Beginning and the End - Part 2
In the first part of our current series “Beginning and the End”, we noted the great importance of the first and last books of the Bible and were reminded of why both Genesis and Revelation are fundamental to our understanding of the word of God. It is on these two that so much of that which is written on the pages in between rely… and if it is wise when we consider the word, to do so in context, (and it is), then the context of all which follows, is laid out for us in the early chapters of the first book.
Everything in the Bible is inseparably bound up with Genesis, as it is Genesis that gives us the origin and initial explanation of all major biblical doctrines which follow. It is in those early chapters that we are taught about God and the Godhead, about the Holy Trinity and about His omniscience and omnipotence. It is there we are taught about man and even receive the doctrine of marriage. That we learn about sin and how it is, we all, the sons of Adam, are born into a sin nature, where we discover to our cost the law of sin and death. But wonderfully it is right there also that we learn of the doctrine of salvation and gain the first promise of One who would come to deliver us, the Seed of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head.
It is there that we learn about angels, of the cherubim placed in the Garden of Eden by God to guard the way to the tree of life and there also where we discover God’s plan for His church, the Apostle Paul revealing the mystery of Christ and His bride by referencing Adam and Eve. And it is there in the garden that we receive a picture of how things will be, where we discover the doctrine of last things, a time when at last, there shall be no more curse and a return to an Eden like state of the earliest chapters of the Bible.
In this Sunday’s message (3rd May 2020), having previously considered a little anthropology, the doctrine of man and how he was created in the image of God and according to His likeness, our attention turns from the first Adam to the last… Jesus Christ. For whilst Adam was made in the image of God, Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Whilst death came by Adam, through Christ all shall be made alive. Whilst Adam was made of dust, Christ is the Lord from heaven and incredibly… whilst we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man... for as many as receive Him, He gives the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Isn’t that incredible… the Son of God became the Son of Man for our sakes… and we the children of man, become children of God by receiving Him. We, the offspring of the first Adam are saved and restored by the Last Adam.
The Son of Man is an interesting designation for Jesus. Generally, when Jesus is spoken of as being the Son of God this implies His deity. When He is spoken of as the Son of Man, this implies His humanity. However, the designation of "Son of Man" doesn't merely align Him with humanity as we discover from Scripture and Daniel 7 in particular. A reading of that chapter shows us vividly that the Son of man is a very exalted figure. Moreover, it becomes the favourite self-designation for Jesus.
A Bible study of the gospels will soon reveal that of the two designations, Son of God and Son of Man, Jesus referred to Himself more frequently as the Son of man than He did the Son of God, as we find in Mark 10:45: "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
And I think that the reason He referred so often to Himself as the Son of Man is because that on face value, Son of Man is an ordinary phrase for "human being." Indeed, whilst He was with us, He was born of man and took the form of a man, but He was also the Eternally Begotten One who was ever with the Father and those with ears to hear could surely hear what He was saying of Himself and specifically in regard to Daniel 7.
13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.
Here, in these verses, we discover that Daniel’s vision of the Son of Man is entirely harmonious with the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John.
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
It is beyond doubt, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Son of Man whose side was pierced... who having humbled Himself to the point of death, even the death of the cross, is now highly exalted. He is coming with the clouds of heaven and His dominion shall not pass away and His kingdom shall never be destroyed. Praise the Name of Jesus.