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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Jan. 16, 2008

  • 2008 Jan 16
  • COMMENTS
 
Meeting the Risen Christ Today
REVELATION 1:9-18

On the first Easter morning, Mary was looking at the empty tomb and met Jesus. She had come in sorrow and confusion. All the memories of Him flooded her mind. Jesus had loved her, forgiven her, and made her so many promises. But now Jesus seemed to be so far away, all of those things seemed distant to Mary.

Mary needed to see Jesus. That is why she was last at the Cross, and first at the tomb. Mary came needing Him, and now would be first to see the Risen Christ. Only He could strengthen her faith and comfort her heart and that is what He did.

But that was 2,000 years ago—and it seems so long ago and so far away. We live so distant at times from the quietness of the garden on Resurrection morning. We live so removed from the gracious assurances that Jesus offered to Mary. But that is only our fault, because the truth of the resurrection is that Jesus is alive. And since He is alive He is doing the same things He did then.

Did you catch that? Jesus wants us to know that He is still doing just what He did that morning, and in the days that followed. So much of His ministry was assuring the disciples of what they already knew, and encouraging them to do what He left them here to do.

This morning, will you meet again the Risen Christ? And as you meet Him, will you see what He is doing today? That is what He wants for us--to see Him, and even, more believe Him. And then respond to His work in us through His Word.

To best see Jesus this morning, turn with me to the only eye witness account with a complete description of the Risen Christ. Over sixty years after Resurrection Sunday another meeting took place. It was also on a Sunday, a Lord's Day. And in the flawless record of that meeting comes seven perfect descriptions of what Jesus looks like. And from those seven descriptions we find out exactly what He is doing then and now!

Will you see Jesus anew and afresh with me, and experience all that He wants to do in your life and mine today, and in the days ahead—if we will invite Him to be at work in us. Here we go. Open with me to Revelation 1.9-20. Stand with me, and as I read notice what John saw.

Revelation 1:9-20 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp stands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lamp stands:

One like the Son of Man , clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow , and His eyes like a flame of fire ; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace , and His voice as the sound of many waters ; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength . 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death . 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands which you saw are the seven churches.

With each of these seven descriptions John records comes a matching ministry of Christ's while He was on earth. John actually sees Him doing just what He did while He was here. Jesus is the same—yesterday, today, and forever. And how John needed that reminder—and so do we!

What did John see? Pencil these in your mind, mark them in your Bibles. He saw Jesus and tells us of it.

  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Humanity v. 13a “like a Son of Man”. So He can truly have compassion upon us.
  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Priesthood v. 13b-14b “robe, sash, white hair”. So He can truly forgive us.
  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Omniscience v. 14c “eyes like a flame of fire”. So He can truly see us where we are.
  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Omnipotence v. 15a “feet like fine brass”. So He can truly protect us.
  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Omnipresence v. 15b “voice like the sound of many waters”. So He can truly encourage us.
  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Majesty v. 16b-17a “face like the Sun shining in its strength”. So He can truly be worshipped by us.
  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Touch v. 16a; 17b-20 “hand upon me”. So He can truly help us.

1. We need to see Christ's Risen and Glorified: Humanity v. 13a “like a Son of Man”. So He can truly have compassion upon us. Every time compassion is used in the New Testament it speaks of Jesus! (12x).

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He had compassion upon us weak and wandering humans.

  • Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
  • Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

So what does He do now? He has compassion upon us in all our needs!

  • Hebrews 2:18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
  • Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

He is visiting us in his CHURCH 1:13 “…and in the midst of the seven lamp stands…[One] like the Son of Man”.

Do you know that this church is His? More than you going around and seeing your friends to see how they are doing—Jesus is visiting around, He is checking our hearts to see if we came to church cleaned up and prepared to seek Him. He comes to see if we came spiritually cold or if we came with our “first love” for Him.

Anyone felt they could come to Him, He was approachable: woman with blood, leper, dad with dying daughter, sick servant. Are you weak? He understands. Are you afraid? He is acquainted with all we face. Are you alone? He faced the long loneliness of the Garden of Gethsemane, the Wilderness temptation, and the hours of darkness on the Cross—He know what it is like to be alone.

2. We need to see Christ's Risen and Glorified: Priesthood v. 13b-14b clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow ,”So He can truly forgive us.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He forgave sins!

  • Mark 1:41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
  • Mark 2:1-5 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
  • John 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

So what does He do now? He forgives our sins.

  • Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
  • Hebrews 7:24-25 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Do you feel defiled? He alone can forgive and cleanse. Do you feel the fear of future judgment? He can take that penalty you deserve away forever.

3. We need to see Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Omniscience v. 14c “eyes like a flame of fire”.So He can truly see us where ever we are.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He always knew where His disciples were and what they needed.

Arbel watching (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:46-48; John 6:15-21) Mark 6:46-48 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.

