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We’ve all been there, whether as a preacher or listener. The drama of the story of Daniel within the lions’ den builds all through the sermon. The conviction of sin as you walk in the course of the Ten Commandments grows very nearly overwhelming. The depths of emotion expressed by using the psalmist as he cries out for deliverance stirs and unsettles your soul. Where are we going? Will we leave impressed through the braveness of Daniel, beaten by way of the legislation of God, disturbed by using the distress of the psalm? However no—here it comes. Sound the klaxon: it’s time for “The Jesus bit.” all of us knew it was coming. We knew we needed to get there. Every bit as unbelievable as Tuesday following Monday, the closing five minutes of the sermon remind us once again of the penal-substitutionary demise of Jesus.
I’ve heard lots of of sermons like this and preached almost as many. And, frankly, thank God for every and each one in all them. Few of us have the rhetorical ability of a Spurgeon or Whitefield. Even if preaching, leading a Bible examine, or educating a Sunday school category, we’re desperate to be devoted each to the textual content at hand and the Savior to whom it leads us. Fairly a thousand a bit predictable sermons than a thousand dazzlingly artful however Christ-less messages. Rather a thousand clunky however devoted expositions of penal-substitutionary atonement than a thousand depictions of the pass as a bad accident. Or, nonetheless worse, sermons entirely empty of Christ-crucified.
In Man of Sorrows, King of Glory, Jonty Rhodes uses the usual categories of Jesus as prophet, priest, and king to raise the Christian understanding of his life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.
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Yet there are tools at hand to support us see the fuller canvas of Christ’s work. Theologians down the centuries have often spoken of Jesus’s threefold office. Jesus has one workplace, that of Messiah or Christ. He is the anointed one, the one mediator between God and man, the Savior. However this office has three aspects to it: those of prophet, priest, and king. The Heidelberg Catechism gives a neat summary:
question 31: Why is he known as “Christ,” meaning “anointed”?
reply: because he has been ordained by way of God the father and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit to be our chief prophet and instructor who utterly exhibits to us the secret counsel and should of God concerning our deliverance; our best excessive priest who has delivered us with the aid of the one sacrifice of his physique, and who constantly pleads our cause with the daddy; and our everlasting king who governs us by his observe and Spirit, and who guards us and continues us within the freedom he has won for us.
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