|There is a name that is so precious,
a name so wonderful to me.
This name is worthy of all praises.
Because of him, I am made free.
That name is Jesus, oh how I love him.
The one who gave, his life for me.
Because of love, so unconditional,
I will have life, eternally.
– Yolanda Adams, That Name
|Bread of life
sent down from glory
Many things you were on earth
A holy king, a carpenter
but you are the living Word
Awesome ruler, gentle redeemer
God with us, the living truth
And what a friend we have in you
You are the living Word
– Fred Hammond, You Are The Living Word
Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:1-3
Not every type of communication is appropriate for every circumstance. Text messages are just fine for confirming attendance to a party, but not for breaking up with someone. Especially when there is a relationship to be restored, emails or phone calls often won’t do; a face to face meeting is necessary. We know these things naturally when it comes to human relationships, so it should come as no surprise that in responding to the broken relationship between God and humanity, God chose a personal visitation to offer reconciliation. The author of Hebrews wrote that Jesus is the “exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word”. To put it simply we find here that Jesus is identical to God in his character and origin.
Look at the words of one of the closest followers and friends of Jesus:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning… The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 14
In the same way that God’s presence came before the “beginning” (See Day One), Jesus was with God “before the beginning”. Such a claim would be unbelievable, were it not actually predicted and confirmed in earlier prophecies. In fact, in Genesis 1, we can see God state “Let us make man in our image” and now realize that while God was One in essence, the Divine Creator was also expressed in three persons. But that is only one side of the miracle of Jesus. The other side is his humanity. The fact that he was born to a woman, and “became flesh” meant that we could experience God, not just abstractly, but tangibly, face to face. There are three major roles that Jesus Christ fulfilled: Prophet, Priest and King.
Prophet: The prophet was the person who spoke on behalf of God to the people (think of an arrow from Heaven to Earth ↓). Prophetesses and prophets spoke and acted on behalf of God. As Hebrews 1:2, described of God, “In the last days he has spoken to us through his Son”. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God that spoke truth to power. He challenged systems of injustice and corruption in people. He announced the opportunity people had to come to God.
Priest: The role of the priest was to represent the people to GOD (think of an arrow from Earth to Heaven ↑). The Jewish priests prayed for the people’s illnesses, and needs. They also offered sacrifices for the sins of the people to make them right with GOD. Jesus took these roles to a level never seen before. He didn’t simply pray to heal the sick. He healed the sick. He didn’t just pray for the physical needs of the people when they were hungry, he fed thousands miraculously. And he didn’t just offer sacrifices with the hope of having the sins of the people forgive: he offered himself as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of the people!
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:14-15
King: The title and position that reflects his position as ruler and leader over all is the kingship of Jesus (think of an arrow representing how humanity ought to lead ↔). Adam and Eve were created to lead, but failed. The nation of Israel had kings who were supposed to rule with justice, righteousness and compassion and strength, but, none of them lived up to their calling and the people suffered. Jesus fulfills the role of king perfectly by ruling with compassion and fairness. He rules the hearts of those who calls him Lord and one day, he will rule completely when he returns and rules with perfect justice and fairness. Imagine, no more oppression, and crooked people or systems in positions of power! Justice and equality for all!
Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Revelation 1:5
The third step to developing the habit of a Gospel-Centered Devotion is simply to grow in your knowledge and love of Jesus. To grow in your experience and understanding of Jesus as Prophet, Priest and King is to see the glory of God more gloriously, hear the voice of God more clearly and to draw closer to God more intimately.
- How is the presence of Jesus Christ unique and more significant than previous appearances of prophets mentioned in Hebrews 1:1-3?
- What does John 1 reveal about Jesus? In what ways is this important?
- Which role of Jesus (prophet, priest, or king) do you tend to value most? Least? In what ways can you allow Jesus to be the one you value least more in your life?