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Christ our Prophet, Priest, and King (Lesson 10.6)

The OFFICES of JESUS: How did Christ come to serve?

The term “Christ” is an English transliteration of the Greek title Christos; which, in turn, comes from the Greek Chrio (“to anoint”). It means, “anointed one.” This Greek title, Christos, was designated as the translation for the Old Testament Hebrew word with the same meaning. And in the Hebrew, the term “anointed one” is literally, Mashiah (which is, in turn, where we get the title “Messiah”). To put it another way, the term “Messiah” is actually a Hebrew word (Mashiah), which means “anointed one”; and “Christ” is the Greek translation. So, both “Christ” and “Messiah” mean “anointed one”. It's just that the Hebrew term is Mashiah and the Greek translation for the Hebrew word is Christos.

In the Old Testament Scriptures, particular individuals were to be anointed with oil for one of three distinct purposes: God was commissioning this individual to service as either a prophet, a priest, or a king. God had made clear in the Law that priests were to be consecrated with oil at the beginning of their service (Exodus 29:7; 30:30). And though it wasn't explicitly commanded in the Law, the Lord later makes it clear that kings and prophets were to be anointed in the same way(1 Samuel 9:16;10:1; 16:13; 1 Kings 19:15-16; 2 Kings 9:1-3). This anointing served as a testimony of God's calling to the particular office an individual was being commissioned, and it symbolically represented the provision of God's Spirit for the wisdom and power needed for faithful service to the Lord. In many ways, this is exactly the function that ordination serves now in the new covenant. But though there were many priests or prophets who were ordained at any given time, the term Mashiah—or “anointed one”—was reserved for one person in particular. The Mashiah-priest was the High Priest (cf. Leviticus 4:3, 5,16; with 21:10); just as the Mashiah-king was the only king (cf. 1 Samuel 24:6; 2 Samuel 1:16). The term Mashiah, “anointed one,” was very specific, and it was reserved for The Priest among priests, and for the only and rightful King of God's people. And it's for this reason that this same term, Mashiah, also came to describe the unique, divinely commissioned Anointed One still to come (Psalm 2:2; 132:17). This coming Mashiah was the hope of God's people from the very beginning. They knew One was coming who was anointed above all the rest by God himself (Psalm 45:6-7). For though many served as prophets, priests, and kings in Israel—they all looked forward to the Anointed One yet to come.1

When Jesus began His public ministry and was given the opportunity to preach in the synagogue, He took the scroll that was given to Him, found the place that He wanted, and began to read these words from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Isaiah 61:1-2). Luke then tells us: “And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.'” (Luke 4:17-21). In Jesus' first recorded sermon, He's telling us exactly who He is. How could He have made it any clearer? Jesus was declaring that He is God's Anointed One.

Indeed, Christ had been freshly anointed just prior to this; at the baptism of John. But it wasn't John who anointed Jesus. For Scripture had to be fulfilled, and as the passage in Isaiah reminds us, God's true Mashiah was to be anointed—not by another man—but by God himself (cf. Psalm 45:6-7). In the same way, the High Priests and kings who had served as pictures and types of God's true and coming Mashiah were anointed with oil; a symbol of God's Spirit. But in Matthew 3:16, we're told that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit himself, when “the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him” (cf. Acts 10:38). Jesus is God's Anointed One. He is the Mashiah. And He is the One whom God has anointed prophet, priest, and king of His people.2

