Question 23 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What offices does Christ fill as our Redeemer?“
The answer given is, “Christ as our Redeemer fills the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, in his states both of humiliation and exaltation.”
The specific offices mentioned will be further detailed in Questions 24 through 26, so these three terms will be covered in future posts.
It is worth noting that the title “Christ” that was given to Jesus is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Both the Greek and Hebrew words literally mean “anointed one.”
In the Old Testament, we see that priests and kings were anointed with oil as they were appointed to their work. For examples see Exodus 28:41 (Aaron as priest) and 1 Samuel 15:13 (David as king).
It is clear from the Gospels that Jesus considered himself the long awaited anointed one spoken of in the prophets. When he read from Isaiah in the synagogue, he did not hesitate to apply the words of Isaiah 61 to himself when he read,
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”Luke 4:18-19 (CSB)
Jesus is the only one who has demonstrated the ability and the authority to fulfill all three of these offices in combination in one person.