Wednesday, July 29, 2009

He-Man Versus Jesus

Contender #1: He-Man of Eternia (Special Ability: Incredible Strength)

False Idols Vs. The King of kings

As I was growing up, like everyone else born in the last five decades I experienced several waves of super-hero cartoons that hit the networks. As a kid I discovered that my peers were enamored with them and could name off all the characters, their sidekicks, and their special abilities and powers. While there are different heroes on the networks today, at one time He-Man was the one who was revered by American children to be the most powerful being in the universe. As they saw it in their imagination, not even Jesus rivaled his power.

Why is Jesus thought to be a weakling?

Maybe because he is often portrayed as one.

One of the reasons Jesus appears weak to the masses is because of the way the church has portrayed him. This in part has to do with the fact that we believe in the incarnation of Jesus. But sometimes the church has gone too far with the incarnation and portrayed him solely in light of his human nature, particularly human frailty. It is brilliantly shown in Isaiah 53.

As important as the incarnation is, we must also take care not to forget the exaltation of Jesus. But more on that later.

Is this Jesus?

An Adult's World

Cartoon fantasy aside, we live in a world where we are faced with wave after wave of local and world leaders who are portrayed as having the power (or ability) to give a peace to the nations. People place their hope in them, in many ways they serve to replace the heroes of childhood.

Contender #2: Next Gen Politician (Special Ability: Tongue of an Asp)

I am reminded that all power and ability is given from God. Not even the secretary general of the united nations can lift a finger apart from the power which God has placed in his hands.

". . .For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
Romans 13:1

Interestingly enough, even if they accomplished all their promises for a happy life, they could not stop death. The statistic is true, 10 out of 10 people born die, no leader in his right mind would dare to attempt to promise eternal life. No leader could promise that, except Jesus.

Feathered Hair Model Jesus: This is really sad

The Power of The Risen and Exalted King

Forget the two photos of Jesus you just saw, lets see what scripture says about Him.

"
Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Mat 28:18

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" Heb 1:3

"In Him all things live and move and have their being" Paul: Mars Hill (Acts 17:28)

After Jesus accomplished his mission of redemption, the bible teaches us that he ascended into heaven where he is now seated at the right hand of God ruling in power. (Ac 7:55, Ro 8:34, Eph 1:20-22, 1Pe 3:22) This is Jesus in His exalted state. I can't show you a picture of the exalted Jesus. In fact no one is capable of drawing a picture of of Him in His magnificence.

God knew this, and He allowed men like John in the bible to record majesty of Christ in heaven by the written word. Since we don't have accurate pictures the only place for us to get a vision of the majesty of God is to read about it in the text. It really helps us to read passages like Isaiah 6, (He is holy) Revelation 5 (Heavenly worship) and Revelation 19. (The Word is mighty in Battle) If the Spirit doesn't illuminate your soul after that, all I can suggest is to pray for some faith and a new set of eyes.

The real hope for a better life doesn't come from cartoon heroes or world leaders, it comes from Jesus and His gospel of peace. Not only does the gospel give hope, but it compels us to forsake this life and serve God in light of the hope of a better life to come - Your Best Life Later.

The Power of Jesus' Message

The gospel is powerful, it has to do with huge, earth-shaking, life-changing things. In fact it is the central, unifying message of the bible. At the center of the gospel we see Christ and the justice, power, love and wisdom of God displayed with unparalleled clarity.

Not only do we see the power of God to save sinners, but we see the power of God to continue to change the lives of believers. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul states that of everything he taught, the gospel is the thing of first importance. Our lives must be lived in light of the good news.

We can never move away from the gospel. Its the main issue at hand for everyone, and if I'm not mistaken, something is wrong when we make secondary issues the main issues.

Jerry Bridges puts it well when he states;

"The gospel is not the most important message in history; it is the only essential message in all of history. Yet we allow thousands of professing Christians to live their entire lives without clearly understanding it and experiencing the joy of living their lives by it."

Lets work on preaching the gospel to ourselves. Every day we are in serious danger of taking our eyes off Christ. We need to remind ourselves that we are still sinners in need of a savior. We need Jesus as much today as the day we first believed - We will never reach a point in our lives where the saving blood of Jesus is no longer needed. In the end after all we have done for the Lord it's only Jesus who can present us faultless before the throne of God.

Contender #3: God (Special Ability: All Power in Heaven and Earth)
Recap

Well that's it, I hope and pray that we will spend more time seeing and savoring the savior in the text; Meditating on both His incarnation and His exaltation. May we truly treasure Christ and the Gospel of peace we have been entrusted with.

Please feel free to add to this. I am searching for some comments on this one. I actually turned comment moderation off in hope to get some discussion going.

Soli Deo Gloria

Josh



Reform Your Life And Doctrine, Meet With God In The Text

[HT: Resurgence]

7 comments:

WhiteStone said...