A) JESUS is God's PROPHET: Most of the passages in the Hebrew Bible that refer to Mashiah are speaking of either the High Priest or the Anointed King. But Mashiah was associated with the office of prophet as well (Psalm 105:15). And the role of a prophet was to speak the Word of God. This is why we find the prophets constantly declaring: “Thus says the Lord. . .” (Isaiah 43:1). The prophets expounded the true meaning of the Law and called God's people to live accordingly, submitting their lives to His revealed will. Their message was one of salvation and judgment—salvation for those who demonstrated true faith and repentance, but judgment for those who refused to listen to the voice of the Lord. There were many prophets in the old covenant, but we're told that the greatest of them was Moses. At the end of his ministry, Deuteronomy 34:10 tells us: “Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses. . .” God would speak His Word to Moses up on the mountain, and he, in turn, would come down to deliver God's Word to His people. But Moses himself prophesied of another prophet yet to come who would be greater than him. In Deuteronomy 18, he said: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.” And again, “The Lord said to me. . .'I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.'” (vv15-19). Who is this prophet God would raise up, who would speak God's words, and to whom we must listen? God himself tells us at the Mount of Transfiguration. For when Peter offers to make booths for Moses and Elijah, who had appeared to them, a cloud formed and a voice thundered from heaven, declaring of Jesus: “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35). Jesus is God's Anointed Prophet, who, like Moses, came down in order to speak God's Word, in His name, to His people (John 5:43); performing also signs and wonders to testify He had come from God (John 5:36). His teaching wasn't His, but the One who sent Him; for He spoke only the words that were given to Him by the Father (John 7:16; 12:48ff). And Jesus didn't only proclaim the word of God, He himself was and is the Word of God; for in Him the Word of God has put on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Moses foretold that our eternal destiny hinges entirely on our response to God's Prophet. And Jesus tells us, Moses was speaking of Him (John 5:46; Acts 3:22ff).3

B) JESUS is God's PRIEST: As God's Anointed One, Jesus isn't only commissioned to the office of Prophet—He's also consecrated as the Lord's Great High Priest. But Jesus' role as Priest would take on a unique function that was distinct from his role as Prophet. For indeed, if the Lord Jesus fulfilled His work as Prophet primarily in His life—then He accomplished His role as Priest predominately in His death. The High Priest was the only one who had access to the holy of holies, and even he could enter only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, in order to atone for the sins of God's people. He brought the blood of the sacrifice with him and sprinkled it seven times on the mercy seat (which was a slab of gold that rested on the ark of the covenant). It was at the mercy seat that God met with the High Priest (Exodus 25:22), and it was in and through the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat that the sins of God's people were atoned for (Leviticus 16:15ff, 30). Jesus is both the sacrifice and the priest. As the lamb of God, He offered up His body once for all as a propitiation through His blood; and as our High Priest, He has ascended into heaven—the true holy of holies—in order to present himself to God on our behalf (Hebrews 9:23-24). And Jesus is both the priest and the mercy seat. For not only did He present His own blood to God as our High Priest, but He himself is the sprinkled mercy seat through whom we now have free access to God. Indeed, it was only the High Priests who were able to enter the holy of holies under the old covenant; but we are now beckoned to come boldly into the very presence of God, because God meets with us in and through Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-22). In the former times, the High Priests entered into the holy place year after year; but Jesus dealt with our sins once for all when He offered up himself (Hebrews 7:27; 9:26). And having ascended to heaven, He has taken His blood within the veil (Hebrews 6:19), where it now perpetually cries out to God on our behalf (Hebrews 12:24). And even Jesus himself cries out to God on our behalf. For having finished His work of atonement, He now engages in His priestly work of intercession (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). In the old covenant, the High Priests were taken only from Aaron's descendants, and they all eventually died. But as David looked ahead and spoke of the Christ, he prophesied that it would be different for God's Anointed One. In Psalm 110:4 he says, “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind,'You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.'” Unlike the other priests, Christ's priesthood wouldn't come from Aaron; indeed, like Melchizedek, His priesthood began long before Aaron existed. And Christ's priesthood will never end, for He serves as God's Priest forever.4

