One of my hobbies is photography. While my iPhone does a good job, the Digital SLR I have takes much better pictures. If you aren’t familiar with the lingo, it is one of those cameras that allows you to change its lens. Being able to change the lens is important because each lens offers a different perspective.
Think about taking a photograph of a flower. You could use a macro lens to take a close up of a flower, capturing it’s smallest details. Alternatively, you could use a wide-angle lens to capture the flower and the flower bed it’s in all at once. Or you could use a telephoto lens to zoom in from far away, and even provide some depth of field to your photographs. It’s these different perspectives that make the picture unique and something we want to look at, and maybe even purchase.
In the same way different lenses offer different pictures of the same flower, the Bible offers different pictures of Jesus. Three of those pictures are Jesus as Prophet, Priest, and King.
Jesus as Prophet, Priest, and King
When we think about Jesus as Prophet, Priest, and King, we have to understand that He’s not pictured as just any ordinary Prophet, Priest, or King. Instead, we see him as the true and better Prophet, Priest, and King, who serves as the culmination of all these roles.
True and Better Prophet
Throughout the Old Testament, the people were looking for a true and better Moses, who would not only proclaim the word of God but also, and more importantly, offer a message of complete forgiveness and reconciliation. But no prophet like Moses ever arose until Jesus came on the scene.
True and Better Priest
Consider the Old Testament priests. They served as a mediator between God and man, offering daily sacrifices for the sins of the people so they could exist in relationship with God. But no matter how many priests came, none were able to offer a sacrifice that could reconcile man’s relationship with God forever. That is until Jesus came.
True and Better King
Finally, take David. He was the great King of the nation of Israel. God even made a covenant with him and called him a "man after His own heart." But David nor any of the kings after him were able to lead the people to truly follow God. Until Jesus came.
What This Means for Us
You see, Jesus isn’t just any old Prophet, Priest, or King; he is the true and better Prophet, Priest, and King, who is able to do what those who came before could not.
Jesus is: the true and better Prophet, whose message is worth listening to. He is the true and better Priest, whose salvation is worth believing and hoping in. And he is the true and better King, whose leadership is worth submitting to and following.