Summary: This message teaches us of the 3 appearings of Jesus Christ: As Prophet; as Priest; and as King.
“The Three Appearings of Christ”
Dr. Steven G. Cook
A. Read – Hebrews 9:24-28
B. In the Jewish economy, there were 3 offices that were vital to the Jews: Prophet; Priest; King
C. Throughout Jewish history, we can see that God instituted the offices of the Prophet – one who represented God to the people; Priest – one who represented the people to God; and ultimately, when the Jews failed to recognize Jehovah God as their rightful King of a Theocracy, God allowed men to hold the office of King – the divine authority concerned with the ethical and moral welfare of the people in regard to God.
D. No one individual ever held All 3 Offices, though Samuel did hold two of them – prophet & priest, and Saul erroneously assumed the offices of both king and priest.
E. Also, we should notice that the men who held these offices in Israel fell far short of what God desired they be to the Jews.
F. The offices were to be “foreshadowings” of the Promised Messiah who would fulfil Genesis 3:15; but like all foreshadows, they cannot compare to what they depict.
G. In our text, we find 3 Appearings of Christ which reveal to us that Christ alone is worthy to hold all 3 offices and that He alone does not fail as did those that foreshadowed Him!
II. Christ Hath Appeared (Heb. 9:26)
A. Here we find that Jesus Christ “appeared once in the end of the world (ages) to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”.
B. This is the “Appearing” that is now being celebrated by most of the world – How tragic that they do not fully realize the significance of this great appearance!
C. It is this appearance that reveals to us Christ the Prophet!
D. 2,000 years ago, in a little town called Bethlehem, a virgin espoused to Joseph gave birth to a son whom she called “Jesus” for “He shall save His people from their sins!”
E. Truly, He was the fulfillment of the Isaiah 7:14 & Matt. 1:23 – “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
F. Christ came representing God before man – a Prophet!
G. Lk. 24:18-19 – After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus conversed with two disciples on the road to Emmaus; Cleopas questioned Jesus, not knowing it was He, calling Jesus of Nazareth “a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people”.
H. 1 Tim. 3:16 – “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…..”
I. Titus 2:11; 1 Tim. 1:15; Jn. 3:16-17; 1 Jn. 2:2; Heb. 9:26 – All of these verses establish the fact that the purpose of Christ’s 1st Appearing was to represent God to the people – A Prophet!
J. Many times Christ foretold others of His impending sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary, yet few believed Him.
K. However, as a further proof that He truly was a prophet, He was crucified just as He said!
L. All of this occurred during the First Appearing of Christ!
III. Christ Doth Appear….. (Heb. 9:24)
A. Here we read that “Christ now appears in the presence of God for us!”
B. This “Appearing” reveals to us Christ the Priest!
C. The writer of Hebrews teaches us that Christ is far greater than all of the earthly priests of Israel’s history!
D. While it was necessary for Israel’s priests to enter the Holy of Holies once a year with blood to offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people, it is NOT NECESSARY for Christ to offer any more sacrifice for sins!
E. When Christ died on the cross, His blood was greater than that of bulls, goats, and lambs!
F. However, Christ did not STAY in the GRAVE!! Hallelujah! He ROSE FROM THE GRAVE just as said He would!!
G. 40 days after His resurrection, Christ ascended up into Heaven where today “He Appears in the Presence of God FOR US!!” – Our Priest!!
H. Christ set forth the sacrifice of Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for the sin of mankind; He rose again and by so doing was “declared to be the Son of God with Power”; and “Christ hath entered into heaven itself, NOW to Appear in the Presence of God for us!”
I. As our Great High Priest – Christ has done and is doing three things in particular – 1) He offered Himself as a propitiation for our sins 2) He reconciles the sinner to God by the same sacrifice of Himself 3) He intercedes for His redeemed people
J. Heb. 7:24-27; 2 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 9:11-15