Prophet, Priest, and King in Biblical History (1 of 4)

Today in class, I taught on the deity of Christ, and His three-fold office as prophet, priest, and king. This is all very exciting stuff, and I’m glad the class with also “into it” along with me. When discussing the 3 offices fulfilled by Christ, I thought it helpful to trace these themes through the OT in order to highlight exactly why and how Christ is the perfect prophet, priest, and king.

First, I noted that the offices start back in the Garden of Eden. Adam was supposed to exercise these function accordingly:

Prophet- Adam was to speak true words about God

Priest- He was to minister the blessings of God to God’s creation

King- As the royal image of God, and vice-regent of the universe, Adam was to rule and exercise dominion over the earth in line with God’s ultimate authority and as a righteousness reflection of God, the Great King.

Sadly, in Gen. 3 we have the account of the Fall. In this narrative, we find all 3 offices turned on their proverbial head.

Prophet- Instead of speaking true words about God, God speaks a (true) word of judgment upon humanity.

Priest- Instead of ministering the blessing of God, Adam and Eve now are in need of reconciliation with God. They now need mediation in their relationship to their creation, whereas before the Fall they had direct access to Him.

King- Instead of acting as a righteous reflection of God’s character, Adam misrepresents God (and later blames God for his sin! Cf. “It was the woman you gave me…”)

Thus, our first parents we expelled from the place of God’s blessing. Yet, God didn’t abandon these roles (or offices), but instead these responsibilities were passed on to the nation of Israel. Next we’ll take a look at how these offices functioned in the nation’s history.

For a helpful discussion of Adam’s original role, Israel’s mandate as a nation, and its fulfillment in Christ, see

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Posted on September 21, 2008, in Theological Studies. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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