Jesus our King-Priest
By: Matthew Carver
V1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!….
V4 The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Often when we have a prior commitment to not like another person or a group of people, we take great effort to avoid taking a good solid look at any evidence that would change our opinion. The result is a caricature of that person, a straw man, a shadow of what the person is really like. This caricature exists until the unexpected moment when they or a representative of that group bursts our bubble and does something outside our preconcieved critical box. We are then forced to admit that we only had a single faceted perspective of that person. And so one country dehumanizes another during war time, only to discover later that they might relate a lot with those people, or every politician is judged as a sell-out until we discover one making principled decisions. And in just the same way the world looks at Jesus and, not wanting to take a good solid look, caricatures him into one extreme or another. They say “he is too soft and gentle and wishy washy with love.” Or “he is too exclusive and extreme, hateful and even dangerous.”
Without doubt the most striking aspect of the passages cited above is that, in taking an unbiased look at Jesus, it presents him as the perfect combination of polar opposites—King and Priest. This means he will always be bursting our bubble, and doing something surprising to us. Neither kingliness or priestliness as characteristics appeal immediately to the modern mind, not understanding in our society either Kings or priests. However, to the one who captures the true feelings that would be appropriate toward these two titles, Jesus becomes the perfect combination of equal opposites, and therefore the only adequate object of our worship.
So what does this mean for us? How can we best approach our King Priest in his multifaceted goodness? Consider some of the applications below:
Are you tempted to do evil? Then you need a righteous King to lead you into righteousness.
Have you done evil? Then you need a priest to present a sacrifice that causes your conscience to be purified.
Are you currently rebellious? You need a King to submit to.
Are you suffering and needy? You need a priest to satisfy your need.
Are you uplifted in you heart? You need a King great enough to humble your pride.
Are you depressed in your heart? You need a Priest low enough to lift you to joy.
Are you facing some battles? Let your King give you power.
Are you weakened from battles? Let your priest refresh you.
Does the love of God seem weak, soft, or boring? God must become King to you so that you can worship him in majesty.
Does the greatness of God seem condemning, dark, and distant? God must become Priest to you so that you can draw near with confidence of acceptance.
Are you in need of correction? Your King has sufficient power to do that for you.
Will he destroy you in correction? No for your priest intercedes for you with his blood.
Have you been wronged? Your King will judge, but your priest stands forgiving you so that you can forgive.
Do you struggle to have hope that the world can be redeemed and made right? As King he can and as priest he is willing.
Our society doesn’t understand either the King or the priest. Those of the world think they’re the kings and so therefore think they don’t need a priest. But they are left uninspired, un-lead, unloved, and with guilt on their conscience. We have our God who is for us all that we need him to be, and He is revealed in Christ: our King-Priest.