Category Archives: Christology

Jesus, the high priest

Who is Jesus?

Hebrews 5:5  So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”

In the days of the Old Testament priests, a sacrifice was made on behalf of the people by the High Priest.  This would atone for their sins for the period of one year.  In this way the priest brought God and man together.

Jesus is the perfect High Priest because He serves as both the priest and the sacrifice.  He brings God and man together by the shedding of His own blood, not that of an animal.  The sacrifice of this perfect Lamb is once and for all, not just to atone for a limited period of time.

Jesus didn’t appoint Himself to the position of High Priest, but He’s the only one who can fill the role perfectly.  Unlike all other High Priests who had to offer sacrifices for their own sins as well as those of the people, Jesus can atone for our sins by offering His own life in the place of ours.  And that’s just what He did.

Jesus, the friend

Who is Jesus?

John 15:15  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Can Jesus really be your friend?  The Creator of the universe, your BFF?  Well, it all depends really.  The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that we do not get to decide if we’re friends of Jesus.  He chooses us, not the other way around (John 15:16).

Secondly, there are stipulations to being a friend of God.  “If you do what I command you,” He says (John 15:14).  With Christ we don’t get a genie in a bottle who we can manipulate to get what we want.  We get a loving God who cares about us but expects us to give our lives to Him.

Are you a friend of God?  Is your whole life His?  You don’t get to take your ball and go home in this friendship if you don’t like what you’re hearing.  If the Lord of all chose you as His friend, you’re never going to be apart from Him.  In good times and in bad, He’s by your side.  When you need Him, He’s there.  When you fall, He’ll pick you up.  And best of all, He gave His life for you.  There’s no greater love than that (John 15:13).

Jesus, the redeemer

Who is Jesus?

Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

You and I were once under the wrath of God, helpless to free ourselves from the state we found ourselves in.  We were enemies of God and we never could have done anything to appease Him.  It was beyond our ability to reach out to Him.

But God, in an act of amazing grace, reached out to us.  He extended His hand in peace by offering His Son to die in our place.  His perfect, sinless Son became our sin and paid the price we owed.  And He set us free.  He redeemed us.  Do you understand the term redeemer?  Do you realize the weight it carries?

A redeemer is one who buys something or someone back, say out of slavery or bondage for example.  An Old Testament picture of the redeemer concept is given in the book of Ruth when Boaz redeems Ruth out of her widowhood.  Jesus became our Redeemer which means He purchased us at a price.  Now we belong to Him.  We’re His.  But belonging to Christ is where true freedom is found.  It’s in Him that we really find life.

No one can ever take us away from our Redeemer.  Once Jesus has paid the price for you, you’re His, once and for all.  We can never lose Him and He’ll never leave us.

Jesus, the mediator

Who is Jesus?

1 Timothy 2:5-6  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

In the course of human history, many attempts have been made to reach God.  People have built towers to get to heaven, invented superstitions, taken part in religious practices, called on saints, and all other sorts of things that fail to bridge the gap between God and man.

The thing is, God is holy and we’re sinful.  We can’t get into His presence in our current state.  Only someone who’s lived a perfect life can get to God.  Because Jesus is fully God and yet lived an earthly life free from sin as a fully human man, He’s the only acceptable bridge between us and God.

When we pray, our words would fall on deaf ears were it not for Jesus petitioning on our behalf.  Because His righteousness has been imparted on us, God hears us when we call out to Him.  We don’t pray to Jesus, we pray through Him and He takes it to the Father.  Without Him, we’d have no way and no chance.

 

Jesus, the teacher

Who is Jesus?

John 13:15  For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

Many people, even non-Christians, would say that Jesus was a good teacher.  From the sermon on the mount to His parables, people love Jesus the teacher.  But His best lessons weren’t what He talked about, no not at all.  His best lessons were taught through His example.

Jesus taught His disciples many things (thereby teaching us also as we can read about these lessons), but the one time He actually said that He was showing an example of something they should emulate was when He washed their feet.  The one thing Jesus said to copy Him on was when He acted as a servant, showing love even to His enemy.

All of His other teachings draw from the truth that He showed by this act – he who wants to be first has to be last.  The leader must be the servant.  With that in mind, the other teachings seem to have a theme.

Jesus didn’t just lecture about love, He taught it through acting it out.  He went so far as to demonstrate ultimate love by dying on a cross to set captives free.  That is a teacher worth learning from.

Jesus, the heir

Who is Jesus?

