"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (Hebrews 1:1-3).
Jesus Christ has fulfilled many roles throughout the history of mankind. This passage in the first chapter of Hebrews outlines several of those roles for us. By learning of these roles we can learn how to better pattern our lives as well; "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:" (1 Peter 2:21).
First, it tells us that Christ was a prophet of God. A prophet was one who spoke for another. Christ did indeed speak for God the Father; "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:16-17).
He was not simply a good man but a prophet of God who spoke the very words of God. We should be prophets also. We can not be miraculously inspired like the prophets of the Bible but we can (and must) be a mouthpiece for God. Do people know we are Christians by the things we speak?
Second, Christ is a priest; for he purged our sins. The job of the priest in the Old Testament was to offer sacrifices for their own sins and for the sins of the people. Christ offered himself as the sacrifice for our sins only for he had no sin; "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself." (Hebrews 7:27).
Each time that we pray we should thank God for this sacrifice. Are we willing to sacrifice ourselves for others? "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16). Are we willing to sacrifice our time or money?
Third, Christ is king for he is sitting at the right hand of God. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:5-11). Notice also; "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;" (1 Timothy 6:14-15).
You may ask, "How is Christ being a king an example for me?". Good question; for obviously we can not be kings like Christ. I believe that the example is in His humility. Even though he was equal with God, he was still willing to humble himself for our ultimate good. Christ never complained or demanded his rights. Instead, He humbly suffered death on the cross. He allowed his own creation to put him to death. Are we humble like this? We should be.
If you would like to discuss the content of this article, please contact us or send a question.
-- Ralph Price --