When Jesus walked on the earth, He was all God - and all man! The man the disciples saw ascending into the clouds was the same Jesus they had walked with, eaten with, learned from - the same man who had washed their feet. And He ascended in the same body that had laid hands on the sick and held young children.
When Jesus was taken up into heaven, He didn't vanish into a spirit. No, He was just like you and I - He had the body of a man, the face, hair, nose, eyes, teeth, arms, legs, fingers and toes of a man, He was flesh and bone, And He had visible scars on His hands and His side.
After He had ascended, two angels told the disciples: "...this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). In other words, He went up as a man, He is now in glory as a man1 and He will come back the same way - as both God and man. And when He returns, we will recognize Him as His disciples did - as being human as well as God!
Right now in His heavenly abode, Jesus has a substance in which He walks, rules and reigns. In fact, He is building a city as a gift to His bride. It too will come down out of heaven, and it will be as tangible and real as the ground we walk on, It will have streets, walls, gates, homes everything that can be touched and felt. And it is being made of an eternal substance!
When we get to glory, we will behold incredible light all around us. But no angel is going to say, "Jesus is spirit only - He is the light you see all around you." No we will see Him face to face! We will touch Him, embrace Him, talk to Him. He will walk among us forever for He is God in bodily form. He will romp with children. And He will be our teacher throughout eternity, revealing the secrets of all His creation!
We have a Man in glory and He went there with all His human feelings. He did not cast off His humanness when He ascended. No - He is still a man who feels deeply and is touched by our feelings and infirmities. He still laughs, grieves, rejoices, sings, weeps!
You might say, "Jesus couldn't possibly be weeping in heaven. You can't break God's heart. That's ridiculous!"
Yet Jesus did weep while He was on earth. And right now in eternity, He is the same Jesus who looked down on Jerusalem and was so heartbroken He wept: "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes" (Luke 19:41-42).
The voice that Saul heard on the road to Damascus was the voice of Jesus, speaking from glory. And what Jesus said proves He is much affected by all we say and do: "...Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" (Acts 9:4).
He was saying to Saul, "'You're hurting Me! I feel your hatred - I feel the pain of all these Christians you're pursuing. You are persecuting Me!" Jesus identified himself to Saul as a man - one who was being persecuted by another man!
Paul later told the Jews: "... I [asked], Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest." (Acts 22:8) . Jesus identified himself to Paul not as a King of kings or Lord of Lords, but as a Nazarene! In other words, "'I'm the same man who preached in your nation. My father, Joseph, made our home in Nazareth, of Galilee. You know all about My miracles." Jesus was speaking to Saul from heaven as a man - He was emphasizing His humanness!
Beloved, Jesus still feels, even now in glory. And He is still being hurt - His heart is still being broken - by His very own children!
"And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends" (Zechariah 13:6).
Indeed the writer of Hebrews warns of Christians who "will fall" away from Jesus. These are people who at one time were "...enlightened, and [had] tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost..." (Hebrews 6:4). They tasted the good Word of the Lord and the powers of the world to come - yet now "they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (verse 6).
Let me tell you something of this open shame. A few weeks ago, I watched a girl walk out of Hannah House (our outreach to troubled women) carrying her suitcase. She was walking away from the Lord - going back to her sin! She had been saved and was a testimony to His grace. But now she was rejecting all that - putting Jesus to an open shame!
The longer you have known the Lord - the more you have tasted of His mercy and grace - the worse this open shame is. You are saying to the world, "I tasted the peace and joy of Jesus. I knew what it was like to have all guilt and condemnation gone. I enjoyed the presence of the Holy Spirit. My eyes were opened - I understood the things of the Bible. I experienced love and fellowship as I'd never known before. I understood Jesus' sacrifice for me on the cross.
"But in spite of all of that, Jesus was not enough! What the devil gives me now is greater than anything Jesus ever offered. I've tried Jesus, but He doesn't satisfy me - He doesn't truly fulfill. I'm looking elsewhere."
That is the testimony of the open shame! Such people are saying, in effect, "The Cross was in vain. Crucify Him again - and again and again! Let Him hang. He doesn't give me what I'm looking for!"
They wound Jesus, making an open display of their contempt for Him, But they don't feel the shame of it - He does! Scripture says, "What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me?" (Jeremiah 2:5). "Oh my people, what have I done unto thee?" (Micah 6:3).
There are many today who call themselves believers, They go to church regularly. They think of themselves as being truly saved. Indeed, our churches are packed with just such Christians -yet they continually break the heart of Jesus!
I used to think I wounded Jesus most by my failures, sins and short-comings. I feared ever being guilty of fornication, adultery, materialism, cursing His name, etc. - the sins the church frowns upon.
Of course, we are to flee from fornication and all sins of the flesh. God says He will judge those who commit such sins. But these are primarily sins against our own bodies: "He that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body" (1 Corinthians 6:18). These sins have their immediate judgments here on earth: guilt, exposure, loss of reputation, divorce, pain, AIDS, even death. All end in heartbreak, loneliness, condemnation. And all hurt your own body.