So what does He do now? He knows every detail, every fear, every weakness and can help us!

  • Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

4. We need to see Christ’s Risen and Glorified: Omnipotence v. 15a “His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace”. Those feet of brass speak of strength and power. He reveals that strength to remind us that He can truly protect us.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He was always delivering them from danger, and stilling their storms (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:23-25).

  • Mark 6:46-48 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.
  • Luke 8:23-25 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

So what does He do now? He ever lives to intercede and help us in every danger we face.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
  • Hebrews 7:24-25 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

5. We need to see Christ's Risen and Glorified: Omnipresence v 15b “voice like the sound of many waters”. Have you ever noticed that Jesus was always speaking to people at their time of greatest need? His voice can be heard anywhere, for He is everywhere present. So He can truly encourage us.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He was always meeting their most desperate needs.

  • John 20:13-16 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
  • John 21:15-17 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

So what does He do now? He is always with us, He promises to never leave our side! He can encourage and help us always, anywhere, and anytime—just invite Him to come to your rescue.

  • Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
  • Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

6. We need to see Christ's Risen and Glorified: Majesty v. 16b-17a “face like the Sun shining in its strength”. One look at Jesus and John crumbles in awe and wonder filled worship at His feet. He is glorious in Majesty and power. He reminds us of that glory so we can truly be worshiping Him.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He was always inviting the worship of those who loved Him.

  • Matthew 14:33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
  • Mark 6:51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.
  • Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

So what does He do now? He is always waiting for us to lavish our love upon Him and worship Him.

  • Luke 24:52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
  • Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
  • Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

7. We need to see Christ's Risen and Glorified: Touch v. 16a; 17b-20 “16 He had in His right hand seven stars; He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands which you saw are the seven churches.”

He holds His church; He guards its message and its messengers. And when John was overwhelmed, Jesus reached down to strengthen him. He can always help us. Just think of Peter as he sank, the Leper as he pleaded for cleansing, and Thomas as he knelt before the Risen Christ.

First of all, what did Jesus do on earth? He was always touching those He loved with strength and help.

  • Peter at his direst moment full of fear. Matthew 14:30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
  • The leper at his direst moment full of decay. Luke 5:12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
  • Thomas at his direst moment full of doubt. John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

But that was 2,000 years ago—and it seems so long ago and so far away. We live so distant at times from the quietness of the garden on Resurrection morning. But that is only our fault, because the truth of the resurrection is that Jesus is alive. And since He is alive He is doing the same things He did then.

Did you catch that? Jesus wants us to know that He is still doing just what He did that morning, and in the days that followed. So much of His ministry was assuring the disciples of what they already knew, and encouraging them to do what He left them here to do.

This morning, have you meet again the Risen Christ? Have you seen what He is doing today? That is what He wants for us--to see Him, and even, more believe Him. And then respond to His work in us through His Word.

Will you see Jesus anew and afresh with me, and experience all that He wants to do in your life and mine today, and in the days ahead—if we will invite Him to be at work in us.

So what does He do now? He is always there to touch us, lift us, encourage us, restore us, and remind us that all that He promised is true.

  • Hebrews 13:5, 8 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

What did John see? Pencil these in your mind, mark them in your Bibles. He saw Jesus and tells us of it.

  • See Christ's Risen and Glorified: Humanity v. 13a “like a Son of Man”. So He can truly have compassion upon us. He is like us.
  • See Christ's Risen and Glorified: Priesthood v. 13b-14b “robe, sash, white hair”. So He can truly forgive us. He is able to forgive us completely.
  • See Christ's Risen and Glorified: Omniscience v. 14c “eyes like a flame of fire”. So He can truly see us where we are.
  • See Christ's Risen and Glorified: Omnipotence v. 15a “feet like fine brass”. So He can truly protect us all the way through life to the end..
  • See Christ's Risen and Glorified: Omnipresence v. 15b “voice like the sound of many waters”. So He can truly encourage us.
  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Majesty v. 16b-17a “face like the Sun shining in its strength”. So He can truly be worshipped by us.
  • Christ's Risen and Glorified: Touch v. 16a; 17b-20 “hand upon me”. So He can truly help us.

 

PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for coming to visit us as we worship You this morning. I pray that we would meet the risen Christ, You the Lord of Glory. Help us to realize that we can meet with You every time we open Your Word if we just stop, wait, listen, look and behold You as You are. I pray that we would practice doing more than just academically reading this Book, but that we will sing to You, we will pray to You, we will let our hearts well up and be moved at the wonder of having You look lovingly upon us. Father, help us to see how we can begin a life of worship and focus upon the risen Christ so that Your peace, patience and glory will encircle our lives. I pray that we would make time to adore You. I pray for anyone who has not yet looked at the Savior, may they right now call out to You and accept Your gift of forgiveness and eternal life from You who are the way, the truth and the life. In Your precious name we pray, AMEN. 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org. 

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