Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Death and the Smell of Jesus (4) - the ten smells of Jesus

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1. 1v3. Jesus is the comforter of the afflicted.

Some hear the idea of Jesus comforting and say – that’s a crutch because you’re weak. We don’t mock the person with a broken ankle who needs a crutch. Likewise people are in need, not just of help but of saving from God’s justice. That’s what the Bible language of comfort is about. Prophets like Isaiah spoke of God offering comfort to his people that would rescue them and then benefit them through life. We have no idea how much we need comfort. No idea.

2. 1v20. Jesus, the promise kept.

The whole of the Bible is about Jesus. All 39 books written before he was born are promises about him. He said that we don’t understand those books at all - unless they’re leading us to believe in him. 39 books of promises made. 27 books of promises kept. All of them about Jesus. Moreover, we see Jesus isn’t like us. Paul let the Corinthians down – but Jesus never will. His promises are unbreakable. Jesus is like no other man, he is The Man. The ultimate hero.

3. 4v7. Jesus the treasure.

Ultimately valuable and glorious. To find him is like uncovering the tomb of Tutenkhamun. Priceless. Awe-striking.

4. 5v10. Jesus the judge of all.

We all like justice – until we’re on the wrong side of it. I’m delighted when the police pull people over for speeding past our house, as they have been doing recently. But if we got caught speeding… Jesus says that all humanity is on the wrong side of justice. He is the final judge – a terrifying prospect. This is really serious. He draws the line.

5. 5v18. Jesus the reconciler for all and any.

Jesus is the judge but he also came into the world to bring us to God. The good news is that we can come to God. Six years ago I got married. As I said my vows I gained all that my wife had.

• Her £8000 of student debt : mine!
• Her copy of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology : mine! Actually, a really tasty book about how the whole Bible is about Jesus! A woman with a book like that is seriously attractive.
• But, for all those gains the real gain of marriage is my wife.

So too, Jesus. He blesses, heals, gives ability to serve. But, the great gain is Jesus bringing us into relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Heaven is not a better house, more friends, more money, a good degree, having kids, financial security, fitness or health. Heaven is being with Jesus.

6. 5v21. Jesus who was sinless.

He never rebelled against God – and he died in our place so we could have his status and be considered perfect by God.

7. 8v9. Jesus who was rich.

He gave up everything so we could enjoy the love he enjoyed with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

8. All of this adds up to, 8v1: Jesus who is grace from God to us.

A free gift from God to us.

9. 4v4. Jesus, who manifests the glory of God by the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures.

He is the image of God. To see Jesus is to see God. To know Jesus is to know God.

10. 4v5. And so, in summary, simply: ‘Jesus Christ is Lord.’

Enjoy the smell of that! This is the aroma of Christians.

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