This is the manuscript from Sunday night at Washington Heights Church. The pastor (Charlie James) asked me to… “Just preach Jesus.”
“One Greater Is Here”
In being asked to deliver this message I feel like the seminary student who was asked on his first test: “Briefly describe God & give two examples…” In one way it is easy to preach Jesus, but in another it is impossible… as written in Jn 21:25, “There are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” Yet I been asked to deliver one message… So the Spirit’s help is needed.
Jesus is God’s Son… the 2nd Person of the Trinity. As such He always has & always will exist. His name is above all names. He is the Great I AM. At His name every knee will bow & every tongue confess that He is God. Jesus is the Alpha & Omega, the Beginning & End, the First & Last. He is omnipotent, omniscient, & omnipresent. Jesus is the one mediator between God & man. There is no other way to God but thru Jesus. Unless Jesus reveals God to a person, no one can know Him (Mt 11:27). There is forgiveness in no other name BUT Jesus.
He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, fed thousands, raised the dead, walked on water, cast out demons, calmed storms, & made the lame to walk. He taught w/ authority. He confounded the religious leaders of the day. Demons feared him… yet children clamored to sit on his lap and sinners sought him out. There has never been a man like Jesus!
Jesus was born of a virgin… therefore sinless. He lived his entire life w/out committing one sin in thought, word, or deed. This made him the only perfect sacrifice to atone for the sin all who believe. He was crucified on a cross… died… was buried… & resurrected on the third day. No one took his life from Him, he willingly laid it down and by His will took it up again (Jn 10:18). Jesus didn’t die from loss of blood… a broken heart… or the physical abuse he took. Jesus died b/c he CHOSE to die!
Think about what Jesus did on the cross: He paid the sin penalty for sin. Think! Our sin is so great that the penalty is GOD’S WRATH FOR ETERNITY. ETERNITY! That means Jesus paid my ETERNAL sin debt to God. Not only me… but everyone in this room. Not only everyone in this room, but everyone who has ever lived who believed on Him. NOW THINK!
On the cross, Jesus took on & paid God’s ETERNAL WRATH… think eternal damnation in hell… for everyone who has, does, or ever will believe. But that’s not all! The ETERNAL wrath of God toward every sinner who believes was compressed into just three hours. BUT THAT ISN’T ALL!
After all he suffered, God did not comfort Him. God The Father forsook Him completely & absolutely. Jesus experienced complete abandonment by God… His Eternal Father. Jesus died alone, broken, cut off, & naked. And He did so willingly… for all who believe.
THIS is what troubled Jesus so much in the Garden of Gethsemane. THIS is what caused so much anxiety that he sweat great drops of blood. THIS is why he asked for prayer from the disciples. THIS is why Jesus asked The Father, “If it is possible let this cup pass from me!”
It didn’t bother him he was being unjustly accused of sin. Jesus was not afraid of people spitting on him or laughing at him. It wasn’t troubling to go through being beaten beyond recognition. He could handle the torture of a being scourged w/ a whip, a crown of thorns, & nails driven thru his hands & feet. What brought fear to him was God’s eternal wrath w/out His comfort.
Do we get that? What Jesus actually did on the cross? He took on what we deserve to give us what we do not deserve. As a result, C’ians are not only forgiven… but Christ’s righteous perfection is imputed to us. If all God did was forgive our sin, we would still be a sinner… just forgiven. We still could not enter God’s presence. We have to be PERFECT to be in God’s presence. And thru the cross Jesus righteous perfection is placed on us so that we are not only forgiven, but righteously PERFECT!
THAT is what the cross accomplished! And this is the reason we will spend eternity praising & worshipping Jesus. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, these are the words of angels in heaven now…
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was & is & is to come!” And whenever the living creatures give glory & honor & thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever & ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne & worship him who lives forever & ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord & God, to receive glory & honor & power, for you created all things, & by your will they existed & were created.” (Rev 4:8-11)
After His resurrection, He appeared to many over the course of 40 days… 500 at one time (1 Cor 15:6)… then ascended to heaven from the Mt. of Olives. One day he will return the same way he left. His foot will touch down on the Mt. of Olives… He will judge the nations… & destroy the adversary once & for all. Who is The One Who Is Greater?? Consider the Scripture…
Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, & the Word was w/God, & the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning w/ God. 3 All things were made thru Him, & w/out Him was not anything made that was made. 4 In Him was life, & the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, & the darkness has not overcome it. 14 And the Word became flesh & dwelt among us, & we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace & truth. (Comment)
Mt 11:2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 & said to Him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 Jesus answered them, “Go & tell John what you hear & see: 5 the blind receive their sight & the lame walk, lepers are cleansed & the deaf hear, & the dead are raised up, & the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.” (Comment)
1 Cor 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God w/ lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ & Him crucified. 3 And I was w/ you in weakness & in fear & much trembling, 4 & my speech & my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit & of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (Comment)
Col. 1:15 He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, in heaven & on earth (Rev 4:8-11), visible & invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through Him & for Him. 17 And He is before all things, & in Him all things hold together. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. 19 For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell… (Comment)
There is no substitute for what GOD’S WORD says about Jesus! We could read those passages over & over for centuries & not exhaust the wonder contained in them. In fact do that!
One more thought & I will be done. Jesus is our all in all. Consider Heb 1:1-3…
Long ago, at many times & in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God & the exact imprint of His nature, & He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…
Do you know what “the mind of Christ is?” (1 Cor 2:16). It is the Scripture… the book you hold in your hand. Jesus is the way to u’stand everything! Every story & event in the OT points to Jesus in some way. Jesus is a BETTER David… a BETTER Moses… a BETTER Samson… a BETTER Passover Lamb… a BETTER Adam.
Also… every miracle in the NT is a picture of the salvation of Jesus provides. Water to wine… feeding thousands… walking on water… healing… casting out demons… resurrecting the dead. They are all pictures of salvation OR explain something about Jesus.
So that means when you read the OT… look for Jesus. As you live daily… reflect on Jesus. To understand life… consider Jesus. Why? Because HE is the greater one who has come & one day will return just as he ascended into heaven. Even so come Lord Jesus!