2008-09-20 - Christ Offering Himself
1 John 2:1, If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
It is a common understanding that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. He saves from sin. Over the history of the church, the leaders of the church have attributed three offices, derived from Scripture, to Jesus Christ as our Redeemer. The identification of Christ as our prophet, priest, and king, both in His life and death, and in His exaltation, is not likely to come as a surprise to those who have had any depth of instruction in their faith. It is a basic understanding, and commonly used in the church. Some verses that are used to reference these offices are: Prophet (Deut. 18:15), Priest (Psalm 110:4), and King (Psalm 2:6). A helpful way to think of Christ's redemption for our sin in these offices is to say that the nature of our salvation is such that Jesus Christ must reveal it as a Prophet, purchase it as a Priest, and apply it as a King.
There are many ways we could look at this, and I will mention just one more. In John 14:6, we have Jesus saying, I am the way, the truth and the life. We can take this to mean, in respect to Christ's offices, that Christ is the way for us in His death (as a Priest), the truth in His Word (as a Prophet), and the life in His Spirit (as a King). Again there are many helpful views we can take of these offices Christ holds, but let us take a moment and consider Christ as our Priest. It is so important that we grasp this office of Christ, because it is here that we find Him as a sacrifice, satisfying divine justice, reconciling us to God, in taking our sin upon Himself. Here He secures for us life. Christ gives, by His sacrifice, eternal life to those who are dead in their sins, by paying the penalty due for their sin to the Father, and giving them both forgiveness and His own righteousness. It is no exaggeration to say that Christ secures for us life in His office as a Priest. Life is secured through His Priestly office.
The matter that I would like to make clear today respects what we have been looking into, but I would like to take it one step deeper. We know from the Old Testament that the office of the priest was to offer up sacrifices to God. We know that Christ offered up Himself as a sacrifice for our sin. He offers the sacrifice, and we frequently think of this and praise God for this, but I think it is common to overlook that not only did He offer the sacrifice for sin, but He was the sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 9:26, He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. He was both. He was the priest making the offering, and He was also the offering for sin Himself. I know we think this way, but I ask you this day - does it register? Do you understand the wonder of this thought? It is something worthy of the deepest thoughts that we can have. This truth of Christ's making the offering for sin (as a priest would), and being the offering Himself, who can reach to the depths of such thoughts? In Christ, we have a High Priest that is so great in His office, that He is ever our High Priest, and still lives to make intercession for us. He, Himself, is our sacrifice.
Soli Deo Gloria,