2009-12-23 - Christ as Priest
Facets of Christ ~ Part 2
Hebrews 9:28 So also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many.
It is likely that we think most frequently upon the office of Christ as our Priest. It is in His offering Himself up for sin on the cross that we most associate the work of Jesus Christ for us. This is where peace between us and the Father was established. It is the exact place where our lives are tied up. It is everything to a child of God, and it is the most precious truth ever spoken into our ears.
We need to see both the death and the life of Jesus. We cannot only see Jesus on the cross, because He is not now on the cross. He is risen. He now lives, making intercession for us, Hebrews 7:25. We need to see both things. We need to see and know the Jesus that was slain for sin, and we need to also know the Jesus who is risen for our justification. We need both, or we dont see the whole picture.
There are some who focus on Christs birth, and emphasize the birth of the Lord. It is the Jesus in a manger faith that often venerates more the mother of Jesus than the Lord Himself. There are others who speak much of the teachings of Jesus, and the example that He has left us. These put the cross and divinity of Jesus far into the background, if they ever mention His saving work at all. To both groups, there is often a failure to bring out the expiatory work of Jesus on the cross. He may be the Lamb of God, slain from before the foundation of the world, but it seems improper to speak about it in some circles that fall into the Christian camp. We must not do this. Christ is a great example. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary. He is all those things to us, but most of all, He is slain for sin, risen on the third day, and now reigns in Heaven.
He is our High Priest, who has made intercession by giving Himself as the sacrifice. He is the lamb Himself. We may well know that lambs were sacrificed often in the Old Testament church, by the Priests. However, these never took away sin. They only pointed to the one sacrifice of Christ that was to come. The Lamb of God who was once sacrificed. This is why we say that Christ is both the Priest who offers the sacrifice for sin, but also the sacrifice Himself. He is both, and His rising from the dead on the third day shows that the sacrifice was accepted, and that death could not hold Him. It was a perfect sacrifice. It was the sacrifice to which all previous sacrifices were pointing, and His sacrifice ended the need for there to ever be any more sacrifice for sin. Christ secured, for all those who trust His atonement on their behalf, reconciliation with God. Our debt has been paid. The Lamb was slain, and that Lamb was also the Son of God, the Priest who carried out the deed Himself.
Soli Deo Gloria,