Hebrews 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

Jesus is not just a man, not an angel, not even a god.  He’s THE God, heir to all things, worthy of all praise and even the worship of the angels.  All things have been granted to Him.  Just as a firstborn son gets an inheritance, God’s Son gets the inheritance of all inheritances.

A never-ending kingdom is His, and all that’s in it.  His throne will know no end.  He upholds the universe by the word of His power.  This is His role as heir.  All power and authority is His.  This is a mighty thing, but Jesus shares it with us.

When we become children of God through faith in Christ, we become coheirs with Him (Romans 8:17).  What He has, we have.  Power and authority are ours in HIs name and for His will.  There’s nothing that isn’t His and He doesn’t keep it all to Himself.  We have access to the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus, the provider

Who is Jesus?

Philippians 4:19  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

There is only one who is capable of providing for your every need.  No matter what you lack, He’s got it in stock.  You see, everything is His.  He owns all things.  As the Psalmist put it, the “cattle on a thousand hills” are His (Psalm 50:10).  Since He owns everything, He’s capable of providing anything you could ever need.  He lacks nothing.

“This is God!” you say, and yes it is.  God the Father does provide our every need but notice that He gives “according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  God’s riches, all of His treasure, is in the glory of Jesus!  When Jesus was sent to this earth to die for our sins, heaven was literally bankrupted of all its riches.  God put it all on the line, every chip was on the table.

Jesus is our Great Provider.  Just as He supplied endless food from just a small amount of bread and fish, He can give us all we need.  Do we trust in Him to do just that?

Jesus, the healer

Who is Jesus?

Acts 3:6  But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”

Many accounts are given in the New Testament of Jesus healing people.  From the blind, to the lame, to the dead, Jesus is the ultimate physician. When He heals, God Himself has made someone well.  Of course it’s fascinating to watch events unfold as the Son of God lays hands on the sick and brings them to health.  But it’s also noteworthy that the very power of His name caused some to be healed.

Those who had walked the earth with Jesus knew His power.  Peter, who had walked on water and seen his Lord calm the storms, knew what Christ was capable of.  He had confidence that it was not he who would heal the sick, but Christ’s power through Him.  He claimed that power and gave it  and he used it in ministry.

The power of Christ in us can do more than heal physical ailments.  He can heal broken hearts, mend broken relationships, reconcile sinners to God, and regenerate hearts and lives.  If there’s anything that can be broken, He can fix it.  If there’s anything that can deteriorate, He can heal it.  There’s nothing outside His ability as the great Healer.

Jesus, the sacrificial lamb

Who is Jesus?

John 1:29  The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

The entire Bible is the story of Jesus.  Long before He came to earth as a baby in a manger, God showed His people pictures of the future.  When Abraham was set to sacrifice Isaac, a scapegoat was provided in his place (Genesis 22:1-19).  When the Israelites in Egypt were preparing to flee with Moses, God had them shed the blood of a spotless lamb so that death would pass over them.  Then, the perfect Lamb of God entered the scene.

All along, God had been telling the story of Jesus through the lives of His people.  Then He sent His own sacrificial Lamb.  But this sacrifice was good enough to cover all sins – once, and for all.  Only Jesus, who lived among His creation, facing the same temptations as you and I, but without sinning, could take all of the sins of the world onto Himself.  Only He could provide that sacrifice for redemption.  Only He could bring justification.

John the Baptist saw it right away when he declared Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”.  Paul understood the symbolism when he spoke of Jesus as “our passover lamb” (1 Corinthians 5:7).  Do you see Him for what He is?  He bought your freedom with His life.

Jesus, the messiah

Who is Jesus?

John 4:25-26  The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

For many years, God’s people waited for a promised Messiah, the Chosen One who God would send to save them and redeem them.  They waited eagerly, expectantly.  But when the Messiah arrived, when He was right in front of them – they didn’t recognize Him.

For the Jews, the Messiah was going to be a powerful conqueror who would crash the scene and free them from their oppressors.  Then he would establish his kingdom and they’d all live happily ever after.  But things didn’t happen that way.  Jesus didn’t come riding on a stallion, shooting fireballs at the Romans.  No, He first came as a baby born in a stable, then He was a carpenter, then a travelling rabbi with no place to call home – a servant to those around Him.

He didn’t come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).  No wonder they couldn’t recognize Him as the Messiah!  But He did come to free His people – not only them but also any who would follow after Him, Jews or otherwise.  He didn’t just free them from their earthly oppressors but from spiritual strongholds, from sin, from condemnation.

Whether they saw it or not, Jesus was the Messiah God had promised long ago.  He conquered sin and death and His kingdom knows no end.