John Calvin, a theologian during the 16th century, encouraged people to see the work of Christ through the lens of three Old Testament offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. This is still a fantastic way to see and understand the role of Jesus.
Christ as Prophet
In Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses said these words, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—“ Who is this coming prophet? Jesus. In Matthew 17:5 God says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Jesus is the prophet of God that the world is to listen to. However, he is more than God’s messenger, he is also the message. John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus, in his role as Prophet, is the purest and perfect revelation of God because Jesus is God in the flesh.
Christ as Priest
The role of the priest was to stand between a Holy God and an unholy people. A priest would intercede on behalf of sinners. Ultimately, this is what Jesus came to do, to mediate between God and sinful man. He does this by being fully God and fully man simultaneously. Perhaps the best place in the Bible to see how Jesus is the fulfillment of this role as Priest is in the book of Hebrews. In Hebrews 2:17 it states, “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
Christ as King
In America, the concept of King is somewhat lost upon us. For most nations, the King is the Sovereign. The King has unlimited authority over the people, the land, and the law. In the OT, Israel was tied to their King. As the King went, so went Israel. Upon the coming of Christ, he became the final and eternal King. We can see this in our text at the top of this blog, 1 Peter 2:9-10. He is our Sovereign King and we are a people for his possession to be used for his purpose. And the best part about this is that our King is a good and gracious King. He is not an evil dictator, but loves us and laid down his life for us. Who wouldn’t want to live in his Kingdom!
*This blog is a part of series of blogs using Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. The title, Scripture, and structure are taken directly from Grudem's book.