Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Glory of Christ

In 1927, the famous director Cecil B. DeMille filmed his epic story of the life of Jesus, The King of Kings.  He chose English actor HB Warner for the role of Jesus.  Warner is best known today as Mr. Gower, the druggist in It’s a Wonderful Life. DeMille wanted to make sure that Warner projected a completely holy image to the world.  So he made him sign a contract that said for five years, he wouldn’t appear in any roles that would harm his image as Jesus.  Every day, he was driven to the movie set in a car with the windows blacked out, and he wore a veil.  No one was allowed to speak to him off set aside from the director.  He was forbidden from going to ball games or night clubs, playing cards, swimming or riding in convertibles.  Did all of these restrictions make Warner a genuinely holy man?  No.  During filming, he was involved in a scandalous relationship with a woman who threatened to ruin the movie, until the DeMille paid her to keep quiet.  And Warner later said the pressure of playing Jesus drove him back into alcoholism.  That’s what it’s like when we try to become holy by simply following rules and being religious.  It doesn’t work; in fact, it can make us legalistic and hateful, which is a warped perversion of holiness.  
            Last Sunday, we looked at the life of Daniel, a man whose holiness changed two empires.  True holiness is one of the most compelling things you will ever see.  But how do we live that way?  For the next few weeks, we’re going to take a look at Colossians.  Why Colossians?  Well, look at Colossians 1:9-12.  That is Paul’s prayer for the Christians in the town of Collosse, and the reason why he wrote this letter.  You might say the book of Colossians is a guide to living a life of irresistible holiness.  So how does Paul begin in leading us to the holy life?  By describing Jesus in 1:15-23.  Why would He do this?  We’ll get to that this week.  This is an amazing, majestic, awe-inspiring text.  We could spend weeks on this, but we’re going to fly through it in a half hour.  This passage tells us four very controversial things about Jesus.  Then it tells us why knowing Jesus will change your life.


Scott McMillan said...

That is true. Trying to obtain holiness by living by rules will make us legalistic, and tired. I've been there. True holiness is Christ in us !!!!
Great post!

Scott McMillan

Jeff Berger said...

Thanks Scott!