Christ the Prophesied Messiah
The redemption story “begins with the love of God, in his giving his only begotten Son”. A thorough knowledge of the person and work of Christ would do our souls great good as we seek to grow in and dwell with Him.
From the first book of the Scriptures to Jesus’ first coming, we see prophecies pointing to our Lord’s arrival (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 7:14, and Daniel 9:24-27 for example). God didn’t say, “oops, creation was more sinful than I expected so I better go fix the problem!” He promised the coming of His Son “long ago” (Hebrews 1:1).
Just before Jesus arrived, John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Jesus. He, too, was prophesied to come (Isaiah 11:3-5; Malachi 3:1-4). His successful ministry was spoken beforehand and proved to be just as God had promised. John was the candle who would make way for the floodlight of God’s glory in Christ (John 3:30)!
Christ— God With Us
Boothe doesn’t exaggerate when he says, “In the whole history of the world there was no event of such vast importance as the Incarnation of the Son of God.” Without the incarnation, we have no Good Friday and no Resurrection Sunday. However, Jesus burst on the scene brighter than a glimmering fourth of July grand finale. His going forth was from of old (Micah 5:2).
The fact that God has come in the flesh is a great mystery, but we know for sure that Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:1-4,14). We don’t know how, but we know that He has both a divine and human nature, and humanity’s greatest need and longing is for Immanuel—God with us. This mystery could occupy the greatest minds for eternity, yet even young children can grasp this truth when it is revealed by the Holy Spirit.
Christ the Righteous Substitute
Jesus didn’t just come to be a good teacher or a cuddly friend catering to all the desires of a rebellious society which believes in relative truth. Rather, “the first work of Jesus in his mission of restitution was to fulfill all righteousness” (see Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17-19; 3:13-17; Hebrews 4:15). He “fulfilled both the letter and the spirit of all of the law’s requirements” while being obedient even to the point of death on the cross (Philippians 2:5-8).
Jesus’ righteousness was not for Himself—He was righteous from eternity. Rather, Jesus came to be the Great High Priest (Leviticus 16:33, Hebrews 7:26-28). Unlike the high priests of Israel who need to shed blood for their own sins, Jesus was the spotless sacrifice who paid for sin once and for all
(Leviticus 16:15,20-22; Isaiah 53:1-12). Isaiah’s prophecy was perfectly fulfilled and Jesus, as He promised, “He offered himself as a willing sacrifice, thus completing his earthly work”.
Christ the Risen Savior
Jesus didn’t just die like any ordinary Jew or so-called good person. If He simply died, stayed in the tomb, and rotted as we all do, He would have been no Savior at all. Without the resurrection, we have no hope whatsoever! If there is no resurrection, then all of our ministry and missionary work is in vain. The apostles knew this fact and emphasized the importance of the resurrection in their gospel preaching (see Acts) as well as their writing in the New Testament.
Jesus foretold His resurrection, and His tomb was heavily guarded to prevent stealing His body and claiming that such a thing happened (John 2:18-22; Matthew 27:62-66). There was no man, kingdom, or spiritual power that could stop Jesus from rising from the dead. God is unstoppable, and the resurrection proved that Jesus was indeed the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4). Praise be to God that our Savior is no longer in the grave! He defeated sin, death, and Satan! He proved that He is more than fit to be our Lord and Savior!
It is important to note that Jesus rose bodily. Some scholars and bible critics have argued that Jesus’ resurrection was merely spiritual. However, Jesus “showed [His disciples] his feet and his hands, and did eat before them, in order to prove that he was not a spirit, but their risen Lord”. There is a great need to guard even this significant piece of information from the tampering of the liberal church and skeptical world of biblical scholarship. Again, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, there’s no point in calling yourself a Christian. Our faith would be in vain.
Christ the Ascended High Priest
Even in the fear and weakness of His disciples, Jesus showed compassion for them after His resurrection. When they didn’t believe, He proved Himself. Before He left, He assured them of His unlimited authority and power. He also sent us His Holy Spirit to be with us as we await His return.
Jesus didn’t ascend, change forms, and then return to earth as the Holy Spirit as some claim. Rather, He is currently in heaven as our present tense High Priest sitting at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:1-2). He is not only the Author of our faith but also the Perfecter or Finisher of it. This truth “directs their eyes to him, not only on the cross, but also to him in heaven at the right hand of the throne of God as their High Priest, performing there his gracious and effectual work on their behalf”.
The book of Hebrews has a lot to say about the priestly work of Jesus. Jesus’ priesthood is unlike the priests of this earth. Every earthly priest is sinful and needs atonement for their own sins. Jesus’ priesthood comes from God and is not ordained or passed down through men. His priesthood is before and beyond Aaron’s priesthood. He can save to the uttermost while priests of the earth could only give temporary satisfaction for sin until the next time. Jesus is the High Priest who offered the perfect, eternal, once-for-all sacrifice—Himself. Earthly priests kept offering the blood of goats and bulls. He entered the holy place once and only once to put away Sin. Most importantly, He ever lives to intercede for us.
What a High Priest we have! Jesus is beyond comparison! We ought to worship Him!
Christ the Heavenly King
Not only is Jesus the High Priest in heaven, but He is also the King of the world. He has also been appointed the heir of all things and runs an upright and righteous kingdom (Hebrews 1:1-14). He has all things under His feet (Ephesians 1:15-23). He has all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). He is the Lord and King of all the universe, but especially over His church who willingly and joyfully submits to His lordship and reign. We see this reign “extending down to the end of the world” through “the members of Christ’s church still scattered among the nations”.
There are no pithy or cleverly alliterated applications for you today. There are many ways to respond to all the truth and doctrine we’ve packed in. I want to exhort you to do one thing: abide. The sole purpose of Dwell With Christ is to help you abide (or dwell) in Christ. We could spend an eternity meditating on these truths and never exhaust the person and work of Jesus. There is a fullness of joy in slowing down and gazing at Christ. Do that. We all need it.
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