Father and Son Together Again Reverend Anthony R. Locke
June 20th, 2010 (Father’s Day) at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker
Apostle’s Creed Series 09 English Standard Version 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? 6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God‟s angels worship him.” 7 Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” 10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11 they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12 like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, 1 and your years will have no end.”
It is important that we understand that God has spoken words to His people. God has spoken to our fathers. God spoke to my dad. Robert Mercer Locke. God spoke through ministers and counselors, and other members within the church family. Feel that. Let that truth impact your perspective on your family, on your grasp of reality and on your place in the world. The one living and true God that made the heavens and the earth has visited His people. With divinely established systems of worship He spoke to our fathers, with oracles and signs in the heavens. In many times and in many ways God has guided them into the paths of divine blessing and favor. This is why we are commanded to honor and respect our parents. They can lead us into God's good ways. God the Father speaks to us still through His Son. The Holy Spirit illumines the words of scripture to shine the light on Jesus that we might be connected with our heavenly Father.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Let‟s hear again the words of Hebrews 1:3. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. Jesus is a carbon copy of all that is God. We covered this doctrine recently on Trinity Sunday and on a sermon about the Sonship of Jesus. The Jehovah Witness‟ cult is wrong when they say that Jesus is only an angel like Michael. The cult of Mormonism is wrong when they blaspheme the Son and say that Jesus is no more a god then we will be some day. It is damnable heresy and worthy of our greatest evangelistic zeal of opposition. And I don‟t care how many scientists agree that there is no God active within our world. The Bible says that God the Father turned over to the Son the act of creating all things. Jesus our Savior upholds the universe by the word of his power. That‟s truth. The Father said so. Jesus was never considered by anyone in heaven to be equal to an angel. Never. That kind of thinking offends the Son and the rest of heaven. It is blaspheme and a damnable heresy. By that I mean that people who say such things have no assurance that any of God‟s promises apply to them. Only the wrath of God is promised on people that diminish the glory of the Son. Another scripture with which we are more familiar sums up this chapter very well. Philippians 2:6-11 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Hebrews 11:4 Jesus was lifted up in the ascension above all principalities and powers and dominions to the place of ultimate worship and adoration. Jesus is much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Even if we don‟t understand it, we confess it. God never exalted an angel to this kind of glory. Satan will forever be disappointed that he will never exalt himself above God. He was wrong to think he deserved that kind of glory. No angel is ever exalted above God the Father‟s throne. Let me now explain the word begotten in verse 5. One of the church members in Newberry owned a cattle ranch. After years and years of testing and mixing breeds, they had born to them a calf that would have put Newberry on the map and made them multi-multi millionaires. This calf was considered by same as priceless. They would crate the calf up and go to the cattle shows. Slowly opening the back of the trailer they would parade it out to the amazed crowds. And standing there on it‟s wobbly legs, all black, glorious and beautiful they would beget this prized animal in front of prying, critical eyes. All who saw this animal would marvel. No one went away disappointed. When Jesus came to this earth the Father put His only Son on display. Jesus was begotten to the universe as a weak and wobbly little infant. He was set before the nations that they might see Him and know firsthand His glory. None that look to Jesus are ever disappointed. He is begotten in this way. He was begotten in the temple at age 12. He was begotten again on the cross. He was brought out for the most critical eyes to behold. No flaws were ever found. Jesus is perfect, precious and priceless. Regardless of the attacks from false religions, we need to keep declaring that Jesus is the only begotten Son. He is the only one the Father ever brought out for the rest of the creation to
behold. All other creatures would disappoint. Jesus is the perfect imprint of the Father's nature, therefore He was manifest to the world in all His glory when He took on human flesh. How do we say that Jesus is equal with the Father in the most clear and ultimate way? Our text provides the clearest declaration of this truth we could hope to confess for it is the confession of God the Father Himself. Hebrews 1:8-12. Father God says of Jesus the Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” We discussed the last part of that verse in the sermon last week that the Holy Spirit anointed Jesus with a unique empowering for doing supernatural things. As God Jesus could have do anything He wanted, but He trusted the Spirit just like us. The Father further said about Jesus, verse 10-12, And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” The Hubble telescope takes pictures of the galaxy Jesus personally made. And Jesus is planning an even better creation. He is going to roll this one up like a garment. This creation will end, but Jesus is eternal. Jesus never changes, Jesus never disappoints and Jesus never fails. Now back to verse 3. