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The Imprint of Jesus

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 11.07.28 AMAccording to Hebrews 1:2-3, God speaks in the last days through His Son Jesus who is the exact imprint of the Father. Commentators tell us that the Greek translation of imprint designates character. Character can be thought of in multiple ways. One has to do with a performer in a drama; through Jesus, God enters in flesh and blood the story of our lives. Another has to do with the essential essence of something; through Jesus,God gives in human form the perfect revelation of who He is. A third has to do with symbols that form words; through Jesus, God speaks in a language that clearly communicates His love and plan.

In Jesus, God leaves His glorious home and enters ours (Luke 2:7, 11). He becomes a real character on the stage He created. Jesus sees and experiences first hand how greatly the imprint of His Father has been marred by sin. He becomes a man to perform the work necessary to reclaim those upon whom the Father sets His electing love.

 A Real Prophet

Jesus was not a character in the sense of a play actor. He was the real Prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15), the real Priest like Melchidek (Hebrews 7:17), and the real King like David (Isaiah 9:7). A real prophet boldly tells forth the truth. A real priest continually calls to worship and intercedes. A real king faithfully leads by serving and meeting other’s needs. Jesus experiences the fullness of life because He exclusive of all others is Worthy (Revelation 5:12). All glory, honor and praise go to Him.

In Jesus, God comes close as one who can be seen, heard, and touched (I John 1:1-2). He moves about in the open, teaches with authority, and trains with patience. Jesus takes time to speak with compassion and challenge, to listen to cries for help and exclamations of praise, and to touch the unclean and bring healing of body and soul.

Jesus is not a distant, aloof, impersonal god. Jesus is God fully approachable by little children, by learned men, by wayward women, and by failing disciples. Jesus is God personally involved in joy at a wedding, in sorrow at a grave, in fear in a storm, and in love on all occasions. Jesus experiences the fullness of life because He, exclusive of all others, is the Way (John 14:6). All love, joy and peace come from Him.

In Jesus, God becomes flesh and blood and moves into the neighborhood (John 1:14). Jesus is the Word that confounds the teachers, comforts the hurting, challenges the norms, confronts the wicked, and conquers the enemy. He speaks and the storms calm, the food multiplies, the demons flee, and the dead rise.

 Jesus is the Word

Jesus is not a word in the sense of one among many. Truly no other man speaks as He (John 7:46). He speaks words of life everlasting, words of hope and faith, words that stand the test of time and eternity. Any who refuse to listen to this Word do so to their own destruction. Jesus experiences the fullness of life because He, exclusive of all others, is the Word (John 1:1). All life, light and power flow from Him.

Jesus calls disciples to become like Him, their Teacher, (John 13:13-15) and leave His imprint on the stage of their lives, in the character of their being, and through the words of their mouths. Jesus leaves God’s imprint wherever He goes. Jesus is God’s Light; He declares we are light (John 8:12, 5:14). Jesus is God’s Heir; He declares we are joint heirs (Hebrews 1:2, Romans 8:17). Jesus is God’s Holiness and Righteousness; He declares we are holy and righteous (Acts 3:14, I Peter 2:9, Romans 3:2). What an imprint we bear!

Jesus lives His earthly life in a Roman-controlled world. The Caesars proclaim themselves to be gods. They cause their images to be cut in stone and struck in coins that all might recognize their greatness. Today those imprints are but dead, graven images.

In contrast, the imprint of Jesus is alive and well in His bride. Let us in the ARPC as part of the true church be found faithful. Let the imprint of the risen Christ be formed in us so that we can fulfill our chief end, “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

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