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Why Jesus?

Part 5: Where’s Jesus?

Pastor John Talcott
Christ's Community Church

(6/30) Today we continue our series “Why Jesus” answering common questions about Jesus. In the past weeks, we’ve looked at Jesus as the Bread of Life, a Man, a Kernel of Wheat, After 3 Days, and now we ask “Where’s Jesus?”

So what we’re doing in this series is we are looking at the most important controversial and significant person who has ever lived…Jesus Christ… and we’re examining some of the most common questions about who he was and what he did. And so we’ll get started… if you can open up your Bible to John chapter 16 at verse 16.

You know when it comes to the question, “Where’s Jesus?” you’re going to get a lot of answers. But, what I would like to do today in answering the question “Where’s Jesus?” is not just hear what everybody else says about Jesus, but to actually hear what Jesus had to say about this. And so we will read in the Scriptures what he says in John 16:16-28…

“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."
Some of his disciples said to one another, "What does he mean by saying, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,' and 'Because I am going to the Father'?" They kept asking, "What does he mean by 'a little while'? We don't understand what he is saying."
Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, "Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me'? I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
"Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father." (John 16:16-28; NIV)

1. Incarnation.

About six other places just in the Gospel of John, Jesus essentially says the same thing, “I’m the eternal God, who lived in heaven. I came from the Father… I came down into human history, to live without sin, to die for your sin and then to rise and go back to heaven.”

So Jesus repeatedly answered the question, where he is today. He is in heaven. He is alive and well. He died, he rose, and he ascended. We can call this the exaltation of Jesus. And there are two truths that I need you to keep in your mind. One is that, during Jesus life on the earth we saw him in humility. The Bible tells us in Philippians chapter two, that Jesus “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
and became obedient to death… even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8). But now that he has returned to heaven… we must see him in Glory… we must see Him in his state of exaltation! So that’s where we’re going today.

In Jesus incarnation, in his living human body, in his taking the nature of a servant, Jesus is our humble example of how to live our lives. How to forgive our enemies, love people, feed the hungry, care for widows and orphans, do good deeds, love our neighbor, all that… He’s our example. And that is good right, but it’s also important that when we think of Jesus, we think of Him, as the Scriptures reveal him.

And my fear is that if we get our only picture of Jesus from the Gospels, that we will only think of Jesus, as a humble, Galilean carpenter. You see if we don’t keep reading the New Testament… if we don’t keep reading Acts through the Book of Revelation… we don’t see him in his state of glorious exaltation, we will miss the fullness of who Jesus is according to Scriptures. And so what I want to do is tell you a little bit about Jesus from the Book of Revelation.

Now some of you are thinking, “That’s a spooky book. Its scary. I don’t like it.” But it’s not a spooky book. Sometimes we tend to make it that, but the Book of Revelation is a book about Jesus. The opening line of the book says, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

2. Revelation.

So, it’s not a book about Black Hawk helicopters or getting a bar code on your head for the Anti Christ to scan you out at Food Lion... That’s not what it’s about… the book of Revelation is a book about Jesus. And it breaks it into two scenes. There are earthly scenes with wars, conflict, and issues. And there are heavenly scenes where Jesus Christ is revealed… where he is seated in glory, ruling and reigning as Lord God and King over all. And all worship is directed to the throne of Jesus and all truth and judgment comes forth from the throne of Jesus and so there on the throne we see Jesus.

So I’m going to read a section of Revelation 19. This is a description of Jesus if we were to see him today, in heaven. You wouldn’t see a humble, Galilean carpenter. You’d see this guy in Revelation 19, at verse 11, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:11-14).

Now how many of you were like me and grew up watching Westerns? You know the good guy always rides in on the white horse… you know like the Lone Ranger… but here it’s Jesus on a white horse, because the Westerns ripped off the Bible. They should pay a royalty to the Bible, because they ripped that off…

So anyway, here comes Jesus, and this is not some pacified, hippy type of Jesus. This is the ultimate fighter… the open the can… Jesus. That’s this Jesus; the one who’s called “Faithful and True.” The Jesus I know and love… “His eyes are like blazing fires…“ “on his head were many crowns…” “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood...” “the armies of heaven were following him…”

But get this…. look at verse 15, “Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS’” (Revelation 19:15-16).

