than the Angels.” what is this referring to when it says Jesus was made lower than the angels? Well it’s speaking, of course, about his incarnation. His coming in flesh.
One of my friends told me that she'd been to the mall. She said she couldn't believe it, she went into Dillard’s and they already have the Christmas decorations out. All right well this morning, were going to start hanging the Christmas decorations too, because we see him made a little lower than the Angels. That is, we see Jesus come to this Earth. Taking upon himself the form of a servant. Emptying himself of his glory. A Jesus that babe in Bethlehem. If you want to see Jesus, look in the cradle. And when you do you’re going to see two things. First of all, you see him humble, below the Angels. Philippians, Chapter 2 verse seven says that “Jesus emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” this is what's talking about. He was made a little more than the Angels. He took on human flesh and lived among us, and for while, a little while, he was made lower than the angels. But then, just as quickly as you see that, I want to see him now high above Angels. Because this one, who for a little while was made lower than the angels is in reality, infinitely higher than the Angels, right. He is the one who created all angelic beings. And in fact, all of us and the world. He flung the stars into space; He hung the sun and the moon there to rule by day and by night, respectively. All that is made, he is the agent of it. And he sustains it by the word of his power. This is what we learned in Hebrews chapter 1. And so, he is for a little while, humbled. Made lower than the angels.
But don't miss that babe in Bethlehem, is actually, the creator God, sovereign of all. Now where can you find a model of someone who would be high, yet humble themselves. It’s actually hard to find. But let me give you this illustration. A lot of you will remember Princess Di. She was from Great Britain and became engaged to be heir to the throne. She was beautiful. She was the quintessential Disney princess. Really her wedding was storybook, a lot of you remember Princess Di. But I want to show you a picture Princess Di, as perhaps you’ve never seen her before. In the year, 1997, Princess Di was on a tour of Africa and she happened to be in the country of Angola. And there in Angola, there was a tremendous scourge, they had had internecine warfare, civil war of sorts, and it was brutal. One of the things that they had done, they had sown down the land, with land mines. A landmine, if you can picture this, is almost like a plate and a saucer, and it's filled with explosives and shrapnel, and they buried these landmines all across the countryside. And though the war had largely subsided, innocent boys and girls and men and women, would simply be walking across a field, they would accidentally step on one of those landmines and it would explode. It would blow them up. Perhaps a limb would be lost or their lives would be lost by the thousands. Princess Di, to her credit, was burdened about perhaps she decided that she would identify with the plight of the people, and to inspire the world community to do something to eradicate the world of mines. She actually got on those protective clothes and mask and she went out into the Angolan countryside, Of course, cameras clicking everywhere, to say to the world, let's put a stop to these mines. Lets save lives. In way it pictures what Jesus did for us. Jesus that… if you think Diana was royalty, Jesus is the Prince of Heaven, and he came to earth with no protective gear. And on purpose, took the wrath of sin. The wrath of God against sin and he suffered and he took them blow so that we could be forgiven and be saved. And that's the story of Christmas. That’s what happened with the babe of Bethlehem. So see him first of all, there in the cradle.
That segues perfectly into the next aspect you need to see of this portrait. Not only seen in the cradle, see him on the cross. And you'll never know Jesus; you’ll never know what he looked like, who he was if you don’t see him on the cross. Now, if you look back to verse nine, which is our key verse, Ill show you where I take this. Verse nine. But we see him for a little while, was made lower than the angels that is Jesus, crown now with glory and honor because of the suffering of death. So that by the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone. Do you see him?
Do you see Jesus there on the cross? What do we see when we look at the cross? We see first of all, that his grace is great. His grace is great! The Bible says, so that by the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone. Jesus died on the cross, not because he had done anything wrong, in fact, complete contrary, he done nothing wrong. We are the ones who it done wrong. We’re the ones who sin, but he died on the cross to pay for the sins, the price of them, so that we need not, Folks, that what grace is. Grace is us not getting what we deserve, but instead getting what we don't deserve. We deserve punishment. We deserve wrath. But we don't have to take it, because Jesus has already taken it for us. And now we get all of the goodness of God showered on us because of what Christ has done. By grace, he tasted death for every man.
Someone said it is an acrostic of grace, if you've never heard this you ought to jot it down on your notes. What is grace? G R A C E. You know it? Grace, God’s Riches At Christ's Expense! God's riches, what are they? His riches are forgiveness, reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, eternal life. All those riches come to us at Christ's expense. He paid for them. Again I say, it is grace, amazing Grace that pardons us. So look at the cross and see his great grace. But also, look there and see that his goal is global. What does it say? He tasted death for whom? For every man, every woman, every boy, every girl. His goal is global. You see Christ no only died for LSU Tigers; he died from Mississippi State Bulldogs. Right? He not only died for Americans, he died for Europeans and Africans and middle Easterners. He longs for everyone to be changed by his grace. And if you look at the cross, you see these things, these things so clearly. Revelation 5:9 tells us, it actually gives us a glimpse into heaven. “And they sang a new song, saying worthy are you, to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood, you ransomed people for God, from every tribe, and language, and people, and nation. He is a global God. He is a global savior. And would embrace all of the peoples of the world.