Yet a Christian can sit in church without ever committing any of these sins - and still break Jesus' heart! The sins that break His heart have to do with love. I call them "sins against love."
You see, every believer is a member of the bride of Christ. The Bible likens us to a betrothed bride - we are pledged to marry Jesus Christ. Paul said: "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2).
You are engaged, promised, committed to one husband - Christ! "For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name..." (Isaiah 54:5). This wonderful engagement is going to be consummated in glory at the marriage supper of the Lamb. We're going to be married to Jesus through all eternity!
Yet we also are likened to an abandoned woman, hopeless, unwanted: "For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit..." (verse 6). Jesus found you, cleaned you up, put new garments on you, asked you to pledge your life and love to Him - and you said yes! Then Jesus put a ring on your finger - the Holy Spirit. You walked away from all your old loves and ways. You said, "Jesus, You are my love, my future, my one and only. I love You with all my heart. I'll be true - I'll be faithful!"
Yet you continually break His heart! And He weeps over you.! You ask, "Me break Jesus' heart? I worship Him! I love His Word. How could I break His heart?" Let me point out to you three ways you may be breaking Jesus' heart right now:
Jesus feels the same way any engaged man would feel toward his bride-to-be. Indeed, He endures the same pain any man would feel if his beloved continually praised him, saying "I love you" over and over.- yet showed him little or no attention!
What would any man think if his bride-to-be invited him into her house, sat him in the living room - and then went her way? She tinkers in the kitchen, sweeps the house, changes the beds - but never says a word to him!
She may claim, "Well, He's always on my mind. "I've heard people say just that about Jesus: "He's on my mind all day, in everything I do." But you can have Him on your mind all day and still neglect Him!
That's just what it is - neglect - and that bride's so-called love is a lie! She may tell her fiancee she truly loves him, but her actions tell him she doesn't. Otherwise, he would come first in her life!
The Lord asks: "Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number" (Jeremiah 2:32). David also said Israel kept forgetting the Lord: "They forgot God their Saviour, which had done great things in Egypt" (Psalm 106:21).
The Lord has put His pain in Scripture, for all the world to see! He has said openly, "My people neglect Me for days on end!" Every generation has read about it. Yet, why would the Lord tell the whole world about such neglect? Shouldn't lovers' differences be kept quiet?
No - He wants us to know how hurt He is! He tells the whole world because He is so heartbroken by our behavior!
Let's say you are an engaged young woman, and you go to church with your husband-to-be. You grasp his hand and tell everyone, "We're going to be married. I love him - he's wonderful!"
But as soon as you're out the door, you don't say a word to him. You clam up! Naturally, he says to you, "What was all that about in the church? Was it just hypocrisy, a show? Where is the intimacy now - where's the love you showed me in there?"
I wouldn't want a bride who extols my virtues, says loving things about me in public, looks - lovingly into my eyes and tells me how precious I am - then later gets cold and doesn't want to spend quality time with me. That is taking me for granted - it's not true affection!
Beloved, if you do not have quality time with Jesus every day - if you do not spend time in prayer with Him, or seeking His Word - you do not love Him! You are a hypocrite and a liar -and you are breaking His heart!
Recently, I had a difficult time getting a word from the Lord for this message. I prayed for days, putting in hours - yet I got nowhere. I begged the Lord to show me if something was blocking me from hearing His voice.
A few days later, the answer for my message finally came: "The broken heart of Jesus." I was so grateful - but I thought, "Lord, why did you wait three days? You could have told me this during the first hour I prayed. I started four different sermons, and none of them worked."
The Lord answered, "Yes, David - I could have given you this message right away. But I waited simply because I was hungry for your fellowship. I wanted to be with you, because you're dear to Me. If I had given you this message the first hour, you would have run off to your books and we wouldn't have had this time.
"You needed to be close to Me for those hours. I knew My presence would strengthen you. So I waited until our communion was full and you entered into My rest."
If you have been praying about something and you're not getting an answer, the Lord may be saying to you, "Hang around - be still. I want time with you. Don't break My heart!" We have time for friends, telephone calls, parties, jobs, dinner gatherings. But we break Jesus' heart because we don't have time for Him!
"For thou hast [uncovered] thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed...thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it... Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way" (Isaiah 57:8, 10).
This is the groaning of our broken-hearted Lord. He's saying, "You're cheating on Me! You've found someone else, because you're weary of being with Me!"
I know a wonderful young Christian husband who adored his wife. He was so happy with her. But after a while she began neglecting him - yet still he didn't complain. Then one day he got the shock of his life: She told him she'd been seeing another man. She said, "I want out - I'm going to marry someone else!"
They were divorced about eight years ago. In the past few years some wonderful Christian women have come into the young man's life. And right now he's dating a young woman who dearly loves him and would like to get married. But he still loves his wife - he hopes she'll come back!
I use this example not to bring up physical adultery - that's not the cheating I'm talking about. I'm speaking of cheating on Jesus - spiritual adultery. Those who neglect Jesus will one day cheat on Him! Even what little love they have now will die - and the love of something else will enter in.
