Christ in All the Glory of His Offices
We must ‘meet’ Jesus if we are to be saved from our sins. The meeting of course is spiritual but nevertheless real and effective.
Most of our readers expect this experience to be priestly or judicial in character. That is, an experience in which God’s law and its demands are paramount and we see our utter inability to keep them perfectly, so we are completely condemned. The significance of Christ as the Saviour, providing forgiveness for sins, is therefore very important to us. Christ Jesus is the great High Priest who has made atonement for our sins by His death. By faith we receive this forgiveness. In this experience, Christ is recognised as the Saviour providing forgiveness to us.
However, this is only one aspect of the greatness of Jesus Christ. Christ has more ‘offices’ than of a priest. Our catechisms tells us He is also a King and a Prophet. There are many aspects of Christ’s Person which are wonderful and attractive. The fact that we see any beauty or loveliness at all in Christ is evidence that we believe in Him. “There is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2) refers to the unsaved man.
It may be that our very first ‘encounter’ with Jesus Christ was not as a priest in His saving role of forgiving us our sins. The woman of Samaria realised that Jesus was a prophet before she saw Him as a priest. Her experience of Him was that He knew all about her. She was attracted to Him because of His sympathy and understanding. This first encounter was a saving experience of Jesus. It created faith in her and gradually she recognised He was the great High Priest.
So it may be with people today. We may be ‘drawn’ to Jesus by witnessing His majesty or His love or His patience and it may be some time before we see Him in His priestly role.
There are many aspects of Christ’s Person which are real and saving which do not immediately reflect His priestly office. Zacchaeus came to saving faith in Christ by first appreciating His unconditional love and whole-hearted acceptance of himself, a publicly despised person. It would also appear that the thief on the cross saw Jesus as a King rather than a priest when he prayed “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
Isaiah too, saw Him in many different roles “Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Do you see any loveliness in Jesus Christ?