5-24-2020 I AM the Root and Offspring of David

Self Portraits of Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:37
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Text: Rev. 22.12-16 Title: “I AM the Root and Offspring” Topic: The Immanent and Transcendent Christ Series: “Self-Portraits of Christ” Occasion: Sun AM, 5-24-2020, First FWB Church Duncanville Introduction: The final two self-portraits of Christ are found in the closing chapter of Revelation. Reading of the Text: Rev. 22.12-16 In this final chapter Jesus proclaims that he is coming soon, and he certifies that this statement along with the vision John has seen are true. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches (Rev. 22.16). The astonishing contents of the book and the extraordinary promise of the Lord’s imminent return warrant the guarantee of the Lord Himself. The Lord then supports his guarantee with his credentials in the next to the last of his I AM self-portraits. He says “I am the root and the offspring of David.” This self-portrait is related to the titles of Christ: the Branch of Jesse (Is. 11.1) and the Son of David (Matt. 1.1), but Jesus’ self-portrait goes beyond alluding to these two titles So what is Christ proclaiming about himself with this self-portrait? (Rather than proceed according to the order of the text we are going to proceed logically from the most apparent to the more complex concepts) I. He Proclaims That He Is the Fulfillment of Messianic Prophecy Jesus is proclaiming himself to be the fulfillment of generations of Messianic prophecy. You might remember that Jesse was David’s father, so what Jesus is saying is I am from the line of David. He says I am the offspring of David. I am David’s descendent, the promised son of David. He is the fulfillment of the prophecies that the Messiah would come from the family of David. He is proclaiming himself the shoot that came from the stump of Jesse, the Branch which bore fruit (cf. Is. 1.11). Remember that in the census Joseph and Mary had to leave Nazareth to go the city of David because they belonged to “the house and line of David” (Luke 2.4). But notice here this is no longer prophecy, it is the fulfillment of the prophecy. Jesus has fulfilled these Messianic prophecies. As the living Messiah he has the authority to issue decrees and promises. And as the One who fulfilled the prophecies, He has the authority to guarantee the spectacular revelation that completes and consummates the Word of God. II. He Proclaims That He Is the Source of Origin of Israel’s Great King. There is something very interesting about what Jesus says here. Notice that he does not reproduce the image of the Prophecy of Isaiah exactly. There in Isaiah 11.1 the Messiah is described as the shoot coming from the stump of Jesse, the Branch which will bear fruit. The image is of a stump having been cut down, but the plant continues to live because from that stump is new growth – a shoot that will continue to grow becoming a branch that will bear fruit. But what does Jesus say here… I am the root and offspring of Jesse. He is not just the shoot that grew from the stump (the stump being the Davidic line of kings that was cut down with the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians), but I am the root! In other words not only does the Davidic Dynasty have is continuance in me, but the Davidic dynasty originates with me because I am the root or the source of the stump. Now how can that be? Well remember that David became king when the Lord instructed his prophet Samuel to go the house of Jesse to anoint one of his seven sons king over Israel. Remember as well that David was not even there when the prophet called, he was tending the flock of sheep and not one thought enough of him to call him. It is only when all of his other brothers who were older, stronger and more handsome were picked over and rejected that the Jesse finally sent for David his youngest son, who was subsequently anointed to replace Saul as king over Israel. The point is that David obtained his kingdom not because he was the oldest, the richest, the most powerful, or the best looking. He received his kingdom by the grace of God. David’s kingship originated with God. And remember that the dynasty of David was built not on David’s success as a king, or one his military prowess, or his wisdom. His dynasty was built on a covenant made between God and David, that the kingship would belong to David’s descendants forever. Again the dynasty owed its existence to the grace and covenant of God. The dynasty originated with God. So in essence Jesus is saying I am not only the Son of David, but I am the God who chose David. The Dynasty originated with me and it continues in me. I am the root and the offspring of David. Jesus proclaims himself the eternal source of David’s being as well as his promised descendant. This is a similar statement that Jesus made in John 8.58 when he said, “I tell you the truth,… before Abraham was born, I am!” III. He Proclaims His Human and Divine Natures. By proclaiming himself the descendant born in the line of David and also as the one who founded the Davidic dynasty by selecting David, Jesus is proclaiming his two natures. As the Son or offspring of David – he is proclaiming himself as human. But as the root or originator of the Davidic dynasty he is proclaiming himself as the God who chose David as king and established his dynasty by covenantal decree. We affirm the dual nature of Christ. He is fully man, but he is also fully God. He is God incarnate. We affirm that in Christ the divine Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father full o grace and truth! (John 1.14) IV. He Proclaims His Transcendence. When Jesus proclaims himself as the Root of Jesse, it paints for us an image of the transcendent Christ. It helps us look down the corridors of time to see him as the Timeless Christ, the Eternal One. The God who is coming is the God is is alive today, and is the God who was the God of the Prophets and Patriarchs, indeed the one who is coming soon is the God who created all things. This is an image of Christ that is sorely needed in our own day. We need to see him in this age of power as the omnipotent or all-powerful Christ, in this age of knowledge as the omniscient or all-knowing Christ, in this age of dynamic change as the immutable or unchanging Christ, in this age of star-destined rockets as the cosmic or universal Christ. But we also need to know that Christ is near to us, especially in our hour of need, and so Jesus also… V. He Proclaims His Immanence. By proclaiming himself as the offspring of Jesse – the Son of David, Jesus reminds us that he who is the omniscient, omnipotent, immutable, cosmic Christ, also is the one who took upon himself human flesh and lived among us. He is transcendent, but he is also Immanuel – God with us. He is the God who stooped low to be near to us. He is the God who understands our weaknesses and frailties because he took upon himself human flesh. We take heart that the God of the galaxies is the Christ of our generation. He who inhabits the paths of the stars also walks with us in the path of life. He is the timeless one who occupies my brief moment in history. The one enthroned in heaven also occupies the throne of my heart. He who knows every star by name, knows my name, knows the numbers of the hairs on my head, and knows my every need. Conclusion: This is the Christ who says I am coming soon. This is the Christ who guarantees this promise. He presents himself and his characteristics as the ultimate guarantee of the truth of the promise. The One who says I am coming soon is the promised who rules as Messiah both here and now and in eternity. It is his authority that both granted and guarantees the revelation of himself. I can be assured that the vision we have of Christ in his mercy and majesty, in his humanity and deity, in his immanence and transcendence, is authentic because it comes from the Lord himself. It is his self-portrait. He has given his Spirit to testify of him (John 15.26) so that we may know his grace and glory, his love and power. Christ, thank you for your confirmation and guarantee of your word and revelation to my life.
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