Focus on Christ Meditations: 61. Conclusion: The Big Picture
Isa 9:6,7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever
As we draw to the end of this series, how can we sum up all the things we have seen in these studies? I’m not sure, but let’s have a go at creating a ‘painting by numbers’ big picture of the Christ. We must start as we did at the beginning, with the Old Testament and perhaps we might here expand the picture a little with wider references that are usually taken as referring to the Messiah, to help build the end picture. Then we must go on to consider his nature and his activity, and see where that leaves us.
The Expected One: The Jews expected One to come who would be: A prophet like Moses (Deut 18:18), a ruling conqueror (Balaam’s prophecy – Num 24:17-19), a shepherd (Ezek 34:23), a prince (Ezek 37:25), a ruler from Judah (Gen 49:10), the Seed of David with an everlasting kingdom (2 Sam 7:12-), bringing the presence of God with him (Isa 7:14), a ruler (Isa 9:6-7), a Son of man coming with the clouds to rule (Dan 7:13,14), God’s servant (Isa 42:1-/49:1-/50:4-/52:13-). Thus they expected the coming one to be a combination of the Son of David, a great ruler, a prophetic messiah, a priestly messiah, a son of man and a suffering servant. It was a somewhat confusing picture.
His Divinity and Humanity: As the picture eventually becomes clear – and really that was not until long after he had ascended to heaven – we see a figure who is both God and man.
First, let’s remind ourselves of his divinity. As our verses above say, “He will be called….Mighty God.” In the New Testament we see this confirmed. The word was God (Jn 1:1). Jesus himself inferred it again and again e.g. In 5:18. The apostle Paul declared it again and again: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col 2:9) and “Who, being in the very nature God. ..” (Phil 2:6). The writer to the Hebrews spoke of him being without sin (Heb 4:15) which is only possible in deity!
But then his humanity: “You seek to kill me, a man who told you…” (Jn 8: 40) “Touch me and see; a ghost does not….” (Lk 24: 39). “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity” (Heb 2:14) “Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.” (Jn 4:6)
His Activity: How, if asked, would you speak of all the activity of Jesus that we have seen in these studies, and even more in the New Testament? Let’s consider past, present and future:
Past Activity: he came from heaven, he lived on earth, he taught widely, he healed the sick & raised the dead, he cast out demons, was falsely tried & crucified, he took our sins on the Cross, he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.
Present Activity: he draws people to God, he heals & delivers, he moves in affairs of world to bring about God’s purposes, he prepares the church for his second coming.
Future Activity: he will return to earth, being seen by every person, he will take his followers to be with him, he will vanquish the enemy, and he will judge every person.
His Position Today: We need to expand on the above: He is at God’s right hand (Rom 8:34), his is crowned with glory (Heb 2:8,9), he is reigning (1 Cor 15:25), so all things are under his feet (Eph 1:22), with all authorities in submission to him (1 Pet 3:22) and his rule is increasing (Isa 9:7).
The Big Picture: Let’s conclude with a summary of all he did, is doing and will do:
- Jesus left his glorious position in heaven to come to earth. Jn 17:5 / Jn 6:38
- He put aside his glory and lived in human frailty. Phil 2:7
- He was tempted in EVERY way we are, but he DIDN’T give way to sin. Heb 4:15
- He came in perfect obedience to his Father in heaven. Heb 10:7 / Jn 5:19
- He allowed the Holy Spirit to minister through him to heal the sick, deliver the demonised, raise the dead, and generally counter the works of Satan on earth. Lk 4:18,19 / Mt 11:4,5
- He was plotted against and falsely tried. Acts 4:27 / Isa 53:3,8 / Acts 2:23
- He was beaten, tortured and crucified by Satan’s agents and was railed against by the demons hordes but never responded wrongly. Mt 27:26-30 / Psa 22:12,16
- He took our sin upon himself on the Cross. 2 Cor 5:21 / 1 Pet 2:24 / Isa 53:12
- He descended into hell to complete his punishment. 1 Pet 3:18-20
- He rose from dead as proof of who he was. Acts 2:24 / Acts 17:31
- He ascended into heaven to rule at his Father’s right hand. 1 Pet 3:22 / 1 Cor 15:25 / Eph 1:20-22 / Psa 110:1
- He is now IN THE PROCESS of putting everything in subjection under his feet. 1 Cor 15: 24,25 / Eph 1:19-22 / Eph 2:6,7
- That process will be complete when he comes as conquering king. Rev 19:11-17 / 1 Thess 4:16,17 / Mt 24:27,30,31.
A Final Comment: The Biblical Testimony that we have considered in these studies, was written by about a dozen men, inspired by God. It had to be God because in no other way could this testimony be so uniform and coherent. If anyone would study these things seriously they must come to this conclusion: it is true, it happened, and is happening. We could have written considerably more on the way this kingdom of the Christ is being worked out today, but you have to stop somewhere!
The end conclusion must be a challenge to all those (ignorant – that’s not unkind, just factual) people who unwisely put Christianity alongside any other world religion and, even worse, put Jesus Christ alongside any other world or religious leader. That isn’t an option when you look at the records. You may try to deride the records but that says more about you than it does the records, that are of the highest level of integrity and trustworthiness. Accept the records for what they are, and you are confronted with a challenge that says, if you see the Christ as revealed here, you can never be the same again. He is unique, what he has done is unique, and one day we will all stand before him – and KNOW, and then we will be on our knees in worship or pleading. “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:10,11) Start it now.