C) JESUS is God's KING: In His life and ministry, Christ served as God's Prophet. In His suffering and death, He engaged as God's Priest. But it was after Jesus' birth that magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:1-2). The magi's question reminds us that God's Anointed One would not only serve as a prophet and priest, but also as a king. Many years before, the Lord had told David that He would raise up one of his descendants after him and that He would establish his kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13). God was announcing that His Anointed King would come forth from David's line. The prophets later used the imagery of a garden to declare the same truth: “a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” (Isaiah 11:1). But though Isaiah describes this King here as “the stem of Jesse,” he goes on to later describe this King as “the root of Jesse” (v10). God's Anointed would come forth from David, but He would also exist before David. And in Psalm 110:1, we learn that this Anointed King wouldn't only be David's son—but that He was also very much David's Lord. When Samuel was sent, as the last of the judges, to anoint God's chosen king, the one whom the Lord instructed him to anoint was different than he had expected (1 Samuel 16:6-7). In the same way, when John was sent, as the last of the prophets, to bear witness to God's Anointed One, he testified of Jesus, saying: “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:33-34). John's testimony here that Jesus is “the Son of God” brings everything together for us. He's referring back to Psalm 2, where we learn that God's Anointed wouldn't only be David's son—He was and is the very Son of God (vv1-7). This is how the Christ is both the stem of Jesse and the root of Jesse. And it's how He would come from David's line, and yet, at the same time, be David's Lord. And so, when John testifies that Jesus is the Son of God, he's declaring that Jesus is the Son of David—who is the Son of God—who is God's Anointed King. Jesus is the Lord's Anointed. It's He who is “the Son of the Most High”; it's to Him that the Lord has given “the throne of His father David”; and it's He that “will reign over the house of Jacob forever,” whose “kingdom will have no end.” (Luke 1:32-33). Jesus is the Christ; and as such, He demands our allegiance. As the closing words of Psalm 2 exhort us: “Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way. . .How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”5

As Jesus stood before His accusers, on the night before His sufferings, there's a starling exchange that takes place between the high priest and himself. We read of it in Mark 14:61-62: “the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, 'Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?' And Jesus said, 'I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'” Jesus was finishing His earthly ministry the very same way He began it. For at the beginning of His public ministry, He had testified He was the Lord's Anointed (Luke4:16-21). Now, as He makes His final public appearance to Israel, He testifies to the same truth. Jesus is the Christ. He is the Lord's Anointed Prophet, whom God raised up like Moses, who spoke God's Word in His name to His people. He is the Lord's great High Priest, who offered up His own body once for all as a sacrifice for sin, and has taken His blood within the veil, where it ever pleads to God on our behalf. He is the Lord's Anointed King, the son of David and the Son of God, who will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and whose kingdom will have no end. But as Scripture tells us, it was “necessary for the Christ to suffer” before entering His glory (Luke 24:26). And so, Jesus suffered as a priest, when false witnesses rose up and accused Him in His priestly work, wherein the temple of His body would be destroyed and rebuilt after three days (Mark 14:57-58). And Jesus suffered as a prophet, when the men who were holding Him in custody beat Him and were saying,“Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?” (Luke 22:64). And Jesus suffered as a king, when the soldiers put a purple robe on Him, and “after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head. . .and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!'” (Matthew 27:29). Indeed, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer. For just like Moses, God's Anointed Prophet would be rejected when He first came to His people (Acts 7:25); and just like Aaron, many of the leaders of the congregation would gather themselves together against the Lord and His Anointed Priest (Numbers 16:11); and just like David, God's Anointed King would be hated and hunted before ascending the throne. But having ascended to heaven, Christ has now taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God; where He continues to serve as God's Anointed until the day that He comes again in His glory. For as our Prophet, Jesus continues to be our teacher, revealing to us the whole will of God; as our Priest, though He's finished His work of atonement, He yet continues to intercede for us before the Father; and as our King, He governs and protects us from all our enemies, until the day that we too will reign together with Him.6


1 See Berkhof's Systematics on The Names and Natures of Christ. On the High Priest, Henry Ainsworth notes on Leviticus 4:3: “Anointed [priest]: That is, the high priest (as both Gr. and Chald. do expound it); for the high priest only, in the ages following was anointed (Leviticus 21:10; and 16:32; Exodus 29:29).” And again on Leviticus 21:10: “Oil of Anointing: A holy oil, wherewith only the high priests and kings in Israel were anointed, and ordained to their office. . .” (from his Annotations). One example of how God's people longed for the unique and divinely commissioned Anointed One, and indeed understood this term Mashiah to refer to him is Hannah's prayer in 1 Samuel 2:10. For even before kings began to exist in Israel, Hannah lifted up her voice and sang: “The Lord. . .will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed [Mashiah].”