What is this other love? It is the love of the world and its things: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (John 2:15).
You may answer, "I don't love the world. I don't drink, smoke, curse or run around. I'm a good family person."
But your "other lover" could be your job, your career. Whatever consumes your time, thoughts and energy is now your first love! You have no time for Jesus - and you cheat on Him by wrapping yourself up in your work. It takes precedence over all else!
You object, "But I've got to make a living!" Yes - but at what cost? Your soul? Your love for Jesus? You do want the things of this world - or else you'd be spending less time on them!
Paul said even a doctrine can be an "other lover." You can become ensnared by a false gospel and love it more than Christ:
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means... your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him" (2 Corinthians 11:2-4).
Beware of those who want to indoctrinate you! They "preach another Jesus," wanting you to fall in love with their doctrine. It has become their love. But Paul warns we are to follow no one but Christ and Him crucified! He said, "Do not be corrupted from the simplicity of Jesus and His gospel!"
There is a cult in New York City that has attracted thousands. These people are not in love with Jesus - their love is water baptism. They say, "You can join us only by being baptized. You can't be saved unless you come to our church and go through our baptism." They send people around the globe just to baptize one person!
I believe in water baptism. And I believe every Christian should be baptized. But this group's gospel isn't about Jesus at all - it's about water baptism! Their talk does not flow with love for Jesus. It's all about this other gospel - "another Jesus"!
There are Christians everywhere who want to talk only about their church or pet doctrine. Often their teacher means more to them than Jesus. They've left Christ in a corner somewhere. And they're cheating on Him - because they're married to some doctrine!
I also know Christian husbands and wives who substitute their unsaved mate for Jesus. This is their "other love." They are so infatuated with their mate they actually sin for them! They go drinking and club-hopping with them - and they neglect God's house, they neglect prayer. They obey their mate more than they obey Christ!
If you worship your husband or wife, you are cheating on Jesus - you've got another lover! I'll never forget one of the first drug addicts who got saved through Teen Challenge. His name was Joseph, and he was terrible! He beat up his wife and mistreated his baby. He stole everything out of their house to buy drugs.
Joseph's wife begged me to take him into our center. We did - and he got marvelously saved! He got off of drugs, and three months later he went home with a Bible in his hand and a smile on his face.
Yet, after a week at home, Joseph's wife told him, "I liked you better the other way when you were a drug addict!" So she went out and bought three bags of heroin and laid them on the table, saying, "Go to it!" She had "another love" - her unsaved husband of the past!
How it must break Jesus' heart when we question His ability and desire to do what is best for us! The Bible tells us clearly how the Lord took wonderful meticulous care of Ruth. Ruth pledged her love to Jehovah God. She told her mother-in-law Naomi: "...thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God..." (Ruth 1:16).
God loved Ruth and He opened up every door for her. She was poor and had to glean in the fields - but Scripture says, "She happened to come to the field belonging to Boaz" (Ruth 2:3 NAS). Now, there's not a chance in the world that this just "happened." It was the Lord doing what He knew was best for Ruth!
Ruth simply loved the Lord - she put all her trust in Him. And God had a very rich man prepared for her as a husband! Boaz saw Ruth in the fields and immediately discerned, "She's different - really different," His heart was captured!
What a love story - and what incredible circumstances brought it all about. Ruth married this godly man. And if the Lord would do that for Ruth, will not He do right by His own bride, in every circumstance?
We have Someone who is richer and mightier than Boaz. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He knows all and can do all - and He loves His bride! Yes, the Lord works everything in your life for your absolute best. And He takes great pleasure in doing it. Even in suffering and trials, every lover of Jesus gets His full attention!
Yet, sadly, we simply do not rest in that. We doubt He is on the job at all times, working out all things to our good. We look at our circumstances and don't see Him at work anywhere.
Beloved nothing breaks His heart more! Paul describes the bride of Christ as "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing" (Ephesians 5:27). "Wrinkle" here means "fold," as on one's face - a wrinkled brow, This speaks of worry, fretting. And Paul is saying Jesus' bride won't have any "worry lines"!
The bride of Christ rests in His love. She is confident He knows where she is, how she feels, what she is going through, what is best for her. And His love gives her peace and calm. She knows He'll not allow anything that will cut her off from Him or hurt her. He's going to preserve her - because He said, "She's mine!"
That is what Jesus is saying over you right now - "You are mine! And you can trust I'm going to do what is best for you."
Dear saint, are you neglecting Jesus? Are you breaking His heart because you don't have time for Him? Are you mistrusting Him because you don't see Him at work on your behalf?
Pray this prayer from your heart:
"Lord, forgive me. Make this message real to me. Let Your Word so sink into my heart that when I get up from reading it, I won't forget Your great love for me."
"I don't want to neglect You any longer, Jesus. I don't want to cheat on You anymore. And I don't want to worry or fret - I don't want any wrinkles blemishing Your bride. I believe You are going to care for me, that You will preserve me - because I am betrothed to You!"