This is John Ortberg on the inspiration of Jesus, how Jesus has inspired art and inspired the Church more than any other.
He begins with the Colossians 1, and the way that Paul takes this hymn (pointing out the Chiastic structure) to point to Jesus – if you think the creation is impressive, think how impressive is the creator.
Talks about Bach being inspired, talks about the way that Durer (13 minutes – story may not be true but encapsulates a deeper truth) was inspired to paint his brothers hands (hands which had worked to fund his art career, which were disfigured and yet were able to pray). Then relates to the Heidelberg Catechism. (19 minutes)
What is your only comfort in life and in death?
“I am not my own”
Looks at a painting by Hans Holbein, showed the price that Jesus was willing to pay (20 minutes), this moved Dostoevsky to stare at the picture for days, and to write this in “The Idiot”:
Death has senselessly ceased
Cut to pieces and swallowed up, impassively and unfeelingly,
A great and priceless being
A being worth the whole of nature and all its laws
Worth the entire earth
Which was perhaps created solely for the coming of this being
Dante: above the doors of hell are written a single statement
“Abandon hope all you who enter here”
When all hope was gone, on the third day he rose again, and the tomb could not hold him, and the grave could not contain him.
Question – is he your only hope?
Jesus is our reconciler – number 6
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him”
Fullness I important – God loves to create spaces and then fill them.
The fullness of God is a huge theme in the Bible – all of his fullness to dwell in him, and through Jesus to reconcile to himself all things
Tolstoy – War and Peace
Men need only trust in Christ’s teaching and obey it and there will be peace on earth.
Went up a hill, going up the Cotswold for Olympics, there was contest called shin kicking, and kick until someone falls down – until someone falls down.
In this pathetic, you hit me, I’ll hit you back,
And someone has torn down the dividing wall of human hostility.
He himself is our peace.
In London, went to see Les Miserables – a scene where the convict is shown kindness by the priest, and he takes some of the priests silver from the table,
And instead the priest says
These are my gifts, and he gives the silver candlesticks that are worth more than anything, “now you must always remember my son that I have bought your soul for God “ to love another person is to see the face of God. (26 minutes)
Jesus is our Sin-Sacrifice
By making peace through his blood shed on the cross.
There is one more symbol that adorns more art, marks more graves than any other in earth.
The oldest poem of the English Language – the dream of the Rude
“I saw the God of hosts, harshly stretched out
All creation wept, Kings fall lamented,
Christ was on rude
May he befriend me, who here on earth died on that Gallows tree for mankind’s sin”
John Bunyan “I saw a man with a face turned away from his own house,
A book in his hand, a burden on his back
I carry that burden “
The first lines of pilgrims Progress (25:02)
Satan “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven”
I would rather reign without with God, than submit, yield serve under him,
Jesus is the crucified God, the question is “Are you ready to meet him”
Met Prince Charles two weeks ago – etiquette lessons
Just five or six in the group, nervous – needed to buy new shoes
When we met, Nancy Curtsied, never for me
A tiny little frame of reference – what would it be like really if Jesus were in the room,
What would that mean, with the truth about our lives,
The shabby little secrets that nobody ever knew,
One day we will be in our presence
One day every knee will bow
One day everyone tongue will confess, every tongue.
You can be ready for that, if you will humbly confess your sin
Ask God to forgive you, for his death on the cross,
Trust him to be your forgiver and your friend.
And he will send his spirit to inspire you, because nothing is too much for him
We are going to worship him.
He is the maker of the universe
He is the sustainer of existence
He is the ruler over every power no matter how big it looks to us
He is the image of God, the eikon
He is the fullness of God
He is the wisdom of God
He is the presence of God
He is the death defeater
He is the sin conqueror
He is the guilt obliterator
He is the final sacrifice
He is the blood giver
He is the cross bearer
He is the tomb breaker
He is the peace maker
He is now head over his body the Church
He is the reconciler of all things
He is the maker, redeemer, saviour, forgiver, Lord, friend, guide, shepherd
And hope for all of eternity
And his name is