The Soaring Eagle

Only your body is limited. Your spirit can 'mount up on wings like eagles'


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Jesus Suffering

“In bringing many sons to glory,
 it was fitting that God,
 for whom and through whom everything exists,
should make the author of their salvation
perfect through suffering”
(Hebrews 2:10)

Reflection:
Jesus entered into our humanity, entered into our temptations, and entered into our suffering as well.  He is revealed as the complete or perfect human – all that He ought to be. He avoided nothing of what it is to be human but embraced it all – even our suffering. In truth He endured a suffering more intense than anything endured by any other human being.

He suffered the accumulated weight of the sin and guilt of all humankind – past, present and future. He took into Himself all the pain and suffering of the world, and to such an extent that He could say,

  • ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40)
  • “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25:45)

 The prophet Isaiah said of Him,

  • “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isaiah 53:3)
  • “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4)
  • “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)

The truth is that the man Jesus Christ was more truly human than any of us.

Response:
The birth that we are about to celebrate is the entry into the world of ‘the Suffering Servant’

Prayer:

Lord Jesus help me to know that my pain is Your pain – that You are with me in and through it all – and that Your resurrection is mine as well. Amen.

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Jesus Tempted

“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted,
he is able to help those who are being tempted”
(Hebrews 2:18)

Reflection:
Scripture is quite clear that God cannot be tempted.

  • “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13)

However the Bible account specifically refers to Jesus temptations in the desert and in the Garden of Gethsemane.

  • “for forty days he was tempted by the devil” ( Luke 4:2)
    • “The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” (Luke 4:3)
    • “if you worship me, it will all be yours” (Luke 4:7)
    • If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here” (Luke 4:9)
  • “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39)

The writer to the Hebrews goes on to say that,

  • “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18)
  • “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15)

Clearly, in becoming man, Jesus had walked away from His immunity to temptation and made Himself vulnerable to it, just as we all are. This was not God brushing the temptations aside like irrelevant irritations. This was man facing the reality of real and relevant temptations and refusing to succumb to them. He was born perfect man and died perfect man for not once did He sin!

Response:
Whenever we are tempted let us remember that the Man Jesus said no to it.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus thank You for meeting temptation head on and showing me that it can be overcome. Help me please to walk with You and to recognise it and resist it whenever it crosses my path. Amen.

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Jesus and Angels

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
(Hebrews 1:6)

Reflection:
Angels appear in Scripture as important and powerful beings. However they bear no comparison to Jesus Christ. Although He was ‘made a little lower than the angels’ we see Him become the object of their worship. God says ‘let all God’s angels worship Him’ and at the news of His birth

  • “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:13-14)

The writer to the Hebrews stresses this point on a number of occasions.

  • “For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? (Hebrews 1:5)
  • “To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? (Hebrews 1:13)

About Jesus Christ God said,

  • “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of your kingdom” (Hebrews 1:8)
  • “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” (Hebrews 1:10-12)

The writer finishes by saying that all angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. By comparison Jesus Christ is our salvation, our Lord, our King and our God. If all the angels worship Him how much more should we!

Response:
Acknowledge the Lord Jesus as your Lord, your King and your God – and your eternal salvation.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus I bow before You and Your Name above all names. You are my great and wonderful Saviour and my glorious Lord, and I kneel in humble awe and gratitude at Your feet. Amen.

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Saviour of Sinners

“After he had provided purification for sins,
He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven”
(Hebrews 1:3)

Reflection:
We have looked at Jesus Christ as the pinnacle of God’s revelation, as the Lord of Creation and as the Son of the Father. Now we move on to see this Divine Son as the Saviour of sinners as well.

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners from the wrath of God and from everlasting separation.

  • “For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13)
  • ‘Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15)
  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)

Jesus was not an angel who had volunteered or one of the heavenly host forced to sacrifice himself, nor was He an arbitrary human selected by God because of some nearly perfect characteristic. He was and is God the Son.

  • “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:6-7)

And now, having achieved the purpose for which He was sent, He sits in glory, majesty and power at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. And in this position He has not abandoned us but continues to pray for us.

  • “He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25)

Jesus Christ is totally committed to us and to our salvation. We see it in His coming amongst us in human likeness, in his death upon the cross on our behalf, in His ongoing dedication of Himself to prayer and in His presence within us through the Holy Spirit.  This same Lord Jesus is coming again.

