David Jeremiah - The Awesomeness Of Jesus
Jesus is enough. No need to add or subtract from him. He is greater than everything that exists. All else adds up to less than he. He is the sum of all things, the infinite, the absolute, the constant, holy to the highest degree. If we take Jesus out of the equation, nothing adds up. Regardless of the good we multiply, how much we divide and share, a part of us remains unsolved, a fraction of who we should be. But Jesus is the answer, our common denominator. Jesus, the product of God's love, a perfect combination of 100% God, 100% man, intersecting the arc of human history to be the difference, the solution we needed, the root of our salvation. No need to add, subtract, multiply, or divide. Nothing greater than. Everything less than. Jesus is and always will be the solution to every equation. When you do the math, the answer is clear: Jesus is enough.
Hello, I'm David Jeremiah and welcome to "Turning Point". I wonder if you're noticing the same thing I am, that Jesus Christ has become a recognizable icon in mainstream pop culture today. Celebrities and artists wear crosses as jewelry. Jesus appears as a cartoon character on animated adult sitcoms, and he is made a part, if not the object, of late-night comedians' jokes. It's sad that many people today don't know who Jesus really is. What our culture needs is a true image of Jesus, the biblical Savior, and today I start a series I call "Jesus Is Enough". This series is based on my study of the book of Hebrews and today's message is titled "The Awesomeness of Jesus". Though "awesome" might be overused in today's language, Jesus truly is the definition of awesome, so join me for this edition of "Turning Point" as together we discover more about Jesus Christ the awesome one, who is worthy of our adoration and praise.
Never before, in my lifetime as a pastor, has the biblical portrait of the exalted Christ been so foreign to our culture. It happens in ways and in fashions that you don't recognize until you stop to think about what you've read and what you've heard and what you've seen. For instance, in fashion, Jesus now appears on Urban Outfitters as "Jesus, my homeboy" t-shirts. On television he often appears on episodes of "The Simpsons" and "South Park", hardly ever in a good light. On the big screen he's been the subject of "The Da Vinci Code". Musically, rapper Kanye West scored a Grammy for his song "Jesus Walks", and Carrie Underwood for her song "Jesus, Take the Wheel". Who could forget John Lennon's pronouncement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus? 2010, Elton John provocatively stated that Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems.
These are just a few of the quotes and incidents that have driven me to determine it would be a good thing for us as a church to go through the book of Hebrews, because in the book of Hebrews, this muddled picture of Jesus Christ is straightened out in no uncertain terms. The epistle to the book of Hebrews is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most important books in all of the New Testament. From a personal perspective, Hebrews was written to a group of 1st-century Christians who were in the danger of giving up. I think that's another reason why it's a good book for us, because we live in such a culture where a lot of Christians are talking about giving up. And, more importantly, from a theological perspective, this is the only book in the Bible that begins with the word "God".
How many of you know that all the problems in the world are resolved for everyone in Genesis 1:1 if you believe that it really is true? "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". If God can create the heaven and the earth, there is not anything he cannot do. And if you begin where you should begin, in Genesis 1:1, and you believe it, and you believe it as it's really meant to be believed, you have solved all the problems that come in life. "In the beginning God", and Hebrews begins with God. It begins by asserting this great, simple fact of the Christian revelation: that God has spoken in his Word, and he has spoken through his Son; and in Christ, God closed the greatest communication gap there ever was. And what is that gap? The gap between God and man. In Christ, he closed that gap.
Now, the more I study the book of Hebrews, the more I come back to these first three verses, because I think these first three verses capture the entire meaning of the book and outline it for us going forward, so let me just give you some things about Jesus that are in these first few verses. First of all, Christ is the final Word from God. Notice what it says in verse 1. "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets". This verse describes how God spoke to people before Christ came. Do you know how God spoke to people before Christ came? He spoke to them in fragments. That's true. He spoke to them in fragments. Notice, "In various times and in various ways God spoke by the prophets to the fathers". "In various times", it says, "he spoke".
He spoke a little to Adam, he spoke a little to Noah, he spoke a little to Moses, he spoke a little to the prophets, but he never spoke it all to any one person. So, Adam had some of it. Noah had some of it. Moses had some of it. David had some of it. He spoke to them in fragments in various times. This is where we get the doctrine of progressive revelation, that somehow, through the Old Testament, God's revelatory process was growing from one revelation to the next, but no one ever had it all. It was all fragments. But notice what it says in verse 2. "But now in these last days, God has spoken to us by his Son".
