Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ascension: The Crown of the Priest-King

Ascension: The Crown of the Priest-King

(This is a rework  of something I wrote a while ago...)

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.      (Hebrews1:1-3)
This passage brings together the importance of the the Incarnation, the Cross, the Resurrection and the Ascension. It portrays Jesus as our King and Great High Priest. We're going to focus on Jesus' priesthood.

A priest has two important functions: to represent and to sacrifice.

As a representative Jesus represents God to us and us to God. In the incarnation He reveals the fullness of God to us and in His humanity He stands in our place before God.

The writer to the Hebrews makes it clear - Jesus is fully God:

  1. He is heir of all things;
  2. the universe was made through Him;
  3. He radiates God's glory
  4. He is the exact representation of God's being ("If you've seen me you've seen the Father" Jn14:9)
  5. He sustains all things by His Word ("The Word was with God and was God" Jn1:1)

But He also represents our humanity fully: "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." (Jn1:14)

He represents God to us and us to God.

But He also made a sacrifice. In the Old Testament the High Priest made the sacrifice of a lamb in the Holy of Holies on the day of Atonement for the sins of the people. This sacrifice was imperfect and had to be repeated year after year. BUT Jesus' sacrifice of Himself as the Lamb of God was sufficient. He has provided ultimate purification.

In the ascension Jesus does not discard His human body, but takes it to the right hand of God. The work is complete. As death-overcoming-King and successfully-sacrificing-Priest He sits at the right hand of God because the sacrifice was sufficient. The job is well done. He is our sacrifice and our representative forever.


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