The Work of Jesus Christ
Does anyone remember last week’s memory verse?
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
This week is the second half and addresses what we will be talking about today.
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Last week we explored in Scripture about the preincarnation and incarnation of Christ, the Deity and humanity of Christ and today it’s all about the specific works of Christ!
This past week we were driving through Redding and I saw a construction company trailer and on the side it read “Framing the future and restoring the past.”
I thought that was a really cool slogan, and as I thought a little bit more, it painted quite a vivid reminder of the work of Christ to me.
The completed work of Christ in His death and resurrection truly framed our future eternal state of glory and restored our past fallen state of sin and darkness.
As we discussed last week, Christ in His incarnation held the fullness of Deity and humanity.
As we talk about the work of Christ today it’s important to keep in the back of our minds that His complete work was accomplished through 3 distinct facets.
Christ was and is a prophet, priest and king.
The first facet that Christ accomplished His work through was that of a prophet.
CHRIST AS PROPHET
Moses said in...
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.
Moses didn’t know then, but was speaking on the Lord’s behalf about Christ.
Later in Acts 3, Luke writes...
READ ACTS 3:22-26
The reason why Luke affirms this about Christ is that it gives validity to the fact that Christ was the fulfillment of all prophets before Him.
After Christ, there are no other prophets.
It was known by ordinary people back then that Jesus was a prophet.
One example of this was when Jesus was riding in on the donkey during what is known as Palm Sunday.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
In the 3 years of Jesus’ ministry there were 4 specific events or sermons that gave evidence to His status as prophet.
1) The first is known as the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7)
In the “Sermon on the Mount”, in front of many of His disciples, Jesus gave a call to repentance, apart from the law.
This call to repentance, in the sermon, didn’t require just a confession- but a complete lifestyle and heart change- that reflected the kingdom of God.
This was contrary to what the Pharisees and Scribes demanded in that day.
2) The second set of sermons is known to us as the parables or mysteries of the Kingdom (Matthew 13)
In these parables Jesus talks to His disciples about the characteristics of the kingdom in the time between His death and return.
These are events that have not yet happened during this time that give more evidence to His status as a prophet.
They were called “mysteries” because they were not known in the Old Testament times but now they were revealed to those who followed Him as He describes in Matthew 13:11.
These parables also give specifics as to Satan’s counterfeits in the kingdom on earth, Jesus tells them there will be rapid growth in the kingdom, that there will be evil in the kingdom, and a presence of wicked people.
This earthly kingdom, of course that Satan has limited rule over, is temporary until Christ’s return.
3) The third well known prophetic message that Jesus gives to His disciples is known as the “Message on the Mount of Olives”. (Matthew 24-25)
This message is given toward the end of Jesus’ life and addresses the apocalyptic times before His second coming.
Jesus reiterates that the Jewish leaders at this time have fully and completely rejected the kingdom, but that there will be a time known to us as the “church age”.
In Matthew 24:4-29Jesus gives details about the Tribulation period.
In Matthew 24:30 through chapter 25 Jesus explains that no one will expect His second coming and He will return to take His throne.
4) Jesus’ last prophetic message is spoken, in one way or another, just about every week here at FCC during communion. (John 13-16)
This final message is known as the “Upper Room Discourse”.
It’s His final message because it took place in the upper room, the night before His death.
In this conversation- Jesus declares the church age to come, He gave the new covenant...
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
He talked about a new hope...
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
He gave the promise of the Holy Spirit to minister to them, and in them, in many ways in His absence on earth...
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—
the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Jesus explains that new relationships will take place, and that the basis will their common belief and devotion in Him.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
Lastly, in this discourse, Jesus gives a new basis for prayer, in His name.
READ JOHN 16:23-28
Christ was a true prophet and to further the evidence we can clearly see this in the prophecies that were fulfilled in His last days.
In Matthew 26:21 Jesus predicts that one of His disciples would betray Him, later we read that it was Judas.
Jesus tells His disciples that His suffering will come from the Jewish leaders themselves in Matthew 16:21...
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
And of course we read in Matthew 20
about Jesus’ death and resurrection...
Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
The final proof that His disciples and other’s knew that Jesus was a true prophet was after His resurrection.
They lived completely different.
In an online article titled “Resurrection Proof: The Disciples’ Sacrifice” I read this and thought it was fitting...
“The disciples believed so much in the resurrection that they gave their lives to sharing the news. The first to die was James the brother of John, who was killed by the sword upon the order of King Herod (Acts 12:1–2). Church tradition holds that John miraculously survived being put into a cauldron of boiling water, then later was exiled to the island of Patmos; Peter was crucified in Rome upside down; Matthew was slain by a sword in a distant city in Ethiopia; James the son of Alphaeus was thrown from a pinnacle of the temple, then beaten to death with a blacksmith’s tool; Philip was hanged against a pillar at Hierapolis in Phrygia; Bartholomew was skinned alive; Andrew was bound to a cross — and preached to his persecutors until he died; Thomas was run through with a lance in the East Indies; Jude was shot to death with arrows; Matthias was first stoned and then beheaded; Mark died in Alexandria in Egypt after being cruelly dragged through the city.
