"I am the vine, you are the branches"
He Will Be Great
This is the season when Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Messiah. People send cards with the popular scene of the Christ Child lying in the manger, but we know that the Messiah is no longer a child but that He grew up to do a very great work. In fact, the Angel Gabriel said just that: "You will bear a son, and you shall name Him Yeshua . He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." It is this, the greatness of Messiah, that we are going to take a closer look at.
The Great Light
Isaiah writes, "The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them." It is because of the birth of Messiah that Matthew could write, "The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, and to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a Light dawned." It is this Great Light that John wrote about when he said, "In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." It is this Great Light that Yeshua speaks of when He said, "I am the light of the world, he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." This Great Light is life. This Great Light is Yeshua. Yeshua said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me." He is the light to our path and a lamp to our feet. His light guides us on the road that leads to life. He keeps our feet from stumbling. Yeshua tells us, "If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world." Paul tells us, "We are children of light and children of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness."
This Great Salvation
The Scriptures ask the question, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" When we speak of salvation, we must start with Yeshua's name, which means salvation. Salvation means deliverance. So what is this great salvation? When Adam and Eve sinned we became alienated from the light of God. Because of sin, we were now in darkness. Only a perfect sacrifice, one without sin, could redeem us from the darkness we were now in. What makes Yeshua our great salvation? John answers that question when he tells the people, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." Yeshua our salvation was that perfect sacrifice and He has delivered us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Our redemption was not purchased with the blood of goats and rams that could not save us, but with the blood of our Savior Yeshua, our great salvation. For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men, all who believe in this great salvation, Yeshua.
The Great Love
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Messiah (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua" (Ephesians 2:4-6). Scripture tells us that God is Love. "By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." God's love is so great that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. When we believe in Yeshua, we become God's own children. "See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God, and such we are." This love is so great that nothing can separate us from the love of God. God's love is so great that He gave us His love and that love now resides in us. That great love is Yeshua and now we too can love with this great love, for God has sent us the Holy Spirit.
John writes, "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit, And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." Yeshua is this great love; "We love, because He first loved us."
Acts 4:33 tells us, "And with great strength and ability and power the apostles delivered their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Yeshua, and great grace - loving kindness and favor and goodwill - rested richly upon them all." This great grace can only come to a heart which has received the salvation of the Lord. This great grace comes to a heart which is filled with light and it reflects ones salvation in the believer's life. It is a gift from God and it causes one to rejoice. It causes the believer to submit to God and to resist the enemy of our souls. James tells us that God gives us a greater grace to draw near to Him and to purify our hearts and to come humbly before Him.This grace gives great strength and power to those who walk with God and serve Him. Paul says that he was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to him according to the working of His power. This great grace is Yeshua and with Paul we must say, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him." In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Yeshua to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of His grace.
The Great Shepherd
Paul, in Hebrews 13:20-21, tells his readers, "Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Yeshua our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Yeshua the Messiah to whom be the glory forever and ever, Amen." Yeshua tells us that He is the Good Shepherd, the one who lays down His life for His sheep. Yeshua tells us that He knows His sheep and they know Him and His sheep will follow Him because they know His voice. The Psalmist declares, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." David writes in Psalm 34:9-10, "O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him, there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing." Why? Because, "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
What is the path of righteousness? Yeshua said to His disciples, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men." Our Great Shepherd, who laid down His life for us, leads His sheep now and we, the sheep of His flock, must lay down our lives for the sheep. We must carry our cross as He did and crucify our flesh and follow the Shepherd as He leads us and now we who follow in His footprints live to lead the sheep of His pasture and feed them. Paul writes, "Follow me as I follow Messiah." Yeshua tells Peter, "If you love Me feed My sheep."
Yeshua is the Great Shepherd, leading His sheep from the cross to glory. Peter writes, "And when the Chief Shepherd appears you will receive the unfading crown of glory."
One day this great Shepherd will come in all His glory, for Luke writes, "And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory." The Scriptures tell us that the glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds and they were praising God saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." What was it that the angels boasted about? What is this great glory that shone around them and caused the angels to speak such accolades of God? It is Yeshua, the great light of the world. His star in the sky even shone brightly to guide those, for He is the bright morning star and one day we too will shine like the stars, for we will behold Him and we will be like Him in all His glory: Yeshua, the hope of glory.
"For the husband is the head of the wife, as Messiah also is head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But the church is subject to Messiah, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands love your wives just as Messiah also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Messiah also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Messiah and the church" (Ephesians 5:23-32). Paul tells us that Messiah Himself is the mystery in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge: Yeshua, the great mystery. How God so loved His people that He sent Yeshua the Bridegroom to lay down His life for His Bride. One day we will celebrate at the marriage supper the two becoming one. Yeshua prayed, "That they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us." What a great mystery!
The Great Prophet
"And fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, 'A great prophet has arisen among us!' and, 'God has visited His people!" Moses proclaimed that God would raise up a prophet like him from among his people and in everything He speaks, we ought to listen to His words and take heed. Moses was a prophet, priest, and a king to the people, but just as he prophesied, one day one greater would arise. Only Yeshua can be the One, the Messiah, because He holds all three offices like Moses. He is the Anointed One, the Messiah (Messiah means anointed). The prophets, the priests, and kings were all anointed. Yeshua at the time of His baptism had the Holy Spirit descend upon Him and the Father spoke of Him as His Son. Yeshua was conceived by the Holy Spirit, so He had the Holy Spirit within Him. Yeshua prophesied many times during His life. He spoke of the future of Jerusalem and told the people to head for the hills. He spoke of the future of the temple, saying that not one stone would remain on another. He also spoke to Peter about his rejection of the Messiah. He also spoke of the future events that would occur before His coming. Yeshua is the Great Prophet.
The Great High Priest
"Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need." The High Priest could only enter into the Holy of Holies once a year and only with the blood of the sin offering; but Yeshua, because He is the Great High Priest, entered in by His own blood once and for all. But what most people do not understand is that Yeshua is the High Priest, not us; we are only priests under Him and so He is the only one who entered into the Holy of Holies, not us. We can only enter into the Holy Place at this time because we are only priests. So we must go to Him who lives to make intercession on our part. He is the one who stands before God in the Holy of Holies in our place. We now can come as far as the altar of incense and bring our prayers and petitions before God, but Yeshua is our Great High Priest who knows our needs and can feel our pain and goes beyond the veil to stand before the Father on our behalf. "Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you." Yeshua: our Great High Priest.
The Great King
So if we go back to the beginning statement that Gabriel made to Mary, we see He told her, "You will have a son, and you shall name Him Yeshua. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." The Psalmist writes, "For the Lord Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth." And Malachi writes, "For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and My name is feared among the nations." Yeshua is the Great King, the Anointed One, who was born in a manger and grew up to do great things as we see in Revelation, "And they all sang the song of Moses the bondservant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy Name?'"
"For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." And so Yeshua the great King tells us in Revelation, "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." So let us conclude by saying, "Joy to the world! The Lord is come; let earth receive her King!" Yeshua, the Great King, may we praise Him for all eternity!