Who is Jesus Christ?
Prophet. Priest. King.
God made all things good. But now things are not as they should be.
Tarnish. Rust. Frustration. Injustice. Inequality. Suffering. Pain. Isolation. Loneliness. Marginalization. Alienation.
These words were inconceivable notions when the world was once applauded by its Creator as “very good.” Yet they are now commonplace descriptors of our lives. Why?
Once upon a time, many years ago, the unthinkable happened. Humanity turned away from the God who lovingly made us and ruled over us. Being like God was not good enough; we sought to become gods ourselves. Thus, we took the forbidden fruit, we made the illicit reach for autonomy.
And many years later, in our modern era, we still fail to acknowledge God’s proper authority in our lives as our Creator and our King. We worship the gifts of God rather than the Giver of those gifts. And these gifts become our pleasures. And these pleasures become our obsessions. And these obsessions become our addictions. And these addictions unravel us - marring our lives with discontent, anger, sadness, guilt, shame, and fear.
We know in our bones that life is not the way it is supposed to be. Somewhere inside, wedged in the recesses of our soul, we chafe against injustice and say, "Life is not fair!." Yet, ironically, we are part of the injustices of the world. Rather than fight for the common good, our self-interest leads us to clamor for our own security, rights, and privileges. And our meager attempts and trifling efforts to do anything about injustice demonstrates that we are not able or qualified to reconcile ourselves with God and make this world, and indeed our lives, good again.
However, we believe Jesus Christ is Lord. As our prophet, he speaks the truth about us. As our priest, he reconciles us to God. As our king, he leads us in the grand project of restoring the world. The historic Christian faith may look more or less like other world religions in many generic respects: offering salvation, teaching high moral values, and encouraging regard for neighbor. But Jesus is radically different from every other religious leader. No other such figures claimed to be God Incarnate, or to suffer for the sins of the world, or to rise from the dead as the firstborn of a general resurrection to come. Indeed, Jesus came to bring new life to the world, to restore creation and make all of it - you, Berkeley, Oakland, and the whole world - good once again.
In St. Paul’s letter to the young church in Corinth, a progressive city by the bay, he writes:
“God caused him who knew no sin to become sin for us that we might become his righteousness” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Through his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, Jesus our priest has taken away the curse of our guilt (for what we have done) and our shame (for who we are), has reconciled us to God, and has blessed us with new life and joy, freedom and meaning.
But this is only the beginning. Those who follow King Jesus now join him in his mission of restoration, his dream of making what the prophets in the Hebrew Bible called Shalom. Christian philosopher Cornelius Plantinga describes Shalom as “the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in equity, fulfillment and delight.” Though people are unraveling, societies are fragmenting, and ecosystems are disintegrating, Jesus empowers those who follow him to bring his peace to the world. And God is using those at Christ Church to take the unraveled threads of our lives and the frayed edges of our community and re-weave them into a beautiful tapestry of equity, fulfillment, and delight. Shalom!
Current Teaching Series
You can find just about any teaching series, podcast, story from our community, or Coverge forum on our new website.
Be sure to check out the new Resources section.