but even if…

But That Is Not All…

I sometimes try to be all things to all people—loving wife, SuperMom (complete with cape), responsible employee, thoughtful daughter, caring friend—but inevitably my best efforts fall short. There’s only one person who truly can be all things to all people, if only we open our hearts to Him. Only Jesus is both Shepherd and Sheep, Prince and Pauper, Son of God and Son of Man. Only Jesus has the unique distinction of being fully God and fully man. The implications are huge.

Consider Hebrews 2: 14-17… “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Jesus, the worthy Lamb, was made like us “in every way.” He gets how hard it is to be human. He gets you. When you lose your temper, He understands. When you’re scared, He knows that emotion. When you’re tempted, He’s lived through that too. God could have sat on His throne and condemned us for not living up to His standards, but instead He went to great lengths to reach out to us, to know us, and to make Himself known more intimately than ever before. Jesus is our bridge over troubled waters—our ladder between this life and the next. He is the Alpha-Omega, A-Z, Root and Vine, Author and Word, Divine Warrior and Prince of Peace—King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Be-all and End-all.

“But that is not all. Oh no, that is not all.” – Dr. Seuss

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The Lamb Who Leads

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation: 7:17

When you overlay scripture on top of scripture and notice how God so intricately weaves His story from Genesis to Revelation, you begin to see how only One with supernatural omnipotence and omnipresence could Author such a Word. From God’s substitution of a sacrificial lamb rather than Abraham’s son (Gen. 22), to the significance of the Passover lamb in Exodus 12, to the prophecy of a man silently led “like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7)—just to name a few—the story of the Lamb of God unfolds.

He is not only our sacrificial Lamb, making eternal life possible, but our Shepherd, who calls us by name, leading us there. He is not only a meek and gentle Lamb, showing us how to love, but the Lion of the tribe of Judah, standing victorious over death.

But that is not all. Oh, no. That is not all.

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Son of all Sons

Below is a picture of the Son of God, who humbly refers to himself as the Son of Man. Our hero rides a white horse in Rev. 19:11, but here… a donkey—not just a donkey, but a donkey’s colt. Picture this for a minute… have you ever seen a grown man riding a tricycle? Not such a regal scene, but that’s a guy I can hang out with. And even on the colt, the people sense and respond to His royalty. Only a true King could pull that off and fulfill two prophecies in one fell swoop.

He alone is the Son of all Sons, the Rejected Stone that becomes the Chief Cornerstone, the Humble Hero. But that is not all… Oh no, (say it with me…) that is not all.

Mat. 21:7-9
They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!

Psalm 118:22-26
The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious,
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey; riding on a donkey’s colt.

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The Root and The Vine

The olive tree is among the most ancient of trees—some are said to be as old as 3,000 to 4,000 years old. Its root system is considered very robust and capable of regenerating the tree, even if the above-ground structure is destroyed.

When man chose to eat from the tree of independence (knowing both good and evil), we cut ourselves off from God, we were all but destroyed. But Jesus—our Tree of Life—with His robust root system, was able to regenerate the human race. He is the Root and the Vine, the Way and the Means, and the bright Morning Star that provides the light necessary for life. But that is not… you know the drill.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” Isaiah 11:1

“I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” Rev. 22:16

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

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The Truth of it All

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. – Romans 1:20-21

This week we’ve seen how Jesus is our All, but in the end He will tell some that He never knew them at all (Mat. 7:23). I can’t think of a more poinant example of the expression “truth hurts.” As someone who didn’t believe for many years and has loved ones who still don’t believe, the thought of this sends a shudder down my spine. I ask myself why Truth can be so hard to believe. Does the idea of a God who loves us so much that He gave up everything to save us from ourselves seem too good to be true? Perhaps our culture is partly responsible for fostering a generation of cynical, wary individuals. I wonder, where does this begin? My children so readily accept Jesus, just as I did when I was young. Somewhere between finding out about Santa Claus and our first big rejection or disappointment, we begin to question all we’ve been told, to guard our hearts, to attempt to create a “safe” world where we don’t risk dreaming or believing in things we can’t see. It’s the most tragic thing I can imagine for my kids… for anyone.

But I have hope. Because God doesn’t leave us in the dark. He has given us plenty of evidence to woo us back to the light… in nature, in fulfilled scripture, in our very own DNA. If we seek the Truth, we will find Him. In fact, He knocks at the door of our hearts until we open. And then we truly will have it all, for all of time. I believe, I believe, I believe! That’s all folks.

Oh yes, that is ALL.

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