Today the devotional was written by a dear friend in the Lord,
Let's take a long walk together down through the centuries and sit in on an art class. The artist is the Holy Spirit; and He has a student by the name of Isaiah, who is gretting ready to paint a portrait. It is not of one of his contemporaries - it will be a picture of One who was due to come several centuries in the future.
So, Isaiah approaches his canvas number 53. He has his brush and his pallete, and is about to start his portrait. But, we notice that the colors on his pallete are rather drab earth tones.
As he paints, he explains what the various colors depict about the Person he is putting on his canvas. He dips his brush into the first drab color and the word "DESPISED" appears.
Another color, "REJECTED."
Still another, "A Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief."
At this point we interrupt the painter and say, "Isaiah, wait, that's not a very pretty picture at all."
He replies, "That's true, but it is a very accurate portrayal I'm painting."
Then he takes a few more strokes with another ugly color and the words "Rejeced of Men" appear.
As we mutter something about hiding our faces from Him and start to walk away he says "Wait, I have another canvas."
Leading us across the room to easel with a clean canvas marked "Number 6", he takes a new brush and a pallete with the most beautiful, bright, vivid, living colors, and starts his second portrait.
He dips his brush into the firt post ,"THE LORD."
Then another color, "High and lifted up."
Another color, "Sitting upon His throne."
The portrait is completed with the Seraphim sitting around the throne and crying, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is filled with His glory."
We compliment Isaiah and say, "That's a much better portrait."
He reminds us both portraits depict the same Person.
Now, let's fast-forward our spiritual computer a few centuries, and we find two men, Philip and Nathaniel, talking together.
Philip is all excited and says, "Nathaniel, come, we have found Him of whom Moses in the Law, and the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph."
Then, Nathaniel interrupted Philip and said, "Wait a minute, did I hear you say Nazareth, that dirty little town up there in Galilee? How can any good thing come out of that despised place?"
Philip's answer to Nathaniel was that most simple, yet most provocative invitation that could ever be given, "Come and see."
That same invitation is good today for any agnostic who is willing to test it honestly and sincerely.
When we find Nathaniel face to face with this Jesus of Nazareth, the words coming from the Lord's mouth strike a chord deep in Nathaniel's heart, and he knows that he is face to face with someone more powerful than anyone else on earth. With all of his skepticism now dissipated, he addresses the Lord, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God, You are the King of Israel."
Now, we advance about three more years, and find ourselves approaching a hill called CALVARY, where stand three crosses. The two outer crosses bear the bodies of two criminals, dying in agony for the crimes they have committed; but Who is that Man on the center cross? It seems we have seen Him before. Yes, he is the One fulfilling the two portraits painted by Isaiah, the One who confronted Nathaniel.
If there is still any doubt, we notice a sign placed above His head by Pontius Pilate, that nefarious governor from Rome, who wittingly or unwittingly identified the Man on the center cross, "This is Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."
Those two incongruous phrases describe two persons in one body. Yes, He was that lowly Nazarene Who humbled Himself, we read; but He was also the One acknowledged by Nathaniel as the Son of God, King of the Jews.
In that moment, on that hill called Calvary, He surveyed His kindgom from a cross!
Then, His body was taken down and put in a tomb; but only for three days. Just as He prophesied and promised, THE KING arose from the dead; and He lives forever with His saints to reign!
The apostle Paul writes in Phillipians 2:9, "God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every nane, that at the name of Jesus every knee SHALL bow and every tongue SHALL confess that HE IS LORD to the glory of God the Father."
How is this Man viewed by the world today? As He stood in the Court of Justice on that day so long ago, the people cried out for His blood, "Crucify Him, we will not have this man to reign over us."
That cry is magnified many times today, people are saying with more hatred than ever, "Away with Him! Take Him out of our schools, our public buildings and public places, we don't want Him. Away with you!
The question is, How do YOU view him today?
IS He just a forgotten man from a little insignificant town names Nazareth, or is He King?
Is He the King of YOUR life?