2 As Calvin writes: “Now it is to be noted that the title 'Christ' pertains to these three offices: for we know that under the law prophets as well as priests and kings were anointed with holy oil.” (Institutes, 2.15.2). And thus: “the office enjoined upon Christ by the Father consists of three parts. For he was given to be prophet, king, and priest.” (Institutes, 2.15.1). Roberts says: “For, as in former times men were anointed with material oil, with the Holy Anointing Oil, denoting their designation and vocation to, their endowments and qualifications for, those three eminent offices of Prophet, Priest, and King; so Jesus Christ was anointed with the true spiritual immaterial oil, 'with the oil of gladness above his fellows' [Psalm 45:7], [namely] 'with the Holy Ghost and with power' [Acts 10:38] most plentifully and abundantly, whereby he was most plenarily and transcendently qualified for, and most authentically called unto his triple office of Prophet, Priest and King to his Church. . .” (p1601). Of the Spirit coming upon Jesus at His baptism, Calvin says of Matthew 3:16: “But here two questions arise. The first is, why did the Spirit, who had formerly dwelt in Christ, descend upon him at that time? This question is answered by a passage of the prophet Isaiah. . .'The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord God hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted' (Isaiah 61:1). Though the grace of the Spirit was bestowed on Christ in a remarkable and extraordinary manner (John 3:34) yet he remained at home as a private person, till he should be called to public life by the Father. Now that the full time is come, for preparing to discharge the office of Redeemer, he is clothed with a new power of the Spirit, and that not so much for his own sake, as for the sake of others. . .” And finally, as the Westminster Larger Catechism asks in question #42: “Why was our Mediator called Christ? Our Mediator was called Christ, because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost above measure, and so set apart, and fully furnished with all authority and ability, to execute the offices of prophet, priest, and king of his church, in the estate both of his humiliation and exaltation.” The declaration of the Father at Jesus' baptism by John is significant: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17). The first clause harkens back to Psalm 2:7, which also affirms Jesus as God's Anointed One, since, in the Psalm, the Son of verse 7 and the Anointed Mashiah of verse 2 are the same individual. So, when the Father declares Jesus to be His Son, alluding to Psalm 2:7, He's also declaring Him to be the Anointed Mashiah of Psalm 2:2. This also helps to clarify how the Pharisees already understood from the Hebrew Bible that the Mashiah was indeed God's Son (cf. Matthew 26:63). The second clause of Matthew 3:17 harkens back to Isaiah 42:1, which connects Jesus the Anointed One also with the Servant of the Lord in Isaiah; for the passage reads: “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. . .” Another helpful insight from this passage is it goes on to say in Isaiah 42:1: “. . .I have put My Spirit on Him. . .” This serves to clarify with what, specifically, God's Anointed One would be anointed. Psalm 45:6-7 says God's Mashiah would be anointed with “the oil of joy. . .” But was this to be literal oil? The only other place in the Hebrew Bible that uses this same expression is Isaiah 61:3, where God's Anointed One is now, in turn, anointing God's people with “the oil of joy. . .” And surely no one would argue in the context that here, “the oil of joy” is literal. So, in the same way, we ought not to think the Mashiah was to be anointed with literal oil in Psalm 45:6-7. Rather, Isaiah 42:1 clarifies what Isaiah 61:1 had seemed to infer; namely, that the Christ of God would be anointed with God's Spirit. So, to summarize: The Mashiah would be anointed by God himself, and He would be anointed with God's Spirit; and this, of course, is exactly what we see happen at Jesus' baptism.

