Jesus, LORD


J e s u s, LORD

W E D N E S D A Y 4 | 1 0 | 1 9

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Over and over throughout the Old Testament, the Lord, the great I AM, revealed his power to destroy, his power to save, and his authority over rulers and dominions. Lordship has everything to do with power and authority. 

In John chapter 1, John writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1: 1, 14). John draws from Genesis 1:1, which his present-day readers would have known well: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” John’s point is not only that Jesus is God in the flesh, but that he has power and authority.

Jesus Christ in the New Testament is the full, in-the-flesh revelation of the God of the Old Testament. As Paul writes in Colossians:  “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 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. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:15-20).

Jesus Christ demonstrated his power and authority on earth through many signs and miracles, including his death and resurrection, but he continues demonstrating his power and authority on earth through his Church, his people. Only Jesus has the power to reconcile what is irreconcilable. It is because of His power to reconcile us to God and man that we also submit to his authority and obey His commands. 

Just hours before being betrayed, Christ said to his disciples: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love…You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:10, 14). The love between the Father and the Son was perfected through the Son’s obedience to the Father, which came at the cost of an excruciatingly painful death. This obedience has brought us peace and reconciliation.

Therefore all who follow him, all who claim to love Him, must also obey Him in the same way. It’s not enough to accept Jesus as only Savior. We must submit to Him as Lord, as the One who has authority and power over all things. For “on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16), and only those who faithfully submit to Jesus Christ as Lord can say, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20). 



J e s u s, SAVIOR

S U N D A Y 4 | 7 | 1 9

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It doesn’t take a long reading of the Old Testament to see a common theme. Adam “lived 903 years, and he died” (Genesis 5:5). Noah lived 950 years and “he died” (Genesis 9:29). Abraham was blessed by greatly by God but died at the age of 175 (Genesis 25:7). The patriarchs of the faith all had this in common. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon, all who dominate the pages of the Old Testament have this in common... they all died. The Old Testament ends with a question looming in the background. “Who will deliver us?” Moses had failed. David failed. Solomon with all his wealth and wisdom failed. Who will deliver humanity from the throws of death?

This longing for deliverance is met with the cry of a baby born to a carpenter and his wife in a messy animal shelter. From the looks of it, this was nothing extraordinary. How would this child be the deliverer of all humanity? He didn’t have the trappings of royalty or the family pedigree to spark a worldwide revolution. This boy, from the looks of it, was strikingly ordinary. How could the Savior be born to this family, in this town, in this mess?

This was not an ordinary child! This was not an ordinary birth. Instead, this marked the beginning of death’s defeat. Like his birth, Jesus’ mission was misunderstood by many. A king sought to destroy Jesus when he was a child because he feared Jesus would overthrow his empire. Those in Jerusalem expected his coming to mark the beginning of the end of Roman rule. Even Jesus’ closest disciples confused his mission. Peter took up his sword thinking it was time to take Jesus’ kingdom by force; Jesus remained focused. He knew what he came to do. He “set [his] face like flint” (Isaiah 50:7) toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).

Jesus never flinched. He stayed true to his mission. He knew how to take his enemy. Though many didn’t understand what he came to do, he did. He wouldn’t waver. Even in a moment of extreme grief, he remained true (Matthew 26:36-46). Jesus would once and for all take the sting out of sin and death. The road wouldn’t be easy. He would carry our pain, our sickness, and our punishment (Isaiah 53:4-6). But he was up to it. He alone was able to conquer death.

By his wounds and through his death, we have been healed. Death no longer reigns. Jesus is risen. Death does not have the final word (Romans 5:12-21). Even though we may battle sin and shame, fear and failure, disease and death, our hope is secure in the only one who put death to death—Jesus our Savior. 



J e s u s, SACRIFICE

W E D N E S D A Y 4 | 3 | 1 9

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Sacrifices - we make them all the time. To spend more time with family, certain activities on our calendars must be sacrificed. To retire comfortably one day, we may have to sacrifice getting the latest iPhone model every year. Yes, we know what it means to sacrifice…or do we?