In the Old Testament we have the written Word, in the New Testament we have the written Word; but in the New Testament we have the written Word, and it's trumped by the living Word. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the message. In the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, God found a perfect vehicle for expression. He simply translated deity into humanity, or as John puts it, the Word became flesh. Say that with me, "The Word became flesh". The Word, God, became flesh. God became a man, and so when we come to the New Testament, God wants to communicate to us who he is. It's no longer the fragmentary messages of the prophets to the fathers. God gives us the incredible message of his own Son.
When God spoke to men in Christ, he said everything that he had to say, which means he has said everything man needs to hear. In Jesus Christ, God has given us his final message, and God has said nothing beyond that. When Christ came, that was the final Word. Christ was the final message from God. If you're looking for something beyond that, you will never find it, because the Bible says in these last days God has spoken in his Son. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God", says the Scripture, and God, in his glory, came down to become flesh and in the person of Jesus Christ you know God. Somebody says, "How can I know God"? Very simple: know Jesus. Because the Bible says Jesus came to declare God and to present himself, and we'll see that in a moment.
So, Christ is the final Word from God. Say that with me, "Christ is the final Word from God". Secondly, Christ is the future heir of all things. Notice verse 2, "Whom he has appointed heir of all things". Many commentators believe this comes from Psalm chapter 2 and verse 8. "Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession". The Bible teaches us that this earth and all that is here and all things ultimately belong to God, and God has given them to his Son, and he is the heir of all things, and one day the world in its entirety will be turned over to him. He's coming back to enforce every clause in the will. We are his inheritance and all things belong to him, so how do we know how important Jesus is?
First of all, he is God's final Word. And secondly, he's God's future inheritance. Now notice, third, he's the first cause of creation. In verse 2, "Through whom he also made the worlds". John 1 says it this way, "In the beginning was the Word". The "Word" is a word for Jesus. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made". Who made the world? Well, God did. But how did he do it? The Bible says he delegated the creative process to his Son, Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:15 says, "He is the image of the invisible", Christ is the image of the invisible, "the firstborn over all creation". Now, watch this, "For by Christ all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him".
My friends, if we believe that God could create the heavens and the earth out of nothing, why do we have to explain how it was organized going forward through some kind of scientific method that cannot be proved because nobody was ever there to observe it, and the Bible simply says God did it? God created Adam with apparent age. You know, Adam wasn't created as a five-year-old boy. He was created as adult man, so do you think God could create the world with apparent age? Absolutely; God can do anything he wants, and when you decide that God is the author and finisher of your faith, that he's the Creator of the universe, that through his Son, he created all of the worlds, why do you keep giving territory back to the enemy by letting them try to put their evolutionary nonsense into the creative gospel? I don't get it. I don't get it.
And some good people are doing that, people that I respect. I do not have to be ashamed to stand on the Word of God and say the whole thing is a miracle, the whole thing. God is the first cause through Jesus Christ. Christ is the first cause of creation. Now, here's where we've gone so far: Christ is the final Word from God, Christ is the future heir of all things, Christ is the first cause of creation, and number four, Christ is the fullness of the Godhead. Notice what it says. "Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person", Hebrews 1:3. Who is Christ? There's the answer: he is the brightness of God's glory and the express image of God's person.
Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Godhead. He is God walking around in a body. John 1:18 says, "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has declared him". What does that mean? You can't see God. He's a spirit. So, how do you understand a spirit? None of us here, well, if you know a spirit, I'll talk with you afterwards, but most of us don't know spirits. And so, how do you know God? The only way you can know God is if God somehow puts himself into a form that we comprehend. And what is that form? It's humanity. So God sent his Son down here to be born of a virgin, born into humanity, taking upon himself flesh, and, literally, when Jesus Christ was on this earth, men and women, he was God walking around in a body.
If you wanted to know who God was, you looked at Jesus, and Jesus was the declaration of God to all of us, and that's why when our modern culture trashes him and pushes him off to the side and sets him among many teachers, they do away with the Christian gospel, whether they know it or not. And I'm here to tell you, we need to stand up and say, "Listen, I'm going to tell you about my Jesus. My Jesus is the Son of God. He is God the Son. He is God walking around in a body". He's the final Word from God. He's the future of all things. He's the first cause of creation. He's the fullness of the Godhead. Notice, number five, he's the facilitator of all things. "And upholding all things by the word of his power". I haven't time to spend much space here on this thought, but here is the thought.
Colossians 1:17 says it best, "He is before all things, and in him all things consist". He who was before history at the beginning of history, who will be at the end of history is now in the middle of history holding everything together. Why is it that the planets don't fly off into their own orbit? Why is it that this world doesn't just come totally unglued? Because Almighty God has put his Son, Jesus Christ, in charge of upholding all things by the word of his power, and by him everything consists. From the beginning of time, there has never been a moment when Jesus has abdicated that responsibility, or if he had, we would not be sitting here today. He is the one who created it all, he is the one who will inherit it all, and he's the one who holds it all together. He is the facilitator of all things. My most exciting point is right ahead.