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. This is the climax to the Gospel story. The next events detailed in the book of Revelation tell us of the next chapter in God's eternal calendar. Jesus returns with omnipotent power and ushers in the eternal rest for His people. That's the end of the preaching from this text. Now let me say a few words about fathers and children and their need to be reunited. There is great satisfaction to know Jesus is sitting on the right hand of the Father. If we lived in a small town during Old Testament times we would appreciate this even more. During special holidays, community gatherings and judicial proceedings, the leaders of the city sat in places of honor and respect. If there was nobility then the most noble would sit on the highest seat. If he had a son then the firstborn would sit on his right hand. In the capital city the King would sit on a throne. On his right hand would sit the eldest Son, usually sitting with his mouth closed, straight faced, learning wisdom from his father as he watched him rule. But when the father was assured his son would rule with wisdom and justice he would begin turning over the kingdom to his son. Of course, the Heavenly Father turned over everything to Jesus from day one. Jesus created all things and holds all things by His power. All authority and all power have been given to Jesus by the Father. But imagine a community gathering when the only son of the king is missing. There was a parable Jesus told of a son who went missing. Matthew 21:34-38 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, „They will respect my son.‟ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, „This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.‟ The King sent the son and the servants killed him. Imagine the heartbreak in the kingdom to hear that the only son of the king was murdered by some rogue servants. Who would carry on the
peace the king established? Who would provide future continuance of the good kings rule? If the seat is empty then the future peace is unsecured. Even if the son is alive, just seeing the seat empty would cause questions. When will the king's son return? Will he succeed in the tasks assigned to him? Will he fulfill the will of the father or will he dishonor himself and his father and be unwelcome should he try and come home? My dad was always a little anxious when we left the house. He would frequently say, “remember whose you are.” Sort of a folksy way of telling us to be good and make him proud. Not all sons walk out the door with the intention of making their dad proud. The prodigal son left with no intention of doing good by his father. It‟s a wonderful feeling to know a son is doing his best to honor his dad. There is an appropriate pride, joy and love that makes the whole home pleasant and happy. Heaven is happy because Jesus did His Father proud. Our earthly and heavenly homes are happy when we live for the glory of our spiritual Father. Let me now tie together the Hebrew passage with our Father's Day thoughts. Jesus left the seat next to the Father empty. He was the son of the king sent on an errand. He got killed. Isaiah 53 he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. Jesus wasn't killed by some rogue servants. Our sins killed Jesus. It was for our transgressions that He was stricken. After making purification for sins – that was our sin. Jesus went to the cross to pay our debt. He opens the door for us to be brought back to the Father. And the miracle is that even after all was lost, Jesus filled the seat! Jesus was successful at doing the Father's will. The Father resurrected Him and He is welcome home. It looked like Jesus failed on the cross. He actually won the victory for all God‟s children. He survived the inspections. He is perfect. So Jesus ascends back to the Father. He sits down at the right side of the Father to rule all things. Heaven is at rest for Jesus is at rest, and we are invited into that rest, peace and fellowship. That's what I like about Father's Day. I look forward to every chance I get to sit with my father and enjoy his presence. This afternoon I will eat a meal with my dad at Golden Coral. With great satisfaction we will all enjoy His presence. My wife doesn‟t have that opportunity. Her dad, Rod Vick died the same year Tyler was born. But we yearn to be with him too, to enjoy his provision and bask in his love. Regardless of how things were between you and your dad, there is a yearning to get back to our father. Even the prodigal eventually wanted back. Jesus wanted to get back Himself. He wanted it for Himself and now He wants it for us. As the only begotten Son he deserved to get back. He is a Son by right, we are children by adoption. As adopted children we yearn to be with Jesus at the right hand of the Father in glory. He has promised to be a father to the fatherless. How can we pass on that invitation? Do you want back this morning? Have you passed on daily fellowship with the Father? Have you been absent from His table? God loves you so much. Even if you left as a prodigal, He wants you back. The heavenly Father looks for you that He might run to you, embrace you, put the family ring on your hand, kiss your face and weep for joy that you have returned. What more blessed image is there for heaven itself than children being reunited with the Father. May God bless you with great joy as you are reunited with your Father. Happy Father‟s Day.