Some of you know Kevin Bacon? You know of him. He is a famous actor. He tells a story about his son. His son had gotten to an age; I think he was six years old at the time, where he could watch some of his daddy’s movies. And he was watching the movie, Footloose. And in one scene, his father, the character his father was playing, grabbed a hold of the rafters and swung and kind of with an acrobatic move and landed right on his feet. And his son was so impressed. He said, “Dad, how did you do that?” and Kevin said, “Aww son, I didn’t do that,” He said “that was my stunt double that did that.” And the little boy said, “what's a stunt double?” “Well that’s that looks like me, is dressed up like me, but does things that I could never do.” the little boy, he accepted that. He kept watching the movie and in another scene his daddy something else, or the character his daddy is playing does something else really spectacular and acrobatic and he said, “wow… You do that?” He said well son I didn’t do that that was my stunt double again… “ And he went on three or four more times through the movie, every time something really spectacular would happen, sure enough it would be the stunt double. So finally the boy said, “well daddy, what’d you do?” He said “I got all the credit, without doing anything.” Now what's the point? We got stunt double. And I say that with all reverence. We got somebody that looked like us. That’s the cradle, see him there. The God of Heaven come here to redeem. And he looked like us. And he dressed like us. He learned our language, but he did for us, what we could never do for ourselves. The innocent one, the sinless one, died for our sins. More than that on the third day, he conquered death when he arose from the grave. He did for us what we could never do for ourselves. And we get the credit. We get the forgiveness. We get the redemption, based on what he did.
I’m telling you, here is what Jesus looks like. Look at the cradle. Look at the cross. And then finally look at the crown. Your going to see it here, in verse nine again, he says, “but we see him” do you see him? We see him who for a little while, was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of god might taste death for every man. Do you see him there, crowned with glory and honor? He is crowned! He’s the king!
A lot of you know the show on television, the family feud; it's hosted now a guy named Steve Harvey. Is it still playing? I’m not even sure but all of you know family feud. What they do is they have these series of questions that they've asked the public, and they’ll get a hundred respondents to each question. What they do is, they have a couple of guys, you know from each team and they hit the button to try to respond. Right? And get the answers. So a couple of years ago the question was this, “when someone mentions the king, to whom might he or she be referring?” and people answered. Who’s the king? Well, the answers included, two people said “The Burger King.” Y’all know McDonald's and Wendy's, you know, the Burger King. That’s who you’re talk when you say the king. Three people said Martin Luther King, Jr. and maybe you thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. and you heard the king. But you know what the number one answer was? 81 people the King, Elvis Presley. There was one other answer given and it was the right answer, seven people said Jesus is the King. I’m going to tell you something, Elvis is not king. The burger king is not the king. Jerry Lawler is not the king, for some your wrestling boys. Jesus is the king that is the right answer. He is crowned with glory and honor.
How then ought we to relate to him? We ought to to submit to him. You see, Philippians, I referred to it earlier. He emptied himself and he took upon himself the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, therefore God has highly exalted him, and given them a name that is above every name, that the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess, Jesus Christ is Lord. If you have never before, definitively seen him, confessed him as Lord and bowed the knee of your will to him, I’m going to invite you to do that this day.
Submit to him and when you do, you're going to share with him in his glory. I love this and I want to see this, because I didn’t read it earlier but here's how this concludes. He says, but we see him, who for a while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor, because he tasted death by the grace of god for every man. Then verse 10 says, for it was fitting that he would bring many sons to glory. No listen, we see Jesus crowned with glory. He is the glorious one, but did you know he is bringing with him many sons to glory. That is, those of us were redeemed. We actually get into that train of glory, and we become a part of his family. Were joint heirs with Christ as we saw last week? Well, do you know what Jesus looks like? You might think he has long blonde hair and blue eyes or you may think he’s like the shroud of Turin visage. We really don't know. But, we know his heart. We know what he has done for us. Here’s a portrait that's 100% accurate. Look at him. See him. They’re in the manger. They’re on the cross. Now crowned. Follow Him.
Would you bow your heads please? I didn’t preach this, this morning, just for entertainment. Just to occupy the time. This message is preached so that you might make a response to god. If you’ve never before bowed your will, your knees, in effect, to Jesus and confessed him as Lord, would you do so now? Jesus, I do see you. I see you. I believe you came from heaven, to earth; you lived sinlessly. You died in my place. You arose from the dead, and Lord Jesus, the best I know how, I open up the door and I say come in. I want to give you my life. I want to follow you. I want to be a new creation, Lord by your grace, save me. Save me Lord. And for those of you that know Christ as savior, you may just need to say to him Lord, I see you afresh this morning and I’m more in love with you now. That I’ve seen you more clearly; Help me to follow you, to serve you. I ask it in Jesus’s name, Amen.