Number six, he is the forgiveness of our sins. He's the final Word from God, he's the future of all things, he's the first cause of creation, he's the fullness of the Godhead, he's the facilitator of all things, and he's the forgiveness of our sins. Notice, "When he had by himself purged our sins". You know, I'm beginning to notice, as I've studied the Bible all these years, how often things are set up so that if we don't read it carefully, we miss the impact. You remember in John 13 where we have the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples? And you read that story, and you just sorta take it for granted; but if you don't read the front part of it, you don't get it, because in the beginning of John 13, in the passage where Jesus washes the disciples' feet, it says this: having been given all authority from God, having come from God and going back to God, Jesus took a towel and wrapped it upon himself and washed the disciples' feet.
What was the purpose of that? To help us understand the incredible impact of what he did. He had been given all authority from God, he was going back to God, he had come from God, and it was this one with all authority, who came from God and was going to God, it was this one who washed the feet of the disciples. Unless you see it in that context, you don't really get what this is all about. Now watch, the same thing is going on here. Christ, who is the Creator of all things, who is the last Word from God, who will inherit all things, who facilitates all things, this very Christ, by himself, purged us from our sins. Wow! Can you fathom it? That the God who created this world, the God who created you and me, the God who holds this world together, the God to whom all will be ultimately given, that this very God...
Notice how careful the language is. "Who by himself purged us from our sins". He didn't send the angels to do it. He didn't make it a spirit thing through the Holy Spirit. The Bible says he did it himself. In the Old Testament, the purging of sins was a never-ending process, but Jesus Christ put an end to that at the cross. Hebrews 9:25 and 26 says, "Not that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters the most holy place every year with the blood of another - He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now", listen to this, "now once at the end of the ages, he has appeared", appeared once, "to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself". That's what Jesus did on the cross. He did away with all of the animal sacrifices, all of the stuff that had to happen in order for a person to feel forgiven.
The Bible says now, once at the end of the age, he has sacrificed himself, and he put away sin. For those who will put their trust in him, sin will never be an issue again. By himself, he is the forgiveness of our sins. And then, finally, and this couldn't be any better organized by the writer of Hebrews. He's the final Word from God, he's the future of all things, he's the first cause of creation, he's the fullness of the Godhead, he's the facilitator of all things, he's the forgiveness of our sins, and, hallelujah, he's the finisher of our faith. Notice what it says. "And he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high".
You say, "Well, what's that? He sat down because he was tired? I mean, purging the sins of the whole world would be a heavy task". No, no, let me tell you how this fits into Hebrews. In the tabernacle, the priest never sat down. In the tabernacle, there wasn't any chair. There was a table, there was a lampstand, there was a lever, there was an altar; but there was no chair because, you see, if you were an Old Testament high priest, your work was never done. But when Christ entered the holy of holies in heaven, he sat down.
When Christ paid the price for our sins on the cross, it truly was the expression of his own voice on the cross when he cried out, "It is finished". And he went to heaven, work's all done, and he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty, never to have to arise again to deal with the sin of the world. So we read in Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 2, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God".
I don't know if you pick this up today, but our Jesus is awesome, he's awesome. And today, if you've come to this service and you don't know him, I wanna tell you how special it is to have a personal relationship with the one I've been talking about today, and I wanna tell you that there's not anyone in this room, not one person in this room who cannot have that relationship if you will do it. You say, "What do I have to do"? You have to decide. You have to decide you want a relationship with Jesus Christ. God has done all the work. He's paid all the penalty. Jesus himself purged your sins, and the only thing that is left for you to do is to acknowledge that what he did was for you.
Have you believed in Jesus to take away your own sin and have you asked him to be your Savior? You don't need to just believe about Jesus. You need to believe in Jesus. You need to accept him as your Savior, invite him to come into your heart and forgive your sin, and say, "Lord Jesus, thank you for purging my sin on the cross. I accept what you did for me, and I confess my sin and ask for your forgiveness". And when you do that, he wipes the slate clean. He gives you a new heart. The Bible even says he gives you his righteousness in the place of your sin.
And whenever I preach this message and I ask people to respond, and I know that there are people in the audience who have not yet received Christ, I can't comprehend why anybody would not want to do that, why anybody would not want to know this one of whom I have spoken and make him their own personal Savior and Lord, so I'm gonna ask you to do that today. Will you accept him as your Savior? Will you acknowledge him as your Lord? Will you give him your heart and will you begin to walk with him in a relationship that ultimately puts you in fellowship with God?