Trumpet lesson

When I was a young boy and continuing through my teenage years, I loved to play the trumpet. I played in the marching band, concert band, brass ensembles, and even played taps at military funerals. On most Sunday mornings and evenings, I offered a trumpet solo as special music in our church’s worship service.

One of my favorite hymns was “Praise Him, Praise Him.” I enjoyed playing it. Not only because it afforded me ample opportunities for embellishment, but also because I loved the words. It is a hymn of praise to the Lord Jesus, in which he is called “Prophet and Priest and King” while being regaled as our “precious Redeemer.”

I may be wrong, but I don’t remember learning of these titles of Jesus in my church or Sunday school classes. What a shame. I feel like I missed out on much rich teaching of many wonderful truths. I thank God that this phrase “Prophet and Priest and King” continued to ring in my head even though I didn’t appreciate much of its significance.

As I learned more about the Bible, I came to recognize that the Old Testament anticipates and predicts the coming of the Lord Jesus in many ways – especially through those who were anointed to office.

In the old covenant, three particular kinds of people were anointed to serve God: the prophet, the priest and the king. These three office bearers were specially called and appointed by God to highlight their special purpose and significance in their service to God. They also reveal three dimensions of the person and work of the Lord Jesus.

Because we have rebelled against God, and are alienated from him:

  • We need a Prophet because we now lack spiritual discernment. Put another way, we are spiritually ignorant and need to be informed.
  • We need a Priest because we have sinned against a holy God and need atonement and forgiveness. That is, we need a priest to deal with our sins.
  • We need a King to protect and guide us because we are weak, lost and prone to stray from God’s way.

 

Throughout the Old Testament, these office bearers pointed forward to the promised Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible gave hints regarding who he is and what he came to do.

For instance, God promised Moses that he (God) would raise up a prophet like him. The long list of OT prophets is impressive but none measure up to Moses until Jesus came. Jesus was recognized as a prophet by his peers, claimed to be a prophet and it’s acknowledged as such in the New Testament. Since a prophet’s function is to proclaim a word from and for God, Jesus made the fullest revelation of God. Hebrews 1.1,2: 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 the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

God has spoken. This is the most important thing that people need to know today. God has spoken.

We live in an extremely relativistic age. It is estimated that around 70% of Americans do not believe in absolute values of right and wrong or absolute truth. Having removed God from our society, there is no one to speak with certainty and authority.

The price that we have paid is not only the loss of truth, but we have also lost hope. Even when it comes to the things that we think we know, we consider them mere products of wishful thinking or even opinions, among a continuous flux of uncertain knowledge and belief. We are told that we do not know anything for sure, nor can we. All this is especially the case when it comes to our knowledge of God himself.

Can we know our Creator? If there is one? Is there a Savior to help us? Unless God has spoken, we cannot be sure if he is even there. And if God is not there, there is no hope. There is no answer for the ultimate problem of death.

But God has spoken. He has spoken through his Son – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus work as a priest is described in Hebrews 2:14–18 (ESV) — 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. 

According to these verses, Jesus Christ came into the world:

To destroy. Jesus came to destroy the power of a tyrant who held mankind in slavery, namely the devil.

To deliver. Just like Moses in the Exodus, Jesus came to set his people free. This was the purpose of his incarnation. Christ gained his victory through his death. Jesus delivered us from the bondage of Satan. Jesus delivered us from the wrath of God.

When Jesus destroyed the tyranny of the evil one and delivered us from the guilt of sin, he was acting as our priest. His sin offering of death on the cross, once and for all time, dealt with our guilt and turned God’s wrath away from us by bearing it himself. Therefore, we are free from the grip of Satan. Since Christ has tasted death for us, for believers, death is no longer the wages of sin but has become the entrance to eternal life. The leverage Satan used to fill us with fear has been destroyed. We are free at last!

Early in his ministry, Jesus announced that the kingdom of God was at hand. Mark 1.14, 15: “… Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Jesus  began his ministry announcing that the kingdom of God was at hand (Mark 1.14, 15) and continued this throughout his teaching (e.g. Matthew 13 – a series of parables regarding the kingdom) Even after his crucifixion and for 40 days following his resurrection, he maintained his emphasis on the kingdom. “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)

The Greek word translated kingdom is basileia, which indicates rule or authority of a King. When Jesus is king, whatever the king touches becomes redeemed and moves towards its ultimate purpose. Jesus has brought peace – not only peace with God, but also the peace of God, shalom, into the world.

The Westminster shorter catechism tells us that Christ executes the office of King in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.

The appearance of the kingdom of God is initiated by Jesus; his goal is the fullness of life. “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1.19 – 20)

When Jesus shed his blood on the cross, he began “making peace.” This is the same term used by Jesus to send out his disciples on a mission. This is what brings everything together. When we pray about, talk about and work together toward the kingdom of God, we are joining in with Jesus process of making peace through the blood he shed on the cross.

Join me in praising King Jesus using the words of this favorite hymn written by Frances J. Crosby, pub.1869:

  1. