Prophet, Priest and King

Part IV: Christology
Chapter 22 - Christ's Offices and States

The Reformed and Puritan folks lean toward Nestorius in the debate between him and Eutychus.  Nestorius emphasized the two distinct natures of Christ (maybe overly separating them), while Eutychus emphasized the unity of His person (maybe not allowing enough distinction between the human and divine natures).  Puritans emphasized that Christ had two wills, not one.  One person doesn't require one "psychological center" (348).  This makes for a REAL change in Christ, from His glory to His state of humiliation on earth, especially in His knowledge and power.

The Lutheran view that some of Christ's divine attributes are communicated to His human nature doesn't work.  As God is simple, if one divine attribute is communicated to Christ's human nature, then all of them are.  This makes His state of humiliation only apparent.  The Roman Catholic view is different, but winds up with the same problem: He was given all He needed in His humanity from the beginning of His incarnation.  On these views, there was no "real development in Christ's human nature" (350), as Luke 2:52 and Hebrews 5 say, it was only apparent.

Christ as Prophet
This office wasn't just on earth, but He continues revealing God's truth to the church in glory.
As a mediator, God revealed truth to Jesus in His human nature, and Jesus then passes that on to us.  "If God did not reveal to Christ certain truths, then Christ as a true man, was ignorant of those truths" (351).  Which makes sense of Jesus saying He didn't know the day of His return, only the Father did.

Christ as Priest
He offers sacrifice and intercedes.  His sacrifice shapes His interceding mediation.  He doesn't mediate as a persuasive entreaty, like labor-union negotiations that might break down.  His intercession is effective and meritorious because of who He is, and because of the sacrifice He made.  The justification Jesus bought for us at the cross, is applied to us when He asks the Father for it.  Will Christ be a priest forever, as He will be a prophet?  Hebrews 7:17 seems to say so, but this is a role connected to the new covenant forgiveness of sins, and the need for that covenant ends at the consummation.  [I'm not sure I buy this: won't there be a kind of non-redemptive intercession Christ makes for us to the Father in the new age?]

Christ as King
The New Testament quotes Psalm 110:1 more than any other verse.  God gave Jesus a kingdom to rule, but Christ also had a natural kingdom from all time as part of the Trinity.  His given kingdom is spiritual (John 18:36), and He had to conquer to receive it, as it had been usurped.  Sitting at God's right hand is an "expression of the strength, power, majesty, and glory that belong unto Him" (356).  He reclaimed what He had laid aside or veiled while on earth.  Goodwin spoke of Christ's three fold glory: 1. His essential glory of divinity, 2. Incarnate glory as the "image of His person" (Heb. 1:3), and 3. His glory as head and mediator of the covenant of grace.  This last passes away when He hands the kingdom over to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24).  Still He will remain King forever (Rev. 11:15), ruling the world with the Father and Spirit.

So in one sense, Christ's role as prophet, priest and king will end with the consummation.  He will no longer mediate grace.  But in another sense, He will continue to convey revelation, perhaps intercede in non-saving or sanctifying ways, and rule as King of creation.

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