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WOL Newsletter 154: Plastic Jesus: A Teflon Romance is Tough
August 23, 2015
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TheSeed
Edited by Stacie Thomas

The thing that really struck me with this sermon, is the Truth that we don’t really know Who Jesus Is. I get so caught up in Him being my comforter, that I ‘forget’ He’s Righteous. I don’t think of Him as judgmental, Deity and King. Maybe I don’t want to think of Him that way. I like Him being the One I can confide in and run to when I need Him. The other titles make Him so out of reach that I don’t want to bother Him with my ‘stuff’. But He Is all of them. And so much more. Revelation 1:8. (NLT): "I am the Alpha and the Omega--the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. "I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come--the Almighty One.”

But you know what else He Is? Just Jesus. He’s human, in the sense that He feels what we feel. He laughs with us (at us sometimes as well). He cries with us (and for us). And He gets angry with us (and at us). Remember the story of Lazarus’ death? Both sisters Martha and Mary blamed Jesus that Lazarus wouldn’t have died if Jesus had come in time. They doubted His Plan. They were heartbroken; not just that their brother had died, but that their friend, Who could’ve stopped it, let it happen. They were hurt and disappointed in Jesus. [Haven’t we all been there? Haven’t we all ‘expected’ God to re/act a certain way, and then were crushed when He didn’t?] And how did Jesus respond? “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) Was He crying over the grief of His friend’s death? Or that His friends blamed Him for their heartbreak? Or at the sadness that they doubted Him? Maybe partially all of these. But the biggest reason He ‘wept’? He was angry at Satan’s rule of this world; the hold he has on us, our actions and our feelings. Jesus doesn’t want us to hurt; at all. Truthfully, He doesn’t want us to deal with any of the grief in this world. That was never part of His Plan.

The best part of His Plan: Revelation 22:12-13: “Look, I am coming soon…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Amen.

Plastic Jesus: A Teflon Romance is Tough

Psalm 51:1; 57:7-11. David’s access to Scriptures was very limited at this time, most likely just stories about how God made and protected a nation for Himself and the Laws and regulations for His people. He didn’t have any Scriptures about Jesus Christ’s love, sacrifice and redemption at the time. Yet David seemed more intimately in love with God than most people mentioned in Scriptures, or that we’ve met in our own lives. Why? Because he desired God personally (not a religion), he trusted God intimately (not as a legality), he loved God for who he had discovered Him to be (not an icon). Scriptures have been very careful to forbid us from making images of God. Jesus was very careful to avoid those who wanted only His power, and didn’t produce a mass of followers just based on religious ideas. God doesn’t want us to worship an image, a power or an idea; He wants true, intimate fellowship with Him. That’s so hard for us to fathom, and harder to attain. One of the biggest reasons we can’t love, trust and follow Jesus as we should is simply because we have no clue of who He really is. 1) We see the ‘Religious Jesus’, with a solemn righteousness and piety 2) We see the ‘Judge Jesus’, looking at everything we do, never quite happy enough with all we are doing or not doing 3) We see ‘King Jesus’, ruling as powerful, majestic and very distant from us. How do you possibly love someone intimately, whom you know nothing about? We tend to roll right through Scriptures getting details, facts and doctrine about Jesus, missing the incredibly abundant and intimate details of everything about Him personally. We try to have that ‘personal relationship’, but we don’t really know Him. Scriptures are rich in showing Jesus for who He is personally. One of the reasons He lived on earth was so that we could see who God is on an intimate level, as man has never known Him before. John 14:8-10, John 12:44-45.

To really appreciate who Jesus is, we first have to start by tying to grasp what He did by coming to earth. Hebrews 5:5: this means that although Jesus is an eternal Being equal to and living in fellowship with God the Father, there was a point in time, through His own choice, that He had to give up everything Divine and lived as a human being like us. John 11:41-43, Luke 4:1-2, 14-15: everything Jesus did on earth was through obedience to the Father, in the Power of the Holy Spirit, as a human. Philippians 2:5-9:”Made Himself of no reputation”: G2758 (keno)- meaning to make empty, to abase, neutralize. Each usage in NT conveys loss of power and usefulness: Jesus gave up His memory, His knowledge, His power. Hebrews 5:8-9, Hebrews 2:10: everything didn’t come automatically because of Jesus’ God-nature. He became human; was tempted through suffering, and chose, out of love and passion, to be obedient. The selflessness and character Jesus showed while He suffered as we have is what God saw as making Jesus ‘Perfectly Qualified’ to be our Savior and Priest. Jesus was touch and unbending in His love for us. John 12:27-28, Mark 14:34-36. See the personality and passion of a Man named Jesus, who loved you so much that He did this to have your love. It is a sin not to see the beautiful, loving personality behind this Man who died for us. This is a picture of Jesus’ humility and kindness as a Protector of those He loves.

On the flip side, He also has incredible strength and fury, as a Protector of those He loves. John 11. Lazarus is sick, and his sisters (Mary & Martha) send word for Jesus. Jesus waited 2 days before He returned, assuring Lazarus’ death. He planned a miracle. John 11:17-35. Martha ran to meet Jesus and was vocal about her disappointment in Jesus’ late arrival. Mary greets Him with the same disappointment. Jesus saw their broken hearts, felt the hurt and disappointment from His two disciples, and He is broken and crying with them out of love. But, Jesus was furious at the pain that sin and death were causing the one’s He loved. “deeply moved”:G1690 (embrimaomai)- meaning to snort with anger, to have blame, and charge against someone. John 11:36-38: the same word was used again; He was anxious to do battle; ready to stop the pain and reverse death’s grip; He was furious and was there to wage war. When Jesus sees us hurt by the evils in the world, He is not apathetic and distant; He is broken with us and longs for the time when we can be freed from the hold of this world. Mark 3:1-6: Jesus went to the Synagogue on Sabbath and He sees no one caring for the sick man. He deliberately calls out the Pharisees for not helping the crippled man. “deeply saddened”:G3709 (orgay)- means violent passion, vengeance, wrath. Just as Jesus was furious about the effects of evil and sin on the world, He was now showing anger towards the evil and sin of men against one another. He was passionately angry and heartbroken that they would be so cruel to a man in distress. He then healed the man, knowing He sealed His fate, but He did the right thing, regardless of the cost; He took the harder path, in courage and love. He was caring and tender, courageous and bold—all at once.

We have learned to take His passion and goodness for granted; learned to see everything He is as a ‘Plastic Fairytale’. Start to see the Man who happens to be your God; and you can’t help but serve Him with your life.

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