Q 23: What offices does Christ execute as our Redeemer?
A. Christ, as our Redeemer, executes the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.
A friend of mine told me recently that one of the reasons he loves Christmas is that even the atheist sings about Christ. Think about it: Even the atheist will sing about the First Noel. Now that may be a positive thing. God may use this Advent season to bring many to Christ through the great Christmas hymns. But my fear is that the reason most atheists can sing about Christ is that they probably don’t know enough about Christ to fear Him. The words “Jesus” and “Christ” are used so often in our culture that I have a deep suspicion that if the world knew this Christ, they would fear uttering these words. But to us who know him, it is the name above all names.
John Whitecross once told a story about Gideon, a converted Indian, who one day was attacked by a savage, who, presenting his gun to his head, exclaimed, ‘Now, I will shoot you, for you speak of nothing but Jesus.’ Gideon answered, ‘If Jesus does not permit you, you cannot shoot me.’ The savage was so struck with this answer,that he dropped his gun, and went home in silence.
Listen to how Jesus is described: as the Great architect, the sovereign one who controls all things. Do you think this is what most people think of when they sing: Born is the King of Israel?
But in our catechism he is even more than that: He is a prophet, Priest, and King in His humiliation, that is His Incarnation, and in his exaltation, that is when he ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus is the Triple Cure of Lost Humanity. First, He is a Prophet. Jesus represents God to man, because He is the God-Man. From the Prophet Moses to the prophet Elijah to the prophet Isaiah to John the Baptist to Jesus the prophet. In His incarnation He spoke to us words of wisdom and truth. In his exaltation he continually speaks to us through the Spirit and His Inspired Word.
Secondly, He is a Priest. The author of Hebrews spends thousands of words explaining Christ’s Priestly role. He is the spotless priest who intercedes for us because He died for us. No priest could accomplish such a task, but Christ laid His life to be our priest forever. It is to this priest that we confessed our sins this morning.
Finally, He is our King. Christ does not need our approval to make Him King. He rules heaven and earth. He was king in the First century, He is King now, and He will be King forever and ever. His Kingship provides us the wealth of comfort and assurance. If the nations rage against one another, when there is sickness and disease, Christ is still King.
In the first Noel was born unto you a prophet, a priest, and the King of Israel.