Monday, August 20, 2007

Day 53 - Behold: A Fivefold Picture - Part One

In the whole Bible, there are 1275 verses that contain the word behold - yet among all these there are only five specific statements that tell us to behold the person or character of the Saviour, the Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament and clearly portrayed in the New Testament. There are five profound statements about the Lord Jesus Christ. Often the word behold has a comma after it, indicating that the author of that book wants us to pay attention and hearken to what is being said - Behold, I have something to tell you; or Behold, consider this. But these five statements are different.

1) Behold The Lamb Of God.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

The Messiah that would come and take away the sins of the world is the central theme of the whole Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament types and animal sacrifices - they all pointed to Him and the work of redemption that He would do. From the slaying of the animals and the coats of skins made in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:21) to the blood washed robes in Heaven (Revelation 7:14), the picture is there for all with eyes to see. Man's sin deserved death, but God loved us so much, He sent His Son to die in our place. I love Abraham's prophecy and how it is worded:

Genesis 22:7-8 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

It doesn't say, "God will provide a lamb for Himself," but that God Himself would be the Lamb! From the Passover Lamb in Exodus 12, to the Lamb led to the slaughter in Isaiah 53, to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) - it is one central, glorious theme.

1 Peter 1:18-20 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Jesus is that Lamb of God!

Behold the Lamb!

Before we go to the next phrase, I want to draw your attention to two creatures in the Word of God:

A) The Cherubim

Ezekiel 1:5-10 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:14-15 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

B) The Four Beasts In Revelation

Revelation 4:6-7 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

The Living Creatures (Cherubim) and the Four Beasts were not the same creatures - each cherub has four faces, and each Beast has only one - but all together all four Beasts have the same four faces as the cherubim:

a) a lion - the king of the beasts,
b) a calf/ox (referred to as a cherub in Ezekiel 10) - the beast of burden,
c) a man - the highest creature in all of God's creation, and the only creature He died to redeem,
d) and an eagle - the most majestic of the birds of the air, soaring among the heavens.

Just as the four pillars for the gate to the tabernacle (see Exodus 27:16) give a fourfold picture of the one way inside (see John 14:6) to where God's glory dwelt, so too do these four faces represent the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fourfold picture of Him we see portrayed in the four Gospels. We may not know all of why God created these creatures the way He did, but it is obvious that one of the reasons was to be a testimony to the one they were created by and will spend eternity worshipping.

"Another Old Testament type which anticipated the fourfold division of Christ’s ministry as recorded in the four Gospels may be seen in Exodus 26:31, 32, 'And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made. And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.' From Hebrews 10:19,20 we learn that the 'veil' foreshadowed the Incarnation, God manifest in flesh — 'through the veil, that is to say, His flesh.' It is surely significant that this 'veil' was hung upon 'four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold:' the wood, again, speaking of His humanity, and the gold of His Deity. Just as these 'four pillars' served to display the beautiful veil, so in the four Gospels we have made manifest the perfections of the only-begotten of the Father tabernacling among men." - Arthur Pink, Why Four Gospels? (Note: this quote does not indicate a complete endorsement of Pink or of all his theological stands. There is much I have read from him that has been a blessing to me, but other things that I would caution against. Please only read him with discernment, comparing all things diligently with the Word of God itself.)

2) Behold Your King!

John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

The Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus Christ as the King. In his Gospel, we see clearly that Jesus is that King that was foretold to come, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the descendant of King David. As the lion is the king of all beasts in the animal kingdom, Matthew presents Jesus as the King of all kings.

Genesis 49:9-10 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Matthew starts off with presenting us with His royal lineage (His geneology), then shows the danger of the jealousy of a rival king. From the wise men coming to worship the King of the Jews, and the parables and references to the Kingdom of Heaven - as this Gospel unfolds, we come to realize that Jesus is that King. We see His kingly authority in His teachings, the keys of the Kingdom He gave to the apostles, and His Great Commission; His kingly majesty in His transfiguration; the comparison in various parables about the King and the King's Son; the fulfillment of various Old Testament prophecies related to a coming King; the New Testament prophecy of the Son of man (Jesus) as King judging the nations in Matthew 25; and Matthew's account of the trials and crucifixion of this King.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Matthew 21:4-5 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

John 12:14-16 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

Matthew 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Matthew 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Matthew 27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

Praise the Lord that the story does not end with the King's mock trial and crucifixion, but with His resurrection and ascension to glory! He is coming back again to reign from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

Isaiah 33:17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

It is interesting to note how there is a reference to the Branch that fits under each one of these last four points. That is something I have never noticed before this morning. It certainly adds to the picture!

Jeremiah 33:14-16 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Are you ready for the King's return in glory? Are you seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness - are you looking for His kingdom to come? Behold your King!

3) Behold My Servant!

Isaiah 42:1-4 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

As a calf or an ox is often used as a beast of burden - the servant of the beasts, if you will - so Mark's Gospel presents the Lord Jesus Christ as God's Servant. No geneology for a lowly servant, just a dedicated soul busy about His master's business. In Mark, many times you will see Jesus rushing from one place to another; read the Gospel writer's terms such as immediately (used 17 times), straightway (used 19 times), forthwith (3 times) - often you will find many verses linked with the word and indicating that the events portrayed occurred one right after another. In Mark's Gospel, we see various times where Jesus is shown as having authority and power delegated to Him by the Father - as a master will delegate authority and responsibility to his servants. We also see Jesus seeking to draw attention away from Himself, not to Himself - a true servant is more concerned with doing God's will than drawing attention to Himself, more concerned with giving God the glory than taking it from Him.

Isaiah 52:13-15 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

This prophesied Servant would be a Man of action, would be continuously busy, continuously showing others what a true servant is like. I love these descriptions of Jesus' ministry, and their example to us:

Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Mark 9:33-35 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

John 13:1-5 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

John 13:15-17 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Luke 12:35-37 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

Luke 22:25-27 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

Jesus is that Servant that was prophesied in the Old Testament - the one who would both be a servant doing the Father's will (represented by the beast of burden), and a sacrifice (represented by the bullock slain and burnt on the altar). Fulfilling God's will and laying down His life for us - a true Servant indeed - a willing Servant!

Mark 14:35-36 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Matthew 12:14-21 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

That victory came when Jesus conquered sin and Satan, death and Hell, by shedding His blood upon the cross and dying for the sins of man, then arising victorious over the grave.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Zechariah 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

Are you following Jesus' example of service? Are you learning of His meekness and humility? Are you becoming a servant and serving others, like your Master did while on earth?

Behold My Servant!

The continuation of this fivefold picture in Part Two will give us Luke's and John's Gospel presentations of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Behold The Man!

Behold Your God!


August 20th/07
Jerry Bouey

60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible

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