Pictures of Christ

We will start in the first chapter of the Gospel of John. What I’m thinking about here is looking at a few scriptures concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. In this passage of John, it takes Him all the way back to the beginning of creation, so I want to work up from that point. I think if we look at these scriptures carefully, we will get a greater picture of the Lord Jesus and who He is.

John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
4 In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.

This is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. If you read this entire chapter, it becomes very clear that this is who John is talking about. Verse 11 says, He came to His own, and His own received Him not. This is talking about the Lord. It plainly says that He is the one who created all things. Now, this goes back to the beginning like I said before He even became Jesus. He took the name Jesus when He was born as a man.

Now, let’s go forward to chapter 8 of John. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees.

John 8:56-59 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto Him, You art not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
59 Then took they up stones to cast at Him….

Before Abraham was, I am. The name Jehovah means “I am that I am,” so Jesus is saying, “I am Jehovah. Abraham saw My day, and he was glad.” That threw the Pharisees a curve.

Now go to Isaiah 9. We’ll move up in time with a prophecy. The Lord Jesus Christ created the world and everything that is in it. He is Jehovah, and Abraham knew Him.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder…

Then Isaiah tells what His name is. This child that is to be born is the Lord Jesus Christ, but you notice that when Isaiah speaks it, he speaks it in past tense. Unto us a child is born - but He is not born until hundreds of years later. Let’s look at His names.

Isaiah 9:6-7 …and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end….

Jesus appeared many times in the Old Testament as the angel of the Lord. All these names are talking about the Lord Jesus. Now go to Isaiah 53. We will get another picture of Him here.

Isaiah 53:1-2 Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

Hollywood Jesus is always very handsome, but there is a reason that God would not have Jesus looking in a pleasing manner that would be acceptable to everybody. Take Samson, for example. If Samson had been a giant of a man with all kinds of muscles, the things that he did wouldn’t have meant much. But Samson was a small man and God worked miracles. God didn’t make Jesus desirable outwardly. Therefore, you must have a revelation of Him to really know the Lord.

Isaiah 53:2-5, 8 …and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken.

We just read in Isaiah 9 that the Lord is the Everlasting Father. One cannot be a father without children. Here it says,
And who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living. In other words, Jesus was crucified, and He had no children.

Now, let’s go to Matthew 1. I’m hoping that we can see several different pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it will expand our awareness of Him.

Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

A generation, or the development of, one generation follows another generation. The Gospel of Matthew is the book of the generation, or the development of Jesus Christ, and more particular, The Christ. I say that because Jesus Christ is one individual, but The Christ is many-membered, the Body of Christ. That’s what the book of Matthew is all about.

People read the Gospels and they look for the miracles, the extraordinary things. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He healed the leper, and did all kinds of miracles. Wasn’t that wonderful! The main thing that Jesus Christ was doing during His time on earth was ministering to those twelve disciples. They went everywhere Jesus went. They followed Him, they worked with Him, He taught them, He ministered to them because He knew that the day would come when He would ascend, leave this earthly realm, and they would have to be the Christ to carry on. That is why Jesus says in John 20:21, Peace be unto you: as My Father has sent Me, even so send I you.

The other day we talked about the ladder that Jacob saw reaching from earth to heaven and angels going up and down. Jesus said that ladder was Him (Genesis 28:13). He connects heaven and earth. Christ connects heaven and earth, and the many-membered Body of Christ must do that also - connect heaven and earth. He was the access for men to reach God and for God to reach men. The Body of Christ has to become the same thing.

If you begin to understand what the Body of Christ is, what it’s supposed to do, what it is to become, then suddenly the light comes on and you realize what you see out here in the religious world is not the same thing. Yet, every Christian will say, “We are members of the Body of Christ.” But the Body of Christ is much more than that. Psalm 149 says the Lord is going to work through His godly ones. The judgments upon the earth, how are they going to happen? They will happen through the Church. Therefore, it has to be here.

Let’s go to the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 1:1-4 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto you in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That you might know the certainty of those things, wherein you have been instructed.

The word “Theophilus” means “friend of God.” Was there ever a man by that name? Could be, we don’t know. But here’s the thing, if you are a friend of God, if you are a lover of God, then this Gospel was written for you. That you might know the certainty of those things, wherein you have been instructed. I think that is a tremendous revelation if you realize, “Hey, he’s writing to me. I am that friend of God.”

Now, Acts 1. Luke wrote the books of Acts also.

Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.

The gospel that Luke wrote covered the entire lifespan of Jesus the Nazarene. But Luke said that treatise he made was all that Jesus began both to do and to teach. In other words, Jesus is not finished, and He continues to do and continues to teach through the many-membered Christ. In my Bible I have “in us” written down there with a line drawn to “do and teach.”

In the Gospels, you will notice that this is the way Jesus taught. He did it and then He taught the disciples what He did. He didn’t just teach, but He did, there was action, and then Jesus taught them what He did.

Let’s go to one more in II Corinthians 5. To me this is giving us a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Creator, back with Abraham, a picture of Him with Isaiah prophesying about the time Jesus would be born and he is telling it like it has already happened. There is a picture of Isaiah prophesying about the Lord as a sacrifice, giving His life for us. Then in Matthew and Luke, we see how the Lord functioned, how He worked. I think it’s marvelous.

II Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15 And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.

This is talking about Christ and what He did, how He laid down His life for us, but the next two verses are what I’m really after.

II Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh…

This scripture has been used many times in an incorrect way. But I read verses 14 and 15 because I want us to understand that Paul is talking about Christ here. That is the main subject.

II Corinthians 5:16-17 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh… though we have known Him as Jesus the Nazarene… yet now henceforth know we Him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.

Verse 17 is often used to show that if you have become a Christian, then old things have passed away and all things have become new. But I think all of us are smart enough to understand that all things haven’t passed away and all things aren’t new.

I want you to notice that in verse 17 the words that are in italics are not in the original. They were added by the ones who translated the Bible. So, let’s look at that verse again. The subject has been Christ: Therefore if any in Christ, a new creation: old are passed away; behold all are become new. What is the new creation? Christ is! Christ is no longer an individual, but Christ has become a many-membered Body. That is the new creation. When men are incorporated into Christ, then One has become many and that is a new creation.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. I Corinthians 12:12.

Copyright © 2011 by Henry DuBose