Let me ask you: Would you have died for a lie? Would these disciples have endured such persecution for a dead man?
No. They saw the risen Lord—then gave their very lives in service to Him. They were no longer afraid of death because they’d found the true meaning of life. They were transformed, for they were living in resurrection life.”
The first major work that Christ displayed was that of a true prophet.
But a prophet unlike any other.
It’s important for us to realize that a prophet spoke to men from God but a priest spoke to God for men.
The second work that Christ displayed was that of a Priest
CHRIST AS PRIEST
Most of us have heard of a priest today or know that there were priests that atoned for the people’s sins in the Old Testament.
But most may not know that in the Old Testament times there were two types of priests.
The Aaronic Priests which were solely just priests through the line of Moses’ brother Aaron (Leviticus 21)
And the Melchez-e-dekan priest.
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
The Melchizedek priesthood only applies to Christ and no one else.
Some would debate that this Melchizedek priest in Genesis 14 was an early revelation of Jesus Christ but others would say it was a “type of Christ”.
A type in the Old Testament was simply a person or thing that foreshadows a person or thing in the New Testament.
When it’s said that someone is a type of Christ, it’s meant that a person in the Old testament behaves in a way that reflects Jesus’ character or actions in the New testament.
So when we read about Melchizedek we see Him as a type of Christ in the Old testament, regardless if it was physically Christ or not.
While the Aaronic priests were strictly priests, Melchizedek was both a priest and king.
This two position royalty was said about Christ in
It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’
Unlike Aaronic priests who counted on their ancestors to be a priest there were no recorded ancestors that qualified Melchizedek to be a priest or king.
There was also no recorded beginning or end of His reign.
Abraham acknowledged that this type of priest was superior to the Aaronic priests in Genesis 14:20.
Christ is like Melchizedek in the fact that He is a ruler, He receives great respect, He blesses us and sustains us.
To get a better picture of this let’s turn to Hebrews 7:11-28.
READ Hebrews 7:11-28
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.
READ Hebrews 9:11-15
Why is all of this important?
Christ’s fulfilment of the Old Covenant and ushering of the New Covenant, to be the great and final high priest is essential to God’s plan and purpose for our lives.
We do not need a physical priest to go to to confess our sins, or teach us about God, we go straight to Him ourselves.
but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Christ is now sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven, continuously interceding on our behalf.
He is the most high eternal priest that is interceding for us.
He is praying for us and for our salvation.
What is He saving us from by His interceding?
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
Christ is saving us from the wrath of God and He was the propitiation for our sins.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Atoning translates as propitiation.
Propitiation is the complete removal of God’s wrath by providing a substitute.
The purpose of Christ’s death was to satisfy God’s holy wrath against sin, and to ultimately save us.
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
If Christ was not the greatest prophet that ever lived or the most high priest we would be in trouble.
We would be more than in trouble, we would be dead in our sins.
The last work of Christ and facet of His character is that He was and is a One True King!
CHRIST AS KING
As we started to discuss last week, Jesus’ genealogy is more important than we might think.
It’s important because God’s covenant with David required it.
READ 2 SAMUEL 7:12-16.
God’s covenant with David promised that His right to rule would remain in His dynasty forever.
In Isaiah 9:7 it was predicted.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Gabriel announced to Mary that Jesus would have the throne of David.
In Jesus’ 3 years of ministry the Jewish leaders heard all the claims, and still rejected who Jesus was, and His Davidic kingship.
In Psalm 118 the Psalmist praises God for His deliverance of Israel and of Israel’s leader, the king.
Just like Israel was rejected by its enemies, so was Jesus.
But Jesus was the ultimate leader and King.
In Matthew 21 Jesus uses Psalm 118 to illustrate that though the leadership of Israel rejected Him, He is still the chief cornerstone.
The promises of Him reigning as King forever are undeniable in Scripture.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.
Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
Ultimately, Jesus will usher in the new kingdom when he returns, as King forever.
READ MATTHEW 21:1-9
We read in this passage that Jesus didn’t come in on a great and mighty horse but on a donkey.
While most of the Jewish people thought Christ was coming in to restore their political power, as king, the disciples and those close to Him knew Him as the Messiah and King of heaven.
They realized that His reign as King was much greater than just temporary political power.
Jesus, as the One True King, fulfills God’s promise to David about His reign and ensures to us an eternal hope which we won’t find anywhere in this world.
As we looked at Christ’s work as prophet, priest and King, you might be asking- great… but how does that apply to me today?
I would say that Paul sums it all perfectly for us in 1 Corinthians 15.
READ 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
READ 1 Corinthians 15:12-28
All of Christ’s work on earth would have been void had He not resurrected from the grave!
But our hope and promise is that, He did!
So what do we do with all of this?
We must be more faithful each day to the faith and putting our lives in the hand of Christ.
We should be encouraged and commit to what Peter said about the coming Day of the Lord in 2 Peter 3.
READ 2 Peter 3:9-18
The coming of Christ could be sooner than we might think, will you be ready to acknowledge Christ as prophet, priest and King?
More importantly, have you put your trust in Christ as your Lord and Savior?
If not, do that today- I would love to talk to you more about that after service today!