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Jesus First, Jesus Last

1962_pontiac_tempest_convertible_silver_frt_qtr.jpgRemember the first time you drove a car? My brother-in-law, Scotty Teets, got me behind the wheel of his Nash-Rambler and coaxed me to drive. I was shaking all over by the time I was through.

Remember the first car you ever owned? I had a gold 1962 Pontiac Tempest convertible. The gear shift was a little lever underneath the dash, and the driver’s side window kept sliding down from the vibration of the car. It was not a real beauty.

Precious memories. You may not remember your first step, but somebody probably does, and it may even be captured on film, video tape or digital camera. Parents often keep albums where they write down baby’s first word, or keep a lock of hair from Junior’s first haircut, or have your first report card tucked away.

First things intrigue us. We just don’t forget our first date, first child, first home, or our first job. In fact, trivia buffs compile litanies of firsts of nearly everything you can think of. How else would we know that Benjamin Franklin was the first head of the United States Post Office, or that the first macaroni factory in the USA was established in 1848 in Brooklyn, New York? Did you know that Andrew Jackson was the first president to ride in a railroad train? The first to use a telephone was James Garfield. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to ride in an automobile.

One of the most famous quotes from the Civil War Era was from the uneducated Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest when he was asked the secret of his success. He said, “I get there the fustest with the mostest!”

Sometimes, knowing who was first carries extreme importance from a legal standpoint. In ancient families, the privilege of birthright automatically went to the eldest son. The United States Patent Office exists to make sure the first inventor of an object or a process is registered. Controversy still rages over who really invented the first automobile and the first movie camera. Whoever comes in first in a race, wins, even though the second place finish is only a fraction of a second behind. Sports teams vie for first place in the standings. Students compete to be first in the class.

On the other hand, it may be just as important to be last. The last army still intact in the war is the victor. The last words of a dying person are often the most important. The last day on the job for a retiree is far more memorable than the first. The last survivor of a family or a generation gets more acclaim than he or she received throughout life.

If being first means superiority, birthright, and authority, it ought to be easy to see how important it is to proclaim Jesus Christ as the first. If being last means such great importance, then it is supremely significant that Jesus be seen as the last. Can we find these great honors bestowed on Jesus in the scripture? Absolutely! He not only possesses the attributes of deity, he holds the rights of deity. Jesus is the first and Jesus is the last.

In Revelation 1:8, we read, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Then, in Revelation 22:13, He says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

Jesus is the First

This may sound strange, but just how first is He?
He was here yesterday. “…yesterday, today and forever.”
He pre-dates Abraham. “Before Abraham was, I am.”
He has been here since the world began.

Revelation 13:8 “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

He is before all things.

Colossians 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven,and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

But wait. Didn’t somebody, anybody show up before Him?

In Job 38, God asks Job, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On ~hat were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?”

Although He was first, Jesus did not remain aloof, distant, cold and isolated. Here we have two towering peaks: first and last. Why didn’t Jesus stay where He was? Why didn’t He remain on the lofty heights of being first, preeminent, before all? Jesus came down the mountain and into the valley.

Philippians 2:5, “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.”

Jesus came into the valley where you and I live.
Bethlehem, Gethsemane, Calvary, the tomb.
He came to temptation, suffering, persecution, and beating and death.
He came to mockery, insult and humiliation.
He gave up eternity for time.
He gave up a palace for a stable; a throne for a manger; robes of royalty for swaddling clothes; honor for dishonor; a perfect world for a corrupt world.
He came into the valley where you and I lived without hope. He came because the scripture says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death thou art with me…”

But Jesus knew that He was BOTH the first and the last. The angels, the star, the miracles at Bethlehem testified not only that he was first, but also that he was last. For every stripe, there was a healing. For every insult there was a praise. For the stable, there was a mansion. For Calvary, there was a resurrection. For every humiliation, there was an exaltation.

Philippians 2:9 “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.”

Jesus could give up being first because he knew He was going to be last!

Jesus is the Last.

Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

Revelation 22:1 “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

The song says it all:

“For He alone is worthy,
For He alone is worthy,
For He alone is worthy,
Christ the Lord!”

Worship Him and your joy will be complete!

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Reader Comments (1)

I found your Website by Yahoo!
And I wish you the best you can get,
the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

Welcome to visit my Site.
Allan Svensson, Sweden

What does hinder the Antichrist to appear?
The Restrainer is the Law
Two sorts of love
God is the Love
but God's love does not hinder us to study God's word
Why was the Pentecostal Revival stopped?

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAllan Svensson

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