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The distinctiveness of Christ

            It really goes without saying that all true Christians think of Christ as being unique and not to be placed on a level with other men or angels. However, it is good sometimes to consider ways in which He is unique. It is therefore proposed to compare Him with the other great men spoken of in Scripture who were given a commission by God.

            One would not speak here of such men as Joseph and Daniel who were themselves exalted by the rulers of this world, that is, Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar (Genesis 41:37-45; Daniel 2:46-49). No actual failure is recorded of them, but this obviously does not mean there was none, for we know that there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Christ was another order of man so this last quote did not apply to Him (1 Corinthians 15:47). He came down from heaven (John 6:38)

            However, if we consider Moses who was given a commission by God (Exodus 6:13), we find, great man though he was, failure was found with him. To begin with he felt unable to act alone, so God gave him Aaron to assist him (Exodus 4:10-17). Later Aaron became the High Priest (Leviticus 8:12; Hebrews 5:1-4). Christ, on the other hand, was able to fulfil both the role of prophet and priest (Hebrews 3:1-2). Further, we find that Moses later failed at Meribah and as a result was not allowed to go into the land God had promised to Israel (Numbers 20:12). His place was taken by Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:14; Joshua 1:1-9). Christ however not only served God when on earth but now does so in heaven and will do so until all things are under his feet (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

            In the Old Testament kings were distinguished from priests (2 Chronicles 26:16-21), but Christ carries out both functions. He will be a priest upon his throne (Zechariah 6:12/13). Further, Samuel, great man though he was, never became a king. He anointed others to be king (1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 16:11-13).

            If we consider Elijah and Elisha; the first effectively resigned his commission (1 Kings 19), so that the second had to complete it. However, no one succeeded Christ, that is, took his place. The Spirit came after He had gone to the Father (John 13:1; 16:7), but the Spirit was his Spirit (Romans 8:9; Philippians 1:19).

            When we come to the New Testament we find that Christ sent out his disciples in twos (Mark 6:7). No doubt this was for witness (Deuteronomy 17:6), but also to help each other (Ecclesiastes 4:9/10). Christ, however, was challenged about the matter of witness. In his reply He pointed out that He had the witness of God which was greater than that of John the Baptist (John 5:31-37; 8:12-20).

            Then we have Paul. He did not go on his missionary journeys alone, but he took Barnabas with him (Acts 13:2) and later Silas (Acts 15:40). Further, he did not do everything himself, for he referred to the fact that he was a planter, but Apollus was a waterer (1 Corinthians 3:5- 8).

            What all this amounts to is that Christ alone carries out all functions. He is a prophet, a priest and a king (Acts 3:22/23; Hebrews 4:14; Matthew 21:5), and also much more, but as to this I will leave my readers to search the Scriptures.

            Further, it is interesting to note that under the tabernacle system, when the tabernacle was taken down and was being carried through the wilderness the ark’s uppermost covering was of blue (the heavenly colour), no doubt so that all could see which article of tabernacle furniture was the ark so that they could follow it (Numbers 4:4-6; Joshua 3:1-6). Similarly, today we should be following Christ (John 8:12) and not some man who could well lead us into a ditch (Matthew 15:14).

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January 2012