Andrew and Simon Peter rightly identified Jesus when they proclaimed “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41). In doing so, they were proclaiming Jesus as the Christ. The word “Christ” is not actually a name at all; rather it is the office Jesus holds as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messiah (which means the “Anointed One”). “Christ” is the New Testament term for the promised Messiah. The Old Testament looked forward with anticipation to the coming of the Messiah who would be God’s Anointed One to deliver His people and rule on God’s throne forever (Isa 7:14-16; 11:1-5; Deut 18:15-19).
In the Old Testament God anointed people to operate in three different roles: prophet, priest, and king. The prophet spoke for God, the priest represented God to the people and the people before God, and the king ruled on God’s behalf. Throughout Old Testament many people were anointed to serve in these roles, but ultimately each was flawed as they waited for the perfect fulfillment found only in Christ. Jesus perfectly fulfills all three of these roles. He is a prophet to us, the spokesperson for God the Father (John 12:49). Christ is our perfect high priest (Heb 4:14-16). Additionally, He sits eternally on the throne as our ruler, our king (Eph 1:20-22).
Because Christ is the Anointed One we are to develop an intimacy with Jesus that transcends our knowledge and affects our daily lives. As we learn to commune with Him, Jesus the Christ becomes our new identity. We have been crucified with Christ and therefore walk in newness (Rom 6:1-11). Jesus the Christ also becomes our new authority as our eternal King: He must sovereignly reign in our hearts (Col 2:10). Lastly, Jesus the Christ is to become our new proclamation. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus charged His disciples to be His witnesses even unto the remotest parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). Jesus as the promised Messiah is the message which we bear witness to the world.
When we identify ourselves with Jesus as the Christ, His roles as prophet, priest, and king will become operative in our experience. In other words, we get the privilege of not merely knowing Jesus as the Messiah but also experiencing Him as the Messiah in our day to day lives. We experience Christ as prophet because we get God’s Word through Him. We experience Christ as priest because we get answered prayer through Him. And finally, we experience Him as King when we receive His ruling in our hearts and overruling in our lives. What a blessing to know Jesus as the Messiah because to have the Messiah is to have Christ, and to have Christ is to have the Anointed One operating in us and for us.
- What new understanding of Christ do you have in light of this message?
- What is the significance in understanding that Christ as the Messiah is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, written long before His birth? How can this truth help you witness to people who question the legitimacy of Christ?
Let’s Ge Personal
- Describe what Christian culture might look like if we truly allowed Christ to operate as King in our lives. Describe what things in your own life may look different if you truly allowed Christ to operate as your King.
- In Christ’s role as priest He has already made a permanent sacrifice for your sin so that you can boldly approach the throne of God (Heb 4:16). Even though we know this to be true, why do we still find our sin too shameful to bring to the Lord?
Take the Next Step
- What steps will you take to grow closer to Christ as the prophet, priest, and king of your own life this week?
- Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Gal 2:20; Acts 2:36; 1 Cor 1:21-24; 2 Cor 12:7-10; Mark 14:61-62; Heb 1:1-2; 4:14-16; Ps 2:7; Rev 11:15; Matt 16:13-19; 28:18-20; John 1:1, 32-33; Luke 4:18-19; 24:25-27; 1 Tim 2:5
Renew Your Mind
“. . . The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14