Now, I confess, before I came to know the Jesus of the Bible I thought, “Why, should I trust my life to a man I can beat up.” That’s what I thought… you know… because all the pictures I’ve seen of Jesus, he had like long feathered hair, he was wearing a dress, had this halo thing on his head, and I just didn’t think that I could give my life to him. But now this guy right here, I can’t take him… He’s got a robe dipped in blood. And I’ll tell you what… any guy who’s got blood as an accessory is tough... and it’s not his blood but that’s another point. And so Jesus shows up in white… he’s tough… and you know he’s tough because he doesn’t show up in Army fatigues… he doesn’t plan on getting dirty. He’s like your Karate instructor in white. That’s just a scary man, right?

3. Exaltation.

Well maybe this morning some of you say, “I just struggle with my thought life… my prayer life… or maybe it’s your wife.” It just may be that you’re not walking victoriously in life, because you don’t have a clear picture of Jesus. You see this guy could actually do something. He’s a good guy to pray to! Some of you may say, “My worship is lame… its uninspired. Well it may be because you have an incomplete picture of Jesus. You don’t think of Jesus as the Bible reveals him right now!

I’ll tell you, the result of this is a growing crisis in Christianity where men don’t think much of Jesus. Men aren’t inspired by Jesus. Men don’t participate in church life. And you know I am glad that so many women love Jesus, but the question needs to be answered, “Why are so many men so unimpressed, so uninspired, and so unmotivated by Jesus?”

Honestly, I think it’s just that what we know of Jesus… is his humility… his nature as a servant… and we don’t have an accurate picture… a contemporary picture… of where he is now. We don’t see him exalted in his glory!

I believe that most people who reject Jesus, reject him because they only have a partial view of Jesus. All they see is a humble, unimportant, unpowerful, Galilean carpenter. They don’t know that He is still alive. They don’t understand that he’s King… he’s Lord and God. They’re not aware that our Commander-in-Chief is a triumphant, warrior, and victor… that he’s a veteran… that he’s the kind of inspiring God that men should seek to be like… to pray to… and to honor as the exalted… the glorious… the risen… the ascended, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

And so I think that the primary reason there’s such a deficiency of men and masculinity in the church is due to a incomplete portrait of Jesus. To help correct that, I want to take you from the resurrection of Jesus, which we examined last week. Where Jesus, rose physically, bodily, from the grave, and then for 40 days proved to everyone that he was in fact alive and that he had conquered sin and death. So next week, I want to look at Acts, Revelation, and other Scriptures to see what happened after the resurrection.

And so today as we close… I want to share this one last thing. Psalms 110:1 says, “The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." The Psalmist was prophesying that Jesus would be seated at the right hand of God the Father. And Jesus himself confirms this saying, "Yes, it is as you say… In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64).

Why do I tell you this? Because Kings sit on thrones. It is triumphant, victorious, noble warriors who’ve returned from battle that are seated on thrones… who are thanked and praised by those they served… even those who sacrificed their lives... who are in places of honor… And Jesus is all of those. He sits on the throne as our Priest who mediates between us and God. As our King that rules over everyone and everything. As a triumphant and victorious warrior who has conquered Satan and has ascended into heaven. And our Lord Jesus has been honored… he is seated at the right hand of the Father… he is seated on the throne of heaven… and one day very soon all of his enemies will be a foot stool for his feet.

It is so important that we get this, because my fear is that so many of us have a deficient view of Jesus. So its difficult to live as conquerors in our lives… as more than overcomers… when we don’t think of a Jesus who’s still alive. When we don’t think of Jesus who has any authority or power. We don’t think of Jesus who can help us… Who can answer our prayer… Who can make a difference in our lives… Who has rule… authority… and jurisdiction over our world!

Yet the concept of Jesus high and exalted as our eternal God seated in the heavens... that’s a Jesus we can pray to… that’s a Jesus we can worship… that’s a Jesus that when we are told that we will stand before him… that we’ll give an account for all that we have said and done… that is a Jesus we can respect, honor, and give the appropriate worship too.

Lets pray together and respond to our King Jesus

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