In the Bible, a sacrifice is what was needed to accomplish two things: to cover sin and to satisfy God’s wrath on sin. We see very early that God required something living to die, spilling its blood (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22), to serve as a proper sacrifice. It is subtly introduced when God exchanges the fig leaves for animal skins when Adam and Eve sin (Genesis 3:21). The animal sacrifice is repeated through the stories of Abel (Genesis 4:2-4), Noah (Genesis 8:20), the Patriarchs (Genesis 13:18; 26:25; 33:20; 35:7), and the Passover plague (Exodus 12) all before the Law of Moses was given. In the Law, the instructions for an acceptable offering are spelled out even more clearly. 

Perhaps the most important passage regarding sacrifice is the description of the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16. Each year, the high priest would first sacrifice an animal to atone (pay the penalty) for his own sins before entering the presence of God in the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of all the people. He would take one goat and sacrifice it on the altar, spilling its blood to cover the sins of the people and to satisfy God’s wrath. He would take a second goat, a scapegoat, and lay his hands on its head before releasing it outside the camp, symbolically transferring the guilt of the people to the goat and thus taking those sins of the people away. 

These sacrifices, which had to be made year after year, were only a shadow of what was to come. Jesus was the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice on the cross who both atoned for our sins by His blood and was crucified outside the city, fulfilling the symbolism offered by the scapegoat. “He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption…But now He has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:12, 26b).

“No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This is the ultimate sacrifice: Christ giving up His throne in heaven to take on flesh and give His own life for us (Philippians 2:5–11). He loves us this much. This is what and whom we celebrate at Easter. He conquered sin on the cross. He conquered death in His resurrection. 



J e s u s, SERVANT

S U N D A Y 3 | 3 1 | 1 9

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Let’s be honest, if you could have someone clean your toilets for you—you would. Servants are people who do things that no one wants to do for themselves. The way the world seems to work and the way we seem to intuitively see things leads us to believe that success looks like doing more and more of what you want to do for yourself, when you want to do it. According to the world, serving—especially in an unpleasant task—is for people too weak or ill-equipped to have someone do those tasks for them.

However, in the same way that Jesus upended the money-changer’s tables in the temple, the Bible shows us a picture of servitude that stands the popular conception on its head.

Everything Jesus did and does is marked by service. In coming to Earth to begin his redemptive mission, he was serving God the Father by humbling himself through sharing in our humanity. Jesus’ earthly ministry was marked by service, too. His teaching served the people who needed to hear the Scriptures preached with life, power, and authority.

Of course, the example of service that most likely comes to mind is when Jesus washed the dirty, road-worn feet of the disciples. We no longer walk barefoot on dirt roads, and yet most of us don’t like the idea of touching someone else’s feet! Consider the depth of love and service Jesus exhibited in further humbling himself this way.

However, the picture of dirty feet being washed clean is actually a pointer to and picture of the ultimate way Jesus came to serve. Isaiah speaks of Jesus as a suffering Servant who comes to carry our sin and endure the punishment we deserve. Though our sins have stained us like scarlet, he washes us white as snow. Jesus didn’t just serve by washing feet; he washes our guilt and shame away. Perhaps most strikingly, consider that Jesus—God Incarnate—willingly serves the very people he created to glorify him. 

He deserves our service; we do not deserve his. His service to us is grace, and our service to him is worship. In a time where service is something often avoided, we can model the heart of our Savior in selflessly serving our Lord and our neighbor. Jesus modeled it, and we should do it.

Jesus, SON


J e s u s, SON

W E D N E S D A Y 3 | 27 | 19

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Imagine you have sat on the shore of Galilee with Jesus, handing out loaves of bread and fish. Imagine you have watched him perform many signs and wonders. Suddenly, you realize that in this man you have seen the very image of the invisible God, in whom the “whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). No one had ever seen God, but just hours before His death Christ said to His disciples, “whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). 

Only the One sent by God from God could say such things. 

Only the Son of God could say such things.