3 Sadly, Jesus also resembles Moses in another way as well. For just as the Jews rejected Moses whom God had sent to them, when he appeared to them the first time, so it was with Christ (Acts 7:25). Boston includes the following in the office of Christ as Prophet: “In the capacity of Prophet, he was constituted 1) the Messenger of the covenant (Malachi 3:1), to bring the good tidings of that treaty of peace into the world; and not only so, but, by the authority of heaven, to proclaim the treaty to sinners. . . 2) In the same capacity he was constituted the Witness of the covenant (Isaiah 55:4), 'Behold, I have given him for a Witness to the people.' God knew the world to be a guilty world, whose consciences witnessed their demerit of death; and that therefore they would be very slow to believe the good news from heaven, touching the covenant of peace; and for this cause he would give them one competent to witness the truth thereof; and pitched upon Jesus Christ for that effect. . .He came down from heaven, where the covenant was made, unto earth, in favor of which it was made; wherefore he could witness in the earth, what he had seen in heaven about it (John 3:31-32). . . 3) He is in the same capacity constituted the Interpreter of the covenant (Job 33:23), to teach it unto men. We are not only slow to believe the covenant, but it is hard for us to understand it. . .we cannot understand it in a saving manner, unless 'the Son of God hath given us an understanding (a supernatural one) that we may know him that is true' (1 John 5:20).” (View of the Covenant of Grace, pp207-08). The Westminster Larger Catechism #43 informs us: “How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet? Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in his revealing to the church, in all ages, by his Spirit and word, in diverse ways of administration, the whole will of God, in all things concerning their edification and salvation.” Scripture tells us that God's Anointed Prophet would resemble Moses. But it seems he would also resemble Elisha. As we mentioned earlier in our study, God had declared in Malachi 4:5-6, the last two verses in the entire Old Testament, that He was going to send “Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.” And in Luke 1:17, the angel Gabriel told Zacharias that it would be his son, John, who would “go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah. . .” So then, John was to be a prophet like Elijah. But if we look back to Elijah's ministry, we discover that, though he himself was a great prophet, he was followed by another prophet even greater than him, clothed with a double portion of his spirit (2 Kings 2:9-10). As Elijah had been the forerunner to Elisha, so too, John would be the forerunner to God's true Anointed Prophet. And so, we might also reason, if John's ministry was to resemble that of Elijah, then the ministry of the Messiah would, in turn, resemble that of Elisha. And this is exactly what we find in Jesus' ministry; it so closely patterns that of Elisha that it's uncanny: 1) Elisha possessed a supernatural knowledge both of people (2 Kings 8:10-15) and future events (2 Kings 7:1-2ff); even as Jesus does, who not only predicted his own death and resurrection, and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, but knew what Nathaniel was doing under the fig tree and told the woman at the well everything she had ever done (John 1:43-51; 4:15-30). 2) Elisha cleansed the leper Naaman, healing him completely in a miraculous way (2 Kings 5), even as Jesus miraculously cleansed the lepers (Luke 5:12-16) and many others who were sick and dying. 3) Elisha even raised up the dead boy of the Shunammite (2 Kings 4), as in the same way, Christ raised up the boy of the woman from Nain, giving him back to his mother (Luke 7:11-17); as He also raised up from the dead the daughter of the synagogue official (Luke 7:40-56). 4) Elisha multiplied loaves of barley and ears of grain in order to provide food for the many (2 Kings 4:42-44); as Christ multiplied bread and fish for the multitudes (Matthew 14-15). 5) Elisha defied the rules of nature when he divided the waters of the Jordan (2 Kings 2:14) and when he caused an iron axe head to float to the top of the water (2 Kings 6:1-7), as Christ also did when He walked on water (Matthew 14:22-27). 6) Elisha opened blind eyes (2 Kings 6:20) even as Christ was accustomed to do (John 9; Luke 18:35-43). Lastly, 7) Elisha's grave was a source of resurrection for others (2 Kings 13:20-21), as Jesus' death has brought us to life (John 12:24).

