As the “part two” in the title indicates, this is the second article on the subject of the many hats of the Lord. In that first article we paid attention to three hats that the Lord has worn. He has worn the hat of “creator”, for the scriptures proclaim that He created all things (John 1:1-3). We also noted that He wore the hat of “the Rock” (I Cor. 10:1-4). This hat presented Him as the force upon which Israel could lean and the place of protection in times of tribulation. And then, we took note of the hat of “Saviour”. We mentioned then that this is the one hat that all who would call themselves Christian would eagerly embrace. These three hats are hats that the Lord has worn. Notice the past tense of that statement. Now it is true that He is still the creator, but that work has been completed, He is not now creating. In like manner, it is certainly true that Jesus Christ is still the Saviour of man! However, He had completed that which He had to do in order to bring about the salvation of man. On the cross He stated, “it is finished.” He will never have to hang on the cross for our sins again. Yet, as mentioned in the last article, there are still a couple of hats that He is wearing and one that is still future.
First, those hats that the Lord is currently wearing. The Lord is currently wearing the hats of “Priests” and “King”, both at the same time. The Old Testament prophets foretold He would serve as both at once. Zechariah wrote, “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zech. 6:12-13). The Hebrew writer tells of the hat of “Priest” that He is currently wearing, in fact he specifies that He is the “High Priest”. He wrote, Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 2:17). In Hebrews 4:14, the writer uses the word “have” in reference to Jesus being the High Priest, thus present tense. The Lord is currently serving as our High Priest. The other of the two hats He is currently wearing is “King”. From the beginning, we have been talking about the many hats of “the Lord”. Jesus is the Lord because of the fact that He is the King. People often speak of their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. This is the same as admitting that He is the King. It is important that we realize that Jesus being the King is a present tense hat that He is wearing. He is currently King. The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). Upon completion of His wearing of the hat of Saviour, He sat down on the throne and began to rule as King. In fact Paul referred to Him as “…the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords” (I Tim. 6:15). Just as Jesus is not serving as High Priest in a physical tabernacle or temple on earth, so He is not serving as King over a physical kingdom. When explaining His kingship to Pilate, He said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). He told the Pharisees who asked about the kingdom, “…behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Paul pointed out that Jesus is currently reigning and will do so until the end, “when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power” (I Cor. 15:24).
When the Lord returns, He will come wearing the last hat, the hat of “Judge”. Paul warned the Athenians that God, “…hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). He told the Corinthians, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor. 5:10). Paul told Timothy that it was the Lord Jesus Christ who would judge the living and the dead (II Tim. 4:1). The Thessalonians were told that, “…the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thess. 1:7-8).
It is really important that we realize the many hats worn by the Lord. When the Lord returns, He will not return to create, to be our Rock, to return as Savior, nor to be a Priest. He will not return to set up a kingdom and reign as king. The Lord will return as Judge. He will be a righteous judge (II Tim. 4:8), but each will be judged according to what they have done. (Send any questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Robert Oliver is a long time columnist for The Sampson Independent.