The supremacy of Christ! I love those scriptures that speak of the supremacy of Christ. Right now I'm thinking of Colossians 1.

shitio said...

hi, buddy Josh
i enjoy reading to your good thought on He-man Verses jesus.but buddy it should have been better if you had explain who is this He-man, who created this he-man, and with what purpose/motive. for me i know that Mattel Inc. founded by Herold Matson and Elliot Hundler created this gimmick just to make profit, as they know that every one like to be super hero. so how many of them (reader) will know who is this HE-MAN?
church, pareent and shool teacher has a greater role to play in the life of the children.like you even me i was impressed by the power of He-man, and i always want to be like him, but as i grow up i started to realise it was just a substance and also it is an illusion.
no one can compare with Jesus christ as he is both God and human who was send by His father with a purpose. and the purpose was to redeem us from sin and to give salvation. Then who is this He-man?

Joshua said...

Whitestone,

Amen, love that text. It is one of my favorites.

Shitio,

Thanks for your observation. I should strive for relevance as much as I can, insomuch as scripture allows.

For those of who don't know He-man, no worries. I could have picked on any number of contemporary superheros. For example, Superman, Power Rangers, Mutant Ninja turtles, etc. {insert favorite super-hero here}

I am not really concerned with knowing the plethora of glory thieves.

What I am concerned about is that we know the Real Hero very well. This is the Savior who came down from heaven to this earth to live a substitutionary sinless life, fight death, beat it and give his life as a ransom for many, with the promise of eternal life for all who come to Him.

He is the only One we need to know.

Thanks for the comments. It's neat to see action in here.

Grace and Peace,

Josh

jim said...

Josh,

In reference to your statement"But sometimes the church has gone too far with the incarnation and portrayed him solely in light of his human nature, particularly human frailty."

The church may in many instances portray Christ as weak in his humanity but the scriptures give us an entirely different picture of Christ in his humanity! Zealous for the house of God:

John 2:15-16 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; (16) and to those who were selling the doves He said, "Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business."

He also had no fear of confronting these people. This is hardly a meek and mild mannered Jesus! You don't walk into a den of demons if you are weak and frail. You don't spend 40 days in the wilderness without food or drink while being tested by the devil. Imagine walking into church on Sunday and calling them a "brood of vipers"

Matthew 12:34 "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

I do not believe Isaiah refers to the coming Messiah as weak or frail. He was a man and no different in appearance than you or I. He was, however, an exceptionally strong man! Not a wimp as many would think him to be. If you want to see a strong man go to the cross or go to the stormy sea of Galilee where his disciples were in fear of their lives and Christ appears walking on the waves. This is not a weak and frail person, this is the incarnate son of God.

There are many instance throughout the NT where we can view the power and strength of Christ in his humanity as well as seeing his divinity.

I am really enjoying your posts, keep up the good work!

Joshua said...

Jim,

Amen and Amen. The incarnate Son of God did not live on this earth as a wimp. As the God man He lived boldly, authoritatively, strenuously, and zealously in the power of the Spirit (given without measure Jn 3:34)

It was Pink who noted;

"John 19:30, "When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the spirit." What are we intended to learn from these words? What is here signified by this act of the Saviour? Surely the answer is not far to seek. The implication is clear. Previous to this our Lord’s head had been held erect. It was no impotent sufferer that hung there in a swoon. Had that been the case his head had lolled helplessly on his chest, and it would have been impossible for him to "bow" it. And mark attentively the verb used here: it is not his head "fell", but he, consciously, calmly, reverently, bowed his head. How sublime was his carriage even on the tree! What superb composure did he evidence. Was it not his majestic bearing on the cross that, among other things, caused the centurion to cry, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Matthew 27:54)!"

shitio said...

Hi. Josh

I really enjoyed reading on the sub point “an adult’s world”. You know josh, you make me to think about the present context of our youth especially in Nagaland. They portray human beings as there hero. This days most of the youth like movie celebrity and including politician leader. The funny thing I discover from our youth is that, they really adore Barak Obama (the president of America). In the school, colleges they debate about him. There main thinking is that Barack Obama will bring peace to the world!!! How can it be possible??? He is a just a human being like you and me created by our loving God (Gen 1:27), with an extra responsibility. Human being like Barak Obama will discourage us in a long run, but Jesus Christ will never discourage us. Our youth has forgotten that the same Jesus Christ who change our forefather from headhunting to a good Christian and given hope to our life after death. If we r going to portray anyone powerful we need to portray Jesus Christ only because He is the same God, Yesterday, Today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). And also no human being can bring peace, like for example: our forefathers were head hunters, though they collected many human heads in a day, there was no peace with them, they were lacking something, but as soon they heard about the gospel of Jesus Christ from American Missionary, they were completely changed. They gave up the old practices. Likewise only Jesus Christ can bring PEACE in one heart or in one country. Amen.

Thank you Josh for your great work

From Shitio

Joshua said...

Shitio,

That is a great observation. Very much what I was getting at. Nearly all leaders make the claim that they have the answers, or that they are the best hope.

Professing Christians far and wide have fallen into the trap of placing their hope in men who fail, instead of trusting in the unfailing God who rules with power.

I believe one of the remedies for this malady is a much grander vision of who God is. If we are to place our hope in God and submit to Him, we should know the certainty of His government, and the hope and certainty of the life to come.

Josh

Come, rejoice with me in the glorious truth that death died in the death of Jesus Christ! Everyone is now welcome to come and freely take the water of life. (Rev 22:17)