4 The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question #44 informs us: “How doth Christ execute the office of a priest? Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering himself a sacrifice without spot to God, to be reconciliation for the sins of his people; and in making continual intercession for them.” Boston writes, “The first covenant was made without a priest, because then there was no sin to take away; the parties therein represented, as well as the representative, were considered as innocent persons. But the second covenant was a covenant of peace and reconciliation between an offended God and sinners, not to be made but by the mediation of a priest, who should be able to remove sin, and repair the injured honor of God: Zechariah 6:13, 'He shall be a priest upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.'” (pp59-60). And Ball notes: “Now Christ's oblation was the truth prefigured in the priests sacrificing of the beast, and his entrance into heaven was the truth prefigured in the priests carrying of the blood into the holiest of all.” (p295). On Christ as our sacrifice, Boston also says: “His blessed body suffering and bleeding to death on the cross, and his holy soul scorched and melted within him with the fire of the divine wrath, both in the mean time united to his divine nature, were the sacrifice burning on the altar, from the which God smelled a sweet savor, to the appeasing of his wrath, and satisfying of his justice fully.” (p62). And of His applying the blood as High Priest, Roberts writes: “[Christ's] presenting his obedience and death, together with the infinite satisfaction and merit thereof, before His Father in heaven, desiring continually that for the same all His elect in their persons and sacrifices may be fully and eternally accepted of God (1 John 2:1-2; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). . .was notably typified in the action of the High Priest of old. He killed the sin-offerings, and then brought the blood of them within the veil into the holiest of all, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat. This was one continued action of the High Priest; his act was not complete, till the blood was represented within the veil, before the mercy seat. Thus Christ first shed His blood, and offered himself by dying; and then entered as our intercessor within the veil, into heaven itself, there to present His blood before God, to sprinkle it as it were on and before the mercy seat, and to present His satisfaction and merit perpetually there for us.” (p1619). Concerning Christ's priestly work of intercession, Ball says: “As the high priest went into the sanctuary with the names of the twelve tribes upon his breast, so Christ entered into the holiest of all with our persons in our behalf, and does carry all his people upon his breast, and presents his desires unto his Father for them.” (p297). Boston also draws out the following concerning Christ as our intercessor: “Now, Christ administers the covenant, as Intercessor thereof, these following ways chiefly: [First,] Effectually procuring, by his interest in heaven, the actual in-bringing of his elect, at the time appointed, into a covenant state of union, communion, peace, and favor with God [John 17:20]. . .His intercession is the spring that puts all the wheels in motion. . .Providence manages favorably towards the conversion of the man; the word powerfully affects him, while on others it falls like rain on a rock, running off as fast as it comes on; the business of eternal salvation is closely laid to heart with him; the law does its office upon him, and so does the gospel also in its turn; and these things cease not, until he is brought into a new state, and is become a new creature. Whence did all this take its rise? Why, the man had an unknown friend in the court of heaven, who spoke for him to the King; and all this is the fruit of that intercession made for him. . . [Secondly,] Maintaining the peace between God and them, while they are here in this world. Having purchased their peace with heaven by the sacrifice of himself, and by his intercession brought them into a state of peace, he does not leave it to themselves to maintain it. If it were so, it would soon be at an end. . .but Christ intercedes for them. . .upon the ground of his satisfaction for them, he answers all accusations against them [1 John 2:1; Romans 8:33-34]. . .Wherefore, their state of peace with God is inviolably maintained. . . [Thirdly,] Procuring them access to God, and acceptance with him, notwithstanding of their imperfections, while in this life. Saints on earth never want business in the court of heaven. Yet being sinful, they are in themselves unfit to come into the presence of the King. But the Intercessor of the covenant introduces them, procuring them access by his interest in the court (Ephesians 2:18). And by his means they are allowed access with boldness [3:12]. He makes their persons accepted, notwithstanding of the sinfulness cleaving to them; they are accepted in the beloved [1:6]. And in him they have an altar that sanctifies their gifts (Hebrews 13:10). So that their spiritual sacrifices, howbeit they want not their blemishes, yet are acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5). Their prayers made in faith, though smelling rank of the remains of the corruption of nature, yet being perfumed by the Intercessor with the incense of his merit, are accepted in heaven. . .” (pp223-26). Lastly, we might mention here that if Jesus' death shows forth the work of His priesthood, then His resurrection attests to the proof of His priesthood: In the wilderness, there were some who rose up against the Lord, questioning whether or not God had really appointed Aaron as the High Priest. So, in Numbers 17, God himself interposes with a sign, in order to testify to all Israel who is the High Priest that He had chosen. Each tribe was to give Moses a staff with the name of the tribe written on it; the staffs were, in turn, to be placed in the holy of holies; and the one whom God had chosen as High Priest would sprout (vv4-5). This would be a miracle, for these were dead sticks that were given to Moses. Indeed every other time this word is used in the Pentateuch, it's translated as either “staff” (such as Moses' staff) or “tribe”. But sure enough, on the next day, Aaron's staff “had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore rip almonds.” (v8). This was God's own special sign which He put forth to all Israel in order to testify whom is the One He himself has appointed as High Priest. And just as with Aaron's staff—God himself has testified to all Israel whom is the One He has chosen as His Anointed Priest—for when the dead body of Christ was placed, as it were, before God; just as Aaron's staff, God was pleased to bear witness that this was His chosen One by raising Him from the dead.

