Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jesus Christ's Ministry to Christians - P1

So far in the last couple of blogs we have looked at Jesus Christ as being One Person who expresses Himself in two Natures - Divine and Human.  Today we are desiring to understand the full-orbed ministry and work of Jesus Christ to His saints in this present age.  When a court of law is in session, reference of course is being made to the Judge who is presiding over the courtroom.  Theologians use this term "session" to summarize Christ's three-fold ministry of Prophet, Priest and King.  

Hebrews 1:1-12 gives us the clearest demonstration of all three of Christ's current functions anywhere in scripture.  Today we will explore the first two offices of Christ: His role as Prophet and Priest. 

1. Christ As Prophet reveals God, since He Himself is God.
Hebrews 1:3a states - "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power.... when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High."  The phrase in this text "express image" is a translation of the Greek word "character".  A character was literally an imprint or mark left by a royal signature ring pressed into the paper.  The mark would be equated with the King Himself whenever it was dispersed as a royal decree among the subjects of the kingdom.

Deuteronomy 18:18 is a direct prophecy about the prophetic function of Jesus Christ - "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him." Christ is indeed the Prophet whose very Deity was "pressed" into his humanity.  Just as a prophet would reveal God to the people through pen and ink and words, Christ revealed God as God Himself by taking upon himself flesh and blood and life.

2. Christ as Priest represents true believers to God, since he himself is man
  Hebrews 1:3b tells us - "...when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High."  This second part of Hebrews 1:3 shows the Priestly function of Jesus Christ.  In scripture whenever we see someone "sitting down" on a throne, like a king, they are establishing their authority.  It will be immediately noted that all three of the offices do overlap one another.  Christ is the Prophetic Priestly King, He is the Kingly Priest-like Prophet and clearly in this text He is the Kingly prophetic priest.  

Hebrews 4:14 notes - "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession."  As one goes down through Hebrews 1:4, the overwhelming emphasis is that Christ, in his humanity, has obtained an inheritance much greater than the angels.  1 Timothy 2:5 reminds us that there is "one mediator between God and Man, the man Christ Jesus."  

Without Christ taking upon Himself human flesh, there is no way we could ever have a one-on-one relationship with the God of Revelation.  In tomorrow's blog we will explore Jesus Christ as our King, and see how His roles as prophet, priest and King provides the foundation for the Christian's identity. 

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