Response:
Jesus is God my Saviour and my Lord

Prayer:

Lord Jesus I owe You both my present and my future life. Thank You for Your total commitment to me through yesterday, today and tomorrow, and for being both my beginning and my destination. Amen.

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God the Son

 

 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory
and the exact representation of His being”
(Hebrews 1:3)

Reflection:
Jesus is God cloaked in human flesh. Even so, from within Him shines forth the majesty, power and authority that belongs to God and is an integral part of Him. This is the only way in which God could reveal Himself to us, for otherwise the truth of His warning to Moses would become evident,

“You cannot see my face, for no-one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20)

In the same way that a seal or rubber stamp leaves an exact impression of itself so Jesus is the exact impression of God – no more and no less. And as God’s glory radiates outwards from the Lord Jesus we also discover that He is in fact the glory of God. God’s glory is focussed into Him and through Him. This enables us to see that God’s glory is not merely that of shattering power but instead the glory of suffering love. He does not aim to crush humankind and subject them to mindless servitude, like many of the kings of the earth. He instead seeks to liberate us and raise us into the privileged position of beloved and honoured daughters and sons – forgiven, cleansed, healed and transformed.  This He does by coming to serve us, love us and to die for us.

Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God is the Light of God and the Light of the world. He is the Love of God and the Love poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. He is the Life of the world and the eternal Life who is God’s gift to those who believe.

In every possible sense of the word He is Immanuel – God with us. And it is before the blazing power of His Name and before the blinding truth of His being that

“Every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”  (Philippians 2:10-11)

Response:
Who is Jesus Christ to me?

Prayer:

 Please open my eyes Lord – I want to see Jesus for who and what He truly is. Amen.

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Lord of Creation

 “His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things,
and through whom He made the universe”
(Hebrews 1:2)

Reflection:
It should not surprise us that “The Majesty of Genesis 1, the Intimacy of Genesis 2 and the Forgiveness hinted at in Genesis 3 are all found in Jesus Christ.” For it is through this same Jesus that God “made the universe” and who now sustains it.

  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1-3)
  • Sustaining all thing by His powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3)

The whole of Creation is dependent upon Jesus Christ. He is its beginning and its end – its source and its final destination or goal – and its ever-present sustainer.  And as the Son of the Father He is also ‘heir of all things.’ (v2)  He is now and forever the Lord of Creation.

  • “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” (Ephesians 1:22)

If the life of Jesus Christ had been permanently ended upon the cross then creation itself would have come to an end as well. Instead He opened the door to a new life for us in His resurrection. Whether we are believers or not we depend entirely upon Jesus Christ for our ongoing existence. As believers we trust in Him for our eternal life.

Response:
I owe my existence to the Lord Jesus Christ

Prayer:

Lord Jesus You are my Way, my Truth and my Life – now and forever. Amen

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Son of God

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets
at many times and in various ways,
but in these last days
he has spoken to us by his Son”
 (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Revelation:
Next Sunday the Christian Church begins the season of Advent. It marks the start of the Church’s year as it prepares to celebrate the birth amongst us of Jesus Christ the Son of God. We will start our journey today, and begin this week to look at Jesus Christ as the Divine Son.

This Jesus Christ, about to be born into the world, is the pinnacle of God’s revelation of Himself and of His purpose.  Throughout history as recorded in the Old Testament God has revealed Himself and His will through His chosen and appointed prophets. However this revelation was both partial and progressive as He began to unfold His will before His people and respond to their attitude towards Him.

In Jesus Christ His revelation of Himself is both complete and final. The Christ becomes God’s last word to His world for there is nothing more to be added in terms of Himself, His purpose and His love. Jesus Himself would put it this way,

“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”
(John 14:9)

The Majesty of Genesis 1, the Intimacy of Genesis 2 and the Forgiveness hinted at in Genesis 3 are all found in Jesus Christ.  He controls the powers of nature and exercises His will with a word, offers life and purpose to those around Him, and extends forgiveness to the fallen sinners.

To understand more of the Father we study and follow His Son Jesus.

Response:
 Contemplate the wonder of the Son of God being born amongst us. This is Immanuel – God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

Prayer:

Lord open my eyes to the truth and wonder found in the person and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ – and help me to receive Him more fully into my own life. Amen.

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