5 The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question # 45 says: “How doth Christ execute the office of a king? Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which he visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, rewarding their obedience, and correcting them for their sins, preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming all their enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory, and their good; and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel.” Roberts likens Christ to Melchizedeck, who was a king as well as a priest: “As, of Melchizedeck, first King of Righteousness, then King of Peace; a singular type of Christ our King, who first justifies and then pacifies.” (p1624). Calvin notes: “Christ was called Messiah especially with respect to, and by virtue of, his kingship. Yet his anointings as prophet and as priest have their place and must not be overlooked by us.” (Institutes, 2.15.2). And again: “A visible symbol of this sacred anointing was shown in Christ's baptism, when the Spirit hovered over him in the likeness of a dove (John 1:32; Luke 3:22). . .For the Spirit has chosen Christ as his seat, that from him might abundantly flow the heavenly riches of which we are in such need.” (2.15.5). And: “Now Christ fulfills the combined duties of king and pastor for the godly who submit willingly and obediently; on the other hand, we hear that he carries a 'rod of iron to break them and dash them all in pieces like a potter's vessel' (Psalm 2:9). We also hear that 'he will execute judgment among the Gentiles, so that he fills the earth with corpses, and strikes down every height that opposes him' (Psalm 110:6). We see today several examples of this fact, but the full proof will appear at the Last Judgment, which may also be properly considered the last act of his reign.” (2.15.5). Again, Calvin notes: “David laughs at the boldness of his enemies who try to throw off the yoke of God and his Anointed, and says: 'The kings and people rage in vain. . .for he who dwells in heaven is strong enough to break their assaults' (Psalm 2:2,4). Thus he assures the godly of the everlasting preservation of the church, and encourages them to hope, whenever it happens to be oppressed. Elsewhere, speaking in the person of God, David says: 'Sit at [My] right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool' (Psalm 110:1). Here he asserts that, no matter how many strong enemies plot to overthrow the church, they do not have sufficient strength to prevail over God's immutable decree by which he appointed, his Son eternal King.” (Calvin, 2.15.3).

6 The Heidelberg Catechism speaks of Jesus as our prophet, priest, and king in question #31: “Why is he called 'Christ', meaning 'anointed'? Because he has been ordained by God the Father and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit to be our chief prophet and teacher who perfectly reveals to us the secret counsel and will of God for our deliverance; our only high priest who has set us free by the one sacrifice of his body, and who continually pleads our cause with the Father; and our eternal king who governs us by his Word and Spirit, and who guards us and keeps us in the freedom he has won for us.” And Roberts says: “Jesus Christ Reveals the whole way and mystery of salvation, as a Prophet; Acquires and Purchases salvation revealed, as a Priest; [and] Applies, efficaciously salvation revealed and purchased as a King.” (p1601). And again, Roberts says: “Christ's benefits towards us are chiefly of three sorts, [namely] 1) He makes known unto us the whole counsel and will of God touching sinner's salvation in His word; enlightening our minds by His Spirit to understand the same. This He does as a Prophet. 2) He suffers and satisfies for the sins of His elect. . .He ever lives to make intercession for them, and thereby to impetrate all saving blessings upon them. All these and such like blessings he works for us, as a Priest. 3) He effectually applies to us all the benefits and purchases of His mediation. He subdues, calls and governs us by the spiritual scepter of His word and Spirit. . .He restrains and conquers all our enemies. . .And He will come again at last to judge the world, to take us home unto himself. . .Now all these and such like benefits He vouchsafes to us, as a King.” (Mystery and Marrow, pp1601-02).


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