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Jesus Christ: Sent by the Father...
By Dr. Mary Craig
The writer to the Hebrews extols the superiority and preeminence of Jesus Christ. He begins:
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds, who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1.1-4)
God, the Covenant Lord, had sent certain ones to prophesy and to speak for Him. He sent angels with messages. He sent Moses and Aaron. He sent tokens and wonders. He sent His Word. He sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Messiah (John 1.6, 8). And finally, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is superior to angels, superior to Moses, superior to Aaron and the Levitical priesthood. Jesus brings in a new covenant with better promises, a better sacrifice, sealed by the highest Blood. Believers, who partake of the heavenly calling, are exhorted by the writer to the Hebrews to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." (Hebrews 3.1)
So letís consider Jesus as The Apostle. Hebrews 3.2 tells us that Jesus was faithful to Him that appointed Him. In Revelation 19 we learn that Jesus is called Faithful and True. In righteousness He judges and makes war. Jesusí Name is Word of God. (Revelation 19.13) Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1). Of His Word, God says in Isaiah 55.11:
So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Jesus Christ didnít just come from heaven to earth. He was sent by the Father. He is The Apostle.
The word "apostle" comes from a Greek word meaning send, as in an envoy or ambassador. The idea is that the one sent has full powers and is the personal representative of the one sending. There is a close connection between sender and the authorization of the one sent. The stress focuses on the one who sends, on the one who gives His authority to the one sent as servant/messenger. Thus Jesus said that whoever receives Him receives the One who sent Him (Matthew 10.40).
God the Father sent Jesus Christ. He is The Apostle. He was sent from heaven to earth with a message, with an assignment, a commission, a "work" to finish. He had a clear understanding of just who He was and is and what He was about. He says of Himself:
Letting the scriptures speak for themselves, we can see that Jesus had a clear understanding of His apostleship. He focused on the Fatherís will and finishing the appointed task. To see and believe Jesus is to receive the Father who sent Him. He worked miracles that bore witness. The Father Himself bore witness of Him. He judged as He heard. His judgment is true, He says, because He is not alone. (John 8.16) He sought the Fatherís glory.
Jesus said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent MeÖHe that speaks of himself seeks his own glory; but he that seeks his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. John 7.16, 18 Jesus did not come of Himself. And the One who sent Him is true. He knew the One who sent Him for He is from Him. (John 7.28, 29)
Jesus repeatedly stresses that He proceeded forth and came from God, that He came not of Himself, but was sent by God the Father. (John 8.42) He experienced an inner compulsion, an inner necessity to manifest the works of God, to fulfill His destiny. I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9.4, 5 Jesus is the Son of God because He does the works of His Father, who sanctified Him and sent Him into the world. (John 10.36, 37)
If you believe on Jesus you are also believing on the Father who sent Jesus. And if you see Jesus, you see the Father that sent Jesus. He is come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on Him should not abide in darkness. (John 12.44-47)
Jesus came to manifest the Father. The words He speaks are those of the Father. (John 14.24) Indeed,
This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. John 17.3
Jesus gave the words which the Father had given Him. He honored His Father and glorified His Father. His whole life was about one overall mission: The Father sent Jesus, His Apostle, to save.
But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4.4, 5
Jesus knew exactly why the Father sent Him. He was and is the Messiah spoken of by the prophets. He was to be and is the Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the Lion of Judah who reigns. In Jesus the Lion lies down with the Lamb. In Jesus, Prophet, Priest, and King move together as one.
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night. He acknowledged that Jesus was a teacher come from God because of the miracles which Jesus did. He knew God was with Jesus. But Jesus said that if a man is not born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus had a hard time with this, because he was thinking naturally and physically, not spiritually. Jesus said that a man must be born of water and of the Spirit to enter into the kingdom of God. Nicodemus was a master of Israel, but he didnít yet comprehend such things. Jesus had heavenly things to speak about. Jesus is the Son of man come down from heaven.
Jesus told Nicodemus why He came here, why He was born, and what He was about. He told Nicodemus that just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so He as the Son of man would be lifted up. Look and live, is the call of the Father. If you look at Jesus, if you look to Jesus, if you trust Him and believe in Him, you will not perish but have eternal life.
God so loved the world, the cosmos, that He gave His only begotten son, His only and unique Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. That is good news for you and for me. God in His grace and kindness and mercy has provided a way to terminate the hostility in the relationship between us and Him, to terminate the alienation, to terminate the curse, to liberate us as captives to sin and satan and self, to destroy the yokes of oppression and bondage.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes on Him is not condemned, but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3.17-19
Jesus Christ wasnít sent to be the baby in Christmas cards held in His motherís arms. He wasnít sent just to be a great teacher or a good example, or to influence cultures and history with social, political, and economic change. Jesus Christ is an Apostle. He was called and sent to leave His comfort zone, in this case heaven, and come to earth, grow up and live a life of obedience to the Law of God so as to fulfill its requirement to love God and others, and to die the death that would satisfy divine justice and break the curse and power of death. Jesus Christ was called to a life of obedience, a life of overcoming evil with good, a holy life and harmless, a life that would bring life to all who would receive Him as sent by the Father. As an apostle, Jesus had a task, things to do and words to speak, for God. His whole life was motivated by the joy set before Him, that He might finish the work. He did finish that work. And God raised Him from the dead and gave Him a name above every name, so that today at the name of Jesus, every knee must bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
As you celebrate Christmas this year, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of your profession. He is the cornerstone and foundation of the Church which He is building. He is the Head of the Body, His Bride.
And if you donít know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, I say to you that today is the day of salvation. Today is in the time of God known as the year of the Lordís favor. Grace is available to you. Your sins can be forgiven. You can know for sure that you have eternal life. You can celebrate Christmas and worship Jesus in spirit and in truth. You need only come to Him who was sent by the Father to save.
You just pray something like this: Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I have fallen short of the glory of God. I have not kept the Law of God or even my own standard of right and wrong. I have missed the mark. I know that you are the Way God accepts for my sins to be forgiven. I ask you to forgive my sins and to cleanse me of unrighteousness. I am willing to repent for my sins and to turn from them. Grant me repentance that I might recover my self and turn and follow you. I want you to be my Lord and my God. You are God. Please give me eternal life. Please come into my life, into my heart. Give me the Holy Spirit. Sanctify me by your truth. I know I donít deserve this, but I thank you for your life and for your death and for your resurrection out from among the dead. I thank you for such grace. Amen.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sinsÖWe have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4.9
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