Saturday, September 19, 2015

all three

In the Old Testament there were three key individuals who were mediators between the people and God: the prophet (who revealed God's will to them), the priest (who interceded for and represented people before God), and the king (who ruled the people with God's law, being under it himself).  These are sometimes called anointed ones, because they were installed into their office (or, role) by being anointed with oil or with the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes an individual might have two of these roles: Melchizedek was a priest and a king, David was a king and a prophet, Ezekiel was a priest and a prophet.   

As the Old Testament story unfolds, especially in the prophetic books, we see that God was foretelling and preparing for one person to come who would unite all three offices in himself.  He would be the Anointed One (Heb., messiah; Gr. christos).  It might be diagrammed this way...




Herman Bavinck summarizes why it was necessary for God's Son, coming into the world, to fulfill all three of these roles...

We need a Christ who is all three [offices] at once.  We need a prophet who proclaims God to us, a priest who reconciles us with God, and a king who in the name of God rules and protects us.  The whole image of God must be restored in man -- knowledge, yes, but also holiness and righteousness.  The whole man must be saved, according to soul and body, according to head and heart and hand.  We need a Saviour who redeems us perfectly and entirely and who fully realizes in us our original purpose.  Christ does this.  Because He Himself is prophet, priest, and king, He in turn makes us prophets, priests, and kings unto God and His Father (Rev. 1:6).   

~ Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith, p. 335.




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