As we hurry about our day going from one task to another do we ever take the time to slow down and think about things? In our western culture, this is almost unheard of these days. We have TVs and cell phones and every other form of entertainment that calls us to fill our every waking moment with something. There is something important that is lost when we do not take the time to think and wrestle with the things that come into our minds. This is why we are so emotional as a culture because we do not think through things, we simply feel. But is this what we are supposed to do? Have you ever taken the time to sit and contemplate what it means to believe in Jesus? Have you taken the time to contemplate and think through what it means that he is called Christ? This is a singularly important task in the life of the Christian.
It is a common misunderstanding today to think of Christ as simply the last name of Jesus, but this is not true. Christ is not a name, it is a title. The Christ is the anointed one. To understand this a little better we need to look into the Old Testament. You may already know, I hope that you do, that the word Christ (Christos) is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah. They mean anointed or an anointed one. In the Old Testament, this word gets used for various purposes. For example, in 1 Samuel 24:6, we see the word used to describe King Saul. The same thing happens in chapter 26:9. Throughout the Psalms, there are references to the messiahship of the kings of Israel. There are other places, such as Leviticus 4:3, where the priests are anointed to serve in the tabernacle. In 1 Kings 19:16, there is a reference to the prophets being anointed by God. All of these instances use the word messiah. So why do we use it only of Christ today? It is because we recognize that all of these former anointed ones are pointing toward what Jesus will be. Jesus is the King of Kings. He is our prophet and great High Priest. He is the one anointed by God to fulfill all these roles. There were many who were anointed but there is only one true Christ who fulfills and completes all these roles.
The Only Son, Our Lord
Another important subject to contemplate is the sonship of Jesus. What do we mean when we say that Jesus is the Son of God? Do we mean that there was a time when the Father was by himself and then had a Son? Certainly not. The Son has always been. The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit do not change, not even in their names. The names of each of the persons of the trinity describe who they are and who they have always been. Jesus is the Son. The one who is equal to the Father in all things. The Jewish leaders understood this claim when Jesus makes it in John 19:7. They recognize that Jesus is saying that he is equal to the Father. This is why the creed proclaims, the only Son, that is the only one equal with the Father, our Lord, recognizing Jesus to be the sovereign King of all. What we are not saying when we call Christ our Lord is that we are making him Lord of our lives. We are not saying that we give him the Lordship of our lives. We, as sinful creatures, do not have that power. The Father has made him Lord. Peter makes this clear in Acts 2 when he proclaims "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36). We do not make Christ Lord, we merely recognize what is already true. We recognize and rejoice in that truth.
As we go through our week this week take time to think about what it means for Jesus to be both Christ and Lord. This will be a most edifying pursuit I assure you. Set aside some time each day, to just reflect and think about what it means that Jesus is the anointed one. Anointed to be the great prophet, priest, and king. Think about what it means to acknowledge the truth of his Lordship. Be humble before the throne of grace. My prayer for you this week is that you would know Him as both Christ and Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria