Saturday, April 23, 2011

SON OF MAN

JESUS IS THE SON OF MAN


“And in the midst of the seven candlesticks (LAMPSTANDS) one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the breast with a golden girdle.”  Revelation 1:13

First of all, notice how this One, like the Son of man, is in the MIDST of the SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS.  Jesus Christ is SHOWN in the MIDST of His Churches, local Churches everywhere, all through the long history of the Church.  (When we arrive at Revelation 1 and 2, we’ll see WHAT Jesus SAYS to these Churches, and NOT ALL of it is GOOD.  This shows, that WHILE Jesus IS ALWAYS in the MIDST of His Churches, those Churches SOMETIMES don’t listen to Him.)

In Revelation 1:13, we see ANOTHER TITLE of Jesus, one FREQUENTLY used for Him--"THE SON OF MAN."

Interestingly, this phrase originates in the Old Testament.  (By this time in our study, are you surprised to learn that fact?)

The FIRST time THE SON OF MAN appears in scripture is in Daniel 7:13.   “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, One like THE SON OF MAN.  In the New Testament, the phrase "Son of Man" is used 85 times in the Gospels.  For 83 of those times, Jesus Himself used the term while talking about Himself.  The phrase "Son of Man" shows us HOW our Redeemer HAD TO BECOME A MAN in order to save us from the PENALTY of sin (the penalty which is death--and God's judgment)!

No angel could redeem mankind from sin.  They are a part of God’s creation, but they do not bear any likeness to mankind.  Instead, they are supernatural entities who deliver messages, who wage spiritual warfare against the devil and his fallen angels, and who surround God’s Throne to minister to Him and to give Him constant praise and worship.  No angel is able to free mankind from the taint of sin.

God, Himself, even the TRINITY, in the DEITY of GOD, cannot redeem mankind from sin.  God, in His DEITY and HOLINESS, cannot save mankind--God, IN HIS DEITY and HOLINESS cannot TOUCH sin or corruption.  It’s totally AGAINST God in His GODLINESS.  And furthermore, God could NOT JUST SAY to a fallen man, “I forgive you. Come to Me.”  First of all, man in His sinfulness CANNOT survive in God’s HOLY PRESENCE.  The corruption of man, in sin, will KILL that man, should he be able to approach God’s Throne.  Exodus 33:20.

Plus, God cannot JUST SAY, “I forgive you. It doesn’t matter that you disobeyed Me and sinned.”  If God did that, it would VIOLATE part of God’s very nature.  He is NOT ONLY a LOVING God, but He is a JUST God.  God has a system of JUSTICE which will NOT tolerate even the SMALLEST dot of sin.  God has a GOVERNMENT which DEMANDS that ANY SIN be punished. And the PUNISHMENT upon sin MUST happen with FAIRNESS and JUSTICE.

Man CANNOT SAVE HIMSELF from sin.  Man is trapped in his sin.  Man is simply NOT ABLE to OBEY all God’s commandments, precepts and principles.  IN his sin, man IS WIRED to REBEL.  Oh, man may TRY to please God, because man has an empty “GOD-shaped hole” in his soul which begs to be filled with God’s presence.  So man will try TO PLEASE GOD by all kinds of religions and self-efforts, by trying TO BECOME GOOD ENOUGH so God will accept him.  But man CANNOT please God by his own efforts.  Man cannot DO GOOD WORKS and expect God to embrace him.

The sin issue has separated man ETERNALLY from God.  That’s what SPIRITUAL DEATH is--a SEPARATION from God, and that separation WILL be ETERNAL--UNLESS there’s some kind of SAVIOR.

JESUS IS THAT SAVIOR!

Since ADAM (a MAN) fell into sin, mankind’s SAVIOR must ALSO be A MAN.  But WHERE is the PERFECT AND SINLESS MAN who can DO the SAVING?  Not on earth, NOT in the DESCENDANTS of Adam!

God faced a critical dilemma.  How could He forgive man and restore him to RIGHT STANDING?  How could He act in LOVE and MERCY upon mankind, and at the SAME TIME maintain His JUSTICE and PUNISHMENT upon sin?

Jesus stepped forward.  The PLAN to save fallen mankind was MADE from BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS of the world.  1 Peter 1:19-20.  BEFORE the world was created, Jesus KNEW He would be the SAVIOR.  And in BECOMING that SAVIOR, Jesus KNEW He must LAY ASIDE His GODLY GLORY for a season and BECOME a MAN, the PERFECT and SINLESS man (FOR US)!  Philippians 2:5-8.

THUS, THE ETERNAL GOD, JESUS, THE SECOND PERSON OF THE GODHEAD, LAID DOWN HIS GODLY ATTRIBUTES, AND TOOK UPON HIMSELF THE FORM OF A MAN.  This perfect and sinless man, Jesus, was worthy to DIE as the SPOTLESS SACRIFICE for THE SINS of ALL mankind.  He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.  John 1:29 and 36.

Jesus started as a tiny baby, in Mary’s womb, and having been born, He lived and grew as any human does--except He was SINLESS and PERFECT.  Having NEVER SINNED, He LAY DOWN HIS LIFE to SAVE mankind, satisfying GOD’S JUSTICE and PUNISHMENT.  And that’s NOT all!  Jesus REMAINS in the body of a man, a RESURRECTED AND GLORIFIED man.  Revelation 5:4-7.  Jesus will RETAIN this MAN'S body FOR ALL OF ETERNITY!  And in addition, as Jesus was RESURRECTED and GLORIFIED at the Throne of His Father in heaven, Jesus returned to HIS GOD-POWERED ATTRIBUTES--Jesus is GOD, the SECOND PERSON of the TRINITY in the RESURRECTED BODY of a GLORIFIED MAN!

We see Jesus, as He CONTINUES in the form of a man, in Luke 24:39.  When the disciples FIRST saw Jesus, they thought He was just a ghost (or a spirit), and became frightened.  But Jesus said this--“Behold My hands and feet, that it is I Myself:  handle Me and see; for a spirit has NOT flesh and bones, as you see Me have.”

Look at Acts 1:3.  “To whom also He (Jesus) SHOWED Himself alive after His passion by many INFALLIBLE PROOFS, being SEEN of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

In Acts 1:9-12, Jesus’ ascension into heaven is described.  He did so in His RESURRECTED body.  And He will return in His RESURRECTION body!

There’s NOTHING in scripture to support THE SPECULATION that when Jesus returned to heaven, He resumed a “spirit-form.”  In fact, scripture points out how Jesus is the “FIRST BEGOTTEN OF THE DEAD”--Revelation 1:5--which simply means that Jesus is the FIRST MAN to receive a glorified resurrection body, and it’s THIS BODY that He CONTINUES to possess.

In Revelation 5:4, we’ll discover how a problem arises in heaven concerning a seven-sealed scroll.  “And NO MAN in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” 

The problem was solved when A MAN stepped forward.  Revelation 5:7.  THAT GLORIFIED AND RISEN MAN IS JESUS!  (We’ll study the concept of a KINSMAN REDEEMER, in depth, when we get to Revelation 5.  Jesus is our KINSMAN (our relative)--He's identified with us in the ETERNAL and GLORIFIED BODY of a man.)

One of the MOST PROFOUND and DIFFICULT TO GRASP ideas stemming from our Revelation study is this--the KNOWLEDGE that RIGHT NOW there’s A MAN at God’s Throne!  JESUS--in His flesh and bone glorified body!

Very soon, we who are ONE with Jesus in His extended Body, the Church, will join Him there!

This very IDEA brings freedom, peace, thankfulness and extreme joy!

Have you been edified today? Are you thrilled?



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