Throughout Jesus’ life and ministry, He spoke often about His submission to the will of the Father, about having been given authority by the Father, and about being sent by the Father. All that Christ did was out of obedience to the Father.

He perfectly submitted to the Father by coming to the world, by fulfilling the law and righteousness, and by dying on the cross. In fact, in one of the most intense passages in the Bible, Jesus views all that awaits him – betrayal, beatings, abandonment, nails, a cross, loneliness, death – and appeals to this Father in heaven to “remove this cup” from him. Yet, showing profound submission to God’s will, He cries, with sweat drops like blood down his face, “not my will but yours be done.” 

Even on the cross, when Jesus could have spoken one word to rain down an army of angels on His accusers to save His own life, He remained faithful and obedient to the Father to the point of death. He was the silent Lamb being slaughtered. It is because of the Son’s obedience to the Father that we have the gift of eternal life. Had Jesus not been the perfect Son of God, redemption for our sins would be impossible. Because Jesus is the Son of God, we can know Him and we can know the Father. 



J e s u s, PROPHET

S U N D A Y 3 | 2 4 | 1 9

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“Truly, Truly, I say unto you.” These words are a common opening to truth Jesus is about to reveal. It’s such a common phrase that it’s easy to jump right past this introduction without giving it much thought. But these few words carry tremendous implications. When Jesus speaks, he speaks the words of a prophet, but not merely of a prophet speaking for God. Instead, when Jesus speaks, he speaks as God himself. 

In the Old Testament, God spoke to his people through prophets. These men spoke the words of God, but not on their own authority. It’s for this reason that they often began their message with “thus says the Lord.” They had an authoritative message, but their authority was derived from God’s authority.

The Bible tells us that “in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son” (Hebrews 1:2). Thus, Jesus speaks from his own authority, as God the Son. Those who heard Jesus teaching noticed the difference and “were astonished at his teaching, because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29). 

In Jesus we see the fulfillment of Isaiah’s Immanuel prophecy from centuries before, that God would send one who would be literally “God with us.” No longer must there be an intermediary between God and his people. When Jesus promises, “I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture,” we can trust him (John 10:9). God, who cannot lie, is speaking to us.

In this Lenten season, as we think about Christ’s sacrificial suffering and death, may it inspire within us new warmth in our love for Christ. To the early church that had grown lukewarm, Jesus promised that “See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). As with all of God’s word to his people, the question for us is: will we listen? “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts,” but listen to the words of Christ (Hebrews 7-8). He is “the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5).



J e s u s, PRIEST

W E D N E S D A Y 3 | 2 0 | 1 9

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God called his people out of oppression to display his glory and his holiness. Upon rescuing his people from slavery in Egypt, God said, “I will make you a kingdom of priests, a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Israel was to be holy as the Lord himself is holy. The only problem was that Israel failed to live up to this call, time and again. This was nothing new. Beginning with the fall in Genesis, a question that dominates the entire Biblical narrative is, “What will be done about human sin?”

At the center of this holy nation, there was an order of priests. We read in Leviticus 21:6 that these priests were to be “holy to their God.” This group was set apart within God’s nation to show what God required of Israel and, by extension, the entire world. Their sacrifices (to atone for sin) regularly involved blood and dead animals. This job was not pretty, but neither is sin.

Most of these sacrifices occurred outside of the tabernacle, and later the temple, where Israel could see what was required of them. The High Priest, the holiest of the priests, would enter the center of the temple, the holiest of places, on the Day of Atonement, the holiest of days. He would then offer sacrifices on behalf of the nation’s sins against God. As the High Priest would emerge from the temple, God’s holy nation would erupt in celebration that their sins were covered and mercy was extended.

Immediately upon entering Jerusalem, Jesus enters the temple, but instead of finding priests offering sacrifices, Jesus finds a “den of robbers” (Matthew 21:13) where those charged with caring for the needs of God’s people have instead turned and exploited those under their care. Jesus, outraged, overturns their tables and casts them out. The priests had failed to fulfill their role. A new priesthood was needed.

