Prophet, Priest and King
"Praise Him, praise Him
Jesus, our blessed Redeemer,
Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring,
Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever.
Crown Him! Crown Him
Prophet, and Priest, and King!"
Prophet, Priest and King
The three offices that are given to Jesus in the Bible are that of Prophet, Priest and King. We also read that we are given these office to a certain degree. In this article we will discuss how Christ is a Prophet, Priest and King and also how we also hold to these offices.
Jesus Christ as Prophet
According to the CARM Dictionary of Theology, a prophet is “someone who is the mouthpiece of God. He stands between God and man to communicate to man the word of God.” Prophets were messengers and servants of God, to deliver to the people what God wanted His people to know.
Jesus assumed the office of Prophet when He began His earthly ministry. Jesus became God's mouthpiece (cf. John 12:49-50) and servant (cf. Phil. 2:5-11). Jesus was also the Prophet prophesied by Moses in the Old Testament (cf. Deut. 18:15-18, John 6:15). Jesus also stands between God and man as the only Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). And also, as Moses mediated the coming of the Law, Jesus is the mediator of Grace (cf. John 1:17) and the New covenant (Heb. 9;15).
Jesus as Priest
According CARM again, A priest is “a person having the ability to perform certain religious rites, sacraments. Generally, a priest stands between God and Man and administers the ceremonial rites on behalf of the individuals as an offering to God.” In the Old Testament, priests had to be from the line of Aaron. The priests were responsible for taking people's sacrifices to God (Lev. 4:20) and interceding for the people (Lev. 9:22-24). In the old Testament there was a special office for priests, namely being a High Priest. The high priest was responsible for conducting the sacrifices on the day of atonement, and he was the only one allowed into the Most Holy Place.
Jesus assumed the office of High Priest in the New Testament. He not only offered a sacrifice to God when He died, He Himself became that sacrifice (Eph. 5:2). The old testament High Priests and sacrifices were a shadow of Christ, in that whereas the High Priests offered sacrifices every year, Christ offered Himself once for all (Heb. 8:5, 10:1, 10:11-12). Also the Old Testament sacrifices could not take away sin but Christ's Sacrifice does (Heb. 10:11-12). Even though Christ has offered His sacrifice and thus has sat down at the right hand of God (Heb. 10:12), He continues to intercede for us (Rom. 8:34).
The major theme of the book of Hebrews is how Christ fulfills the Old Testament and how He is superior and is the fulfillment of the Old Testament types and shadows. One of the problems that first century Jews had was how the Christ could be a Priest if He was not aLevite but from the tribe of Judah. Christ is a High Priest forever and not through the lineage of Aaron but that of Melchizedek (who was both priest and king). Very little is known about this Melchizedek, but what the author of Hebrews wanted to show in the Epistle was that Christ is a High priest and an everlasting one, just as Melchizedek was (Heb. 5:5-10, 7:4).
Jesus as King
A King is someone who reigns and rules over a group of people. Jesus is the promised King of the Jews (Matt. 27:11). One of the misconceptions that people in Jesus' time (and even today) had was the nature of the Kingdom of God. The Jews were expecting the Christ to come and set up a literal kingdom here on earth, but Jesus kept telling them that His kingdom was not of this world (cf. John 18:36)
The kingdom of God is the Spiritual realm where God rules His people. Those who are born again have entered the kingdom of God (cf. John 3:3-5). Jesus is reigning at the right hand of God the Father.
Believers as Prophets, Priest and Kings
Believers also assume the office of Prophet (to a degree), as we are called to be the mouthpiece of God in proclaiming the Gospel of Salvation (cf. 2 Cor. 5:20). We are Priests in that we are called to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God (cf. Rom. 12:1, 1 Peter 2:5, 9). And we all Kings in the Kingdom of God as heir with Jesus Christ (cf. Rev. 1:6)
Christ is our Prophet, Priest and King. He has allowed us the privilege to share with Him in these wonderful office.
Soli Deo Gloria