Jump Start # 3210
Hebrews 2:17 “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
I have been watching the first couple of seasons of “The Chosen,” to get ready for season three which is to be launched very soon. I admit that I went dragging my feet to watch these. I am not a fan of religious movies. Too cheesy. Too inaccurate. Subpar acting. So, I began watching these, convinced that I would not stay with it and I would not like it. To my surprise, the characters grow on you and the films are amazing. I’m going through the series for a second time. Love the character of Peter. And dorky Matthew just grows on you. And, then there is Jesus. He seems so real. And, one of the fascinating ways they capture him in the films are the twinkle in his eyes and the smile on his face. As he heals and as he cures, you see great joy upon the face of the Lord. It is that aspect that most films have missed. It is that aspect that many of us have missed in reading about the compassion of Jesus. Certainly He helped others and made their lives better, but what was the expression on His face?
Our verse today reminds us that Jesus was made like His brethren. That was necessary to accomplish the will of God. That was necessary to defeat Satan. That was necessary to be the perfect sacrifice and the living example for us. But in that, should we not see a smiling Jesus? If He was made like us, we are not without emotions. The other night I was preaching where a couple of my kids attend. Little four year old Titus, one of my grandsons, saw me, and came running down the isle with the biggest smile on his face. That put a bigger smile on my face. He laughs at things that are funny. We enjoy good times.
From this, we ought to see some things:
First, our Lord is not a robot who is without feelings. If the angels in Heaven rejoice when a sinner returns home, what do you think Jesus does? This time of year we notice the beautiful fall leaves. We see the splendor of a vibrant sunset. A couple of weeks ago I saw a bald eagle sitting on top of a pine tree. I pulled my car over just to look. Things that thrill our hearts, grab our attention and makes us say, “Aww.” If the Lord notices how many hairs are on our heads and when a sparrow falls, one has to think that He smiles when we smile at the wonderful things He has made.
Second, reminders such as the parable of the talents tell us that the Lord can be pleased. I’ve known brethren through the years that wouldn’t smile even if you paid them. Those stern frowns scare kids and makes the rest of us nervous to be around them. We ought to be happy to worship. I believe the Lord enjoys our worship. We are a people who are Heaven bound. We have a Savior, a hope and a future. Why are we walking through life as if we’ve been drinking sour pickle juice. UGH!! There is an attraction to smiling. I’ve been in foreign airports where I could not speak the language. However, smiles are understood. Smiles are international. The smile of a child. The smiles of a family greeting a loved one flying home for the holidays.
Much, much too often, worship services can model the funerals of days gone by. People would dress up. They’d enter the funeral home. There was a lot of whispering and quiet talking. Everyone looked somber. But smiles and laughter were out of place. Today’s funerals are so much different. No one wants to cry. No one wants to be serious.
God can be pleased. The well done of the five talent man echoes through the N.T. to Paul’s confident statement that a crown was awaiting him. And, when a person has done right, it brings a great feeling deep inside.
Third, a theme running through the Bible is that of God’s people rejoicing and the goodness of doing what is right. As an artist, steps back and looks at his completed work on a canvas, God must have taken a step back and looked at Eden. Perfect. Complete. Just the way He wanted it. Everything in place. The rejoicing Christian is a powerful statement. These days, the prices, the weather, the politics, the work place, the empty shelves, the turbulent times, it is enough for gloom and doom for all of us. However, shinning through all this bleakness is the radiant and joyful heart of a Christian. He’s living as if one foot is already planted in Heaven. He’s almost there. He’s forgiven, blessed and assured. He belongs to the Lord and that makes all the difference. No longer is he afraid every time something bad rises up. No longer does he have to try to figure out everything nor fix every person. God’s got it, and that’s all that matters. The weather, the elections, the prices, those are the very things that gets everyone else in a grumpy mood. Not the child of God. He’s headed to Heaven. He’s got his eyes set upon the Savior. Because of that, he rejoices. He rejoices when the world sees nothing good going on. He rejoices when he’s told he ought to be complaining. He rejoices when others believe he ought to be crying.
The smiling Jesus. Don’t you think, He’ll be smiling when He sees you enter into Heaven?