The Resurrected Son of Man ~ 20220417 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
04/17_Philippians/Revelation; The Resurrected Son of Man; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20220417_resurrected-son-of-man.mp3
Last week we looked at the glorious Son of Man; this was Jesus’ favorite title for himself by far; 82 times in the gospels Jesus referred to himself as ‘the Son of Man’. While others called him Christ, or Son of God, or Son of David, or Lord, he only used these titles to refer to himself combined about 31 times.
About half of those passages where Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man point to his glory, his authority, his right to judge the nations, his coming on the clouds (Mt.25:31). Surprisingly the other half point to his suffering, his humiliation, his crucifixion (Lk.18:31-33). Jesus said:
Matthew 20:28 ...the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
In a few passages the themes of glory and suffering are intermingled.
John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Finally, the time has come for the Son of Man to receive his glory! Palm Sunday they hailed him as the King of Israel, the one who comes in the name of YHWH. Greeks are seeking him. The nations are coming to him! But what kind of glory is this? The glory that Jesus was pursuing was the glory of a seed. It was the glory of death and resurrection. It was the glory of fruitfulness through suffering, of execution as a means of multiplication. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. ...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Jesus’ path to glory was very different from what we would expect. It did not avoid suffering, it embraced suffering. But that suffering and death was not the end of the story. It was a means to multiplication, fruitfulness, it was his path to glory.
Jesus was betrayed, mocked, mistreated, scourged, crucified, and died. His side was pierced, his corpse was removed from the cross, wrapped in strips of cloth with 75 pounds of ointments, and buried in a rock hewn tomb. A great stone was rolled in place to close the entrance, the tomb was sealed, and an official guard was posted. But that was not the end of the story. The seed was planted. A guarded sealed tomb couldn’t keep him in, and locked doors can’t keep him out. Life had burst forth out of death, and that life began to multiply.
The Uniqueness of Christianity
The resurrection of Jesus, by the way, sets Christianity apart from every other world religion. No other religious leader predicted that he would be killed and that he would rise from the dead 3 days later. Mohammed, Gautama Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, Zoroaster, even Moses; all other religious leaders died, and stayed dead. Jesus’ followers thought the same about him. They had hoped he would be the one, but the betrayal and arrest and crucifixion had dashed their hopes. They didn’t believe the reports of the women who claimed that he was alive. Even seeing the empty tomb left them questioning and confused.
And this is historical fact, not religious fiction. The Jewish religious leaders feared the disciples would steal the body and claim that he was alive, so Pilate ordered a guard be set to prevent any foul play, and the tomb was officially sealed (Mt.27:63-64). The soldiers’ lives were on the line, so they had every motive to produce the corpse as evidence that they had fulfilled their duty. It was actually the religious leaders who spread the rumor that the disciples stole the body while the guards slept to cover up the fact that no one could produce the body. The women who were first at the tomb thought the gardener had moved the body. The disciples were confused, doubting, scared, and hiding. When Jesus appeared to them, they were initially frightened, not excited, assuming they were seeing a ghost. Jesus had to prove to them he was real, eating in front of them, inviting them to touch him. Even when the other disciples claimed to have seen the risen Lord, Thomas the twin insisted that he would never believe without tangible irrefutable evidence.
No other world religion has a leader who died and rose again just as he predicted. No other religion has the irrefutable evidence of an empty tomb. The stones do cry out in praise of their Creator (Lk.19:40), and their testimony must still be reckoned with today. You must decide what you will do with this Jesus. The testimony of the empty tomb stands as a witness to who Jesus is.
The Son of Man Coming on the Clouds
Under oath before the high priest, Jesus claimed to be YHWH, the Son of Man of Daniel 7 who comes on the clouds of heaven in power and glory and receives the eternal kingdom from the Ancient of Days.
Here’s what Daniel saw:
Daniel 7:13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
And here’s what Jesus said under oath before the high priest:
Matthew 26:62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The Glory of the Cross
Jesus was about to be crucified and he knew it. He had predicted it multiple times. It is why he came to the earth as Immanuel, God with us. He knew this statement would be perceived as blasphemy because they didn’t believe that he was who he claimed to be, and that it would get him crucified. But Jesus points past his crucifixion to his glory at the right hand of his Father and his coming again on the clouds of heaven. Jesus understood that it was through suffering that he would become gloriously abundantly fruitful. Jesus said:
Mark 8:34 ...“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
Jesus was not seeking to hold on to his own life; he was willing to take up his cross and die, to lay down his life for the eternal benefit of others. This is the gospel way of life and fruitfulness.
