He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His Father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. Luke 1:32-33
The conversation between the angel Gabriel and Mary in Luke 1 was an incredible preview of how the world would soon never be the same, with so much meaning between the lines. Among the things Gabriel tells Mary, he says that that Jesus will be great. But Jesus was to be more than just a great king. God was ushering in a new way for His people to relate to Him, a “new covenant” in which the three key roles of the old faith – the prophet, priest and king – would be found and fulfilled in His Son, Jesus.
A prophet was the voice of the Lord, proclaiming His truth, convicting people of sin, revealing God’s will and sometimes performing miracles or healings. A prophet urged people away from idols and meaningless pursuits, and pointed them back to obedience and faithfulness,
Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also created the world.”
A priest was a mediator between God and His people. The high priest was the only one who could enter the Holy of Holies to intercede and pray for people (but as a human, sinful person, even he could die in God’s holy presence). They would also offer sacrifices to atone for sin and make people right with God.
Jesus is the ultimate priest; He was with God and was God from the very beginning yet also a human being. So now we “do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
A strong king would protect his people and conquer their enemies. A righteous king would rule fairly, provide justice and create a kingdom where life was good.
Jesus fought a battle no one else could, defeated our greatest Enemy on the cross, and conquered sin and death. He ushered in His Father’s Kingdom, in which we find our greatest fulfilment, abundant life and eternal rest.
Is one of these roles particularly meaningful to you during this Christmas season? Is there some area of your life where you need a prophet, priest or king?
As you pray today, thank God for His plan that all of these have been perfectly fulfilled in Jesus Christ.