To be the Christ is to hold several offices, or to carry out certain functions. Those offices are: prophet, priest and king. They could be described in function as: revealing, reconciling and ruling.
Jesus Christ is a prophet, he reveals God. Many times in the gospels he is called a prophet. A prophet speaks the word of truth about God. Jesus not only spoke the word of God, as we generally associate with the work of a prophet, but he was the Word. John, in the beginning of his gospel, declares that Jesus was the Word and was God. All creation came into being by Jesus and is being held together by Jesus. Remember how God created the world, he spoke it into being. He used the Word. He also spoke the truth. Not limited to speaking the truth, in John’s gospel again, he lays claim to being the truth. Jesus was a prophet, revealing God, in what he said and what he did. He didn’t just reveal God, he was God.
Jesus Christ was a priest, he has the work of reconciliation. Jesus work as the priest encompasses intercession on behalf of his people, ministry to their needs and offering sacrifice for them. Hebrews tells us that Jesus is still, to this day, praying on behalf of the saints before the Father, interceding on your behalf. He set the example of ministry on the earth and now, through his Holy Spirit, he continues the ministry of lifting burdens and giving encouragement and strength. And he offered the ultimate sacrifice for his people, he gave himself. He reconciles the world to himself and to each other. Jesus, as your priest, will work to bring about reconciliation between you and God and between you and your spouse, friend, family, neighbor, enemy. It is his nature to reconcile.
Jesus Christ is King – he rules. The best picture of this during his earthly life is Palm Sunday, when everyone came to give Jesus a kingly welcome into Jerusalem. They proclaimed, “Hosanna to the king!” Today, as the King of kings, he rules over the universe. We may doubt that, evidence may seem scarce. But Jesus’ reign begins in the church and in the hearts of his disciples. He should have Palm Sunday in our lives everyday. He should be proclaimed the king each and every day. In Philippians 2, probably the best and easily one of the most recognized passages on the kingship of Jesus, it says that, “at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” That is not just a statement of future events, it is an encouragement to present reality. This truth is for today and was the clarion call of the church in that day. It was the second part of Peter’s statement.
This is the identifying call of the church. To call Jesus Lord is to acknowledge all that has been said about him. Jesus is Lord is the church’s only distinction from all other religion. Others may claim that Man is lord, or creation is lord, or reason is lord, or these holy writings are lord, or I am lord, but only Christians make the claim, “Jesus is Lord.” To make this statement is to surrender your own agenda to Christ. It is to give up claim to your life. It is to lay your marriage, your job, your family, your pride, your reputation, your wealth, your poverty at the feet of Jesus. Jesus is Lord means that you never put anything on your calendar that has not been cleared with Jesus first. It means that when he gives direction to your life that you put all else aside to be obedient. Jesus is Lord means that you do not accept anything less in your life than total subjugation of your will. You are acknowledging another will as greater and more important than your own. When Jesus is Lord you will do things that you do not enjoy for the sole purpose of honoring him as your Lord. When Jesus is Lord you will speak to people you despise so that the goals of His kingdom may be forwarded. When Jesus is Lord you will forgive those who have hurt you immensely just so you may walk in step with Christ.
A word of warning, when you make Jesus your Lord today, he will not erase your past. He will not strike it from your memory. He will not return your life, your family, your marriage, your relationships back to where they were before they became messed up. He will take you where you are to a different place though, that is more wonderful than where you are and more joyful than you can reach on your own. When Jesus is Lord, he does not erase your past, he gives you a future.