“IN THE beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and everything he made was “very good.” (Gen. 1:1, 31) Jehovah made humans with wonderful prospects for the future. However, the rebellion in Eden temporarily interrupted mankind’s happy state. Yet, Jehovah’s purpose for the earth and for mankind remained unchanged. God indicated that there would be deliverance for obedient descendants of Adam. There would be a restoration of true worship, and God would destroy the wicked one together with all his evil works. (Gen. 3:15) Once again, things would be “very good.” Jehovah would accomplish this through his Son, Jesus Christ. (1 John 3:8) Therefore, it is imperative that we recognize Christ’s role in God’s arrangement.—Acts 4:12; Phil. 2:9, 11.
WHAT CHRIST’S ROLE IS
2 When thinking of Christ’s role in God’s arrangement, we recognize that his role has many facets. Jesus serves as mankind’s Redeemer, as High Priest, as Head of the Christian congregation, and now as King of God’s Kingdom. Meditating on these roles heightens our appreciation for God’s arrangement and deepens our love for Christ Jesus. The Bible describes some of his varied roles.
Jesus is the key figure in the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose for mankind
3 During Christ’s earthly ministry, it became clear that the reconciliation of obedient mankind to God would be accomplished through Jesus. (John 14:6) As mankind’s Redeemer, Jesus gave himself as a ransom in exchange for many. (Matt. 20:28) So Jesus is more than just an example of godly conduct. He is the key figure in the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose for mankind. He is our only means of being restored to God’s favor. (Acts 5:31; 2 Cor. 5:18, 19) Jesus’ sacrificial death and his resurrection have opened the way for obedient mankind to experience eternal blessings under the rule of God’s heavenly Kingdom.
4 As High Priest, Jesus is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” and make atonement for the sins of his dedicated followers here on earth. The apostle Paul explained: “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tested in all respects as we have, but without sin.” Paul then encouraged those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ to take full advantage of this arrangement for reconciliation to God, saying: “Let us, then, approach the throne of undeserved kindness with freeness of speech, so that we may receive mercy and find undeserved kindness to help us at the right time.”—Heb. 4:14-16; 1 John 2:2.
5 Jesus is also Head of the Christian congregation. As was true of his followers in the first century, we today have no need of a human leader. Jesus gives direction through holy spirit and through qualified undershepherds, who are accountable to him and to his heavenly Father for the care of the flock of God. (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2, 3) Speaking prophetically of Jesus, Jehovah said: “Look! I made him a witness to the nations, a leader and commander to the nations.” (Isa. 55:4) Jesus confirmed the fulfillment of this prophecy when he told his disciples: “Neither be called leaders, for your Leader is one, the Christ.”—Matt. 23:10.
6 As an expression of his mental attitude and willingness to help us, Jesus extends the invitation: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for yourselves. For my yoke is kindly, and my load is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30) By administering the affairs of the Christian congregation with mildness and in a way that brings us refreshment, Jesus Christ has proved himself to be “the fine shepherd” in imitation of his heavenly Father, Jehovah God.—John 10:11; Isa. 40:11.
7 In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul explained another facet of Jesus Christ’s role in these words: “He must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.” (1 Cor. 15:25, 28) Before coming to earth, Jesus was God’s “master worker,” being the first of God’s creation. (Prov. 8:22-31) When God sent Jesus to earth, he did God’s will at all times. He endured the supreme test and died faithful to his Father. (John 4:34; 15:10) Because his Son was loyal even to death, God resurrected him to heaven and gave him the right to be King of the heavenly Kingdom. (Acts 2:32-36) As such, Christ Jesus has the awesome assignment from God to lead myriads of powerful spirit creatures in removing human rule from the earth and ridding our globe of all wickedness. (Prov. 2:21, 22; 2 Thess. 1:6-9; Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-3) Then God’s heavenly Kingdom under Christ will be the only ruling authority over the entire earth.—Rev. 11:15.
WHAT RECOGNITION OF HIS ROLE MEANS
8 Jesus Christ, our Exemplar, is perfect. He has been commissioned to care for us. In order to benefit from his loving, watchful care, we need to remain loyal to Jehovah and keep in step with Jehovah’s progressive organization.
9 Jesus’ followers in the first century fully recognized the role of Christ in God’s arrangement. They showed this by working together in unity under the headship of Christ, submitting themselves to his direction, as given by means of holy spirit. (Acts 15:12-21) The apostle Paul made reference to the unity of the anointed Christian congregation when he wrote: “Speaking the truth, let us by love grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ. From him all the body is harmoniously joined together and made to cooperate through every joint that gives what is needed. When each respective member functions properly, this contributes to the growth of the body as it builds itself up in love.”—Eph. 4:15, 16.
10 Like the human body, the congregation of anointed ones and the “other sheep” is made up of many different members. When each member of the congregation cooperates with the others and all work in harmony under Christ’s headship, there is growth and a warm spirit of love, which is “a perfect bond of union.”—John 10:16; Col. 3:14; 1 Cor. 12:14-26.
11 World events in fulfillment of Bible prophecy prove beyond doubt that since 1914, Jesus Christ has been entrusted with Kingdom power. He is now ruling in the midst of his enemies. (Ps. 2:1-12; 110:1, 2) What does this signify for those now living on earth? Jesus will soon demonstrate his role as King of kings and Lord of lords when he executes divine judgment against his enemies. (Rev. 11:15; 12:10; 19:16) Then, Jehovah’s promise of deliverance expressed at the beginning of man’s rebellion will be fulfilled toward those at Christ’s right hand of favor. (Matt. 25:34) How happy we are to have recognized Christ’s role in God’s arrangement! May we remain unified in accomplishing a worldwide ministry under Christ’s leadership during these last days.