Here’s what Paul says about Jesus and the glory of a seed:
Philippians 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Jesus, being eternal God, fully equal with his Father, humbled himself by becoming human. Remaining what he was, he became what he was not. He humbled himself to death, even death on a cross. Philippians goes on:
Philippians 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Suffering, then glory. His suffering and death brought great fruitfulness, great glory to God. Do you see how this connects with Daniel’s vision? The Divine Son of Man presented himself before his Father after his suffering, after his humiliation, to receive an eternal kingdom and the worship of the nations. Because of his humiliation, because of what he accomplished in his suffering and death, God his Father highly exalted him, so at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The nations past, present, and future will kneel to King Jesus.
We see this even more clearly in the Revelation of Jesus given to John.
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. ...
Grace and peace comes from the triune God; from the eternal Ancient of Days, from the sevenfold Spirit of the living God, and from Jesus Christ the firstborn from the dead.
Revelation 1:5 ...To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
Jesus has freed us from our sins by his blood. That is why he came. That is why he became human. Have you today been freed from your sins by his blood? He has freed us forever from the consequences of our sins by bearing those consequences for us as our substitute. He is freeing us from the power of sin today, giving us the victory through his convicting and empowering Holy Spirit. He will one day in a moment finally and forever free us from temptation, from the very presence of sin. He has freed us from our sins, and he has made us holy, a kingdom, priests to God. Because of who he is, because of what he has accomplished, he deserves glory and eternal dominion. And the one who was pierced for our transgressions is coming with the clouds.
In Revelation 4, John was caught up to the throne room of heaven and saw the Ancient of Days seated on his flaming chariot throne in all his glory, attended by the four living beings, and surrounded by the thrones of the elders, who all fall at his feet in worship.
In chapter 5, the one seated on the throne is holding a scroll that is sealed with seven seals and a search is begun for one worthy to break the seals and open the scroll.
Revelation 5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
Who will bring justice on the earth? Who will punish all wrong? Who is worthy? Only one who is perfectly righteous could judge the earth justly. But we also want one who is full of mercy and compassion or else who could stand before him? Who is worthy? No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was found worthy.
Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
The powerful reigning king from Judah, not only descended from David, but the very source from which David came. The mighty Lion, the strong Root. He has conquered. He is victorious, triumphant. How has he conquered?
Revelation 5:6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
The image is bizarre and startling. Instead of a mighty Lion, John sees a slain Lamb standing. This royal kingly one has become a sacrificial lamb, its blood poured out, but it is now standing before the throne of God. This slain Lamb stands victorious, the only one worthy to judge justly. He is presented before the throne of the Ancient of Days.
Revelation 5:7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
This sacrificed and resurrected Lamb receives the same kind of worship that the One seated on the throne received in chapter 4. The living beings and elders prostrate themselves before the Lamb. They pour out the prayers of the saints as incense before him. They sing his praise. In chapter 4 they said:
Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Where the one seated on the throne was worshiped as Creator of all things, now the Lamb is worshiped because he was slain;
Revelation 5:9 ...Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
He is worthy because he was slain. This one who enters the presence of the Ancient of Days comes as the Lion who humbled himself to become a sacrificial Lamb, who came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Like a seed, the Son of Man was glorified by falling into the earth and dying, and it was because of his death that he bore much fruit. It was by his blood that he ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
And he now stands before his Father alive, as one slain but now resurrected, back from the dead.
John 5:22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
The Father has given all judgment to the Son. That is the scene we saw in Daniel. Here the divine Son of Man who comes on the clouds before the Ancient of Days comes because he humbled himself to become human, and as a human to die an innocent victim and bear in himself the sins of many. He is proclaimed worthy of worship because he ransomed people for God with his precious blood.
Revelation 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” 14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Will you join the worship of the risen and exalted Son of Man? He humbled himself and loved you even unto death, even death on a cross, in order to free you from your sins by his blood. Will you bow the knee to him today? Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. He is risen! [He is risen indeed!] He is worthy!
2022.04.17 Sermon Notes
The Resurrected Son of Man
Jesus pursued the glory of the seed
John 12:23-24, Matthew 20:28
Christianity is unique because of the resurrection and the empty tomb
Matthew 27:62-64; Luke 19:40
Jesus claimed to be YHWH the Son of Man
Matthew 26:62-64; Daniel 7:13-14
The cross is the way to real life
Jesus is exalted because he humbled himself
Jesus freed us from our sins by his blood
The Lion conquered by being slain as a Lamb
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org