This wasn’t merely a new order, but a new priest, who would make a once and for all sacrifice on behalf of everyone, everywhere. Jesus lived a holy life without stain of sin. Additionally, on the cross Jesus took on himself the sin of all humanity and paid the penalty by giving his life to cover all sin. Upon his death, the curtain that separated the Most Holy Place from the rest of the temple was torn in two. In his resurrection, he showed his offering was accepted by God. Just as the priest emerged from the Most Holy Place, Jesus emerged victorious from the grave. The old priesthood was voided and a new one begun. 

Jesus is our “Great High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14-16). We can now approach God with confidence. He has paid for our sins and made us into a holy place where he now dwells. Jesus is our sympathetic High Priest. He knows us. He knows what we need. He has taken on our sin so that we may take on his righteousness. Let’s now go and tell of this righteousness that comes through Jesus our Priest.

Jesus, KING


J e s u s, KING

S U N D A Y 3 | 1 7 | 1 9

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Kings have kingdoms. Jesus is King, so what or where is his kingdom?

Jesus preached that his kingdom was at hand (Matthew 4:17) and taught his disciples to pray for his kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10). This seems to promise that Jesus’ kingdom was at that time close, but not quite realized. The Jews of the era expected a messiah-king who would conquer the Romans and set up a literal, earthly kingdom. Even after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples were looking for Jesus to establish an earthly reign (Acts 1:6). 

Scripture gives us a glimpse into what the kingdom of Jesus is like. In the Gospel of John, as Jesus is speaking to Pilate, we notice that Jesus’ kingdom is not an earthly one at present. His followers, while they may occupy the earth, weren’t put here to fight and conquer in order to usher in a kingdom. Rather, the kingdom of Jesus is based in divine truth, and everyone who submits to that truth is welcomed into the kingdom (John 18:33-37).

Though Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, it doesn’t stay in another realm. While it exists in the hearts of men who hear and heed the truth, it is also a coming and future kingdom. We see in Revelation 19-22 that one day Christ will return and make all things right. As believers, we have hope for a future and better kingdom: one without sin, death, or tears, a kingdom that is ruled by the King of Kings. 

While Jesus’ kingdom is both a present and future reality for all, only those who hear his voice and believe the truth will become members of his kingdom. We can respond like Pilate when confronted with Jesus’ words, and scoff, “What is truth?” We can brush aside the words of Christ as just another competing truth claim. Even when the claims of Christ have been examined, tried, and found faultless, we may reject Jesus as king because of our own self-righteousness, like the Pharisees (John 19:15). Or, we can submit ourselves to that truth and enter into the kingdom of Christ – not only as loyal subjects of the king, but as children of and heirs to the kingdom. 

As we prepare for Easter, let’s begin by focusing on King Jesus, ruler of a kingdom that is “already, and not yet.” No matter what we are struggling with in this season, his promises are true, and his rule is vast. He is the King of Kings, and his kingdom knows no end. One day, the kingdom of Jesus will be clearly seen, and in it death, sin, and suffering will be no more. This is the future reality for those who submit to Jesus as King.


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Come and see the wonder of Christ.

Jesus calls his disciples to “come and see.” With this in mind, we invite you to take on this series of reflections to “come and see” who Jesus is and what he has done.

Come and see Jesus the King as the Ruler of an eternal kingdom. See Jesus our Priest as cleansing us from the stain of sin. See Jesus the Prophet speaking with authority. See Jesus the Son accomplishing the Father’s will. See Jesus the Servant humbly washing his disciples’ feet. See Jesus the Sacrifice paying our penalty for sin. See Jesus our Savior as focused on his mission to put death to death. Finally, see Jesus the Lord calling for lives surrendered to him. 

The call of Jesus to come and see is not only a call to watch Jesus’ ministry, but a call to participate in it. “Come and see” ultimately becomes “go and tell” as Jesus commissions his disciples as his witnesses.

After you come and see, go and tell of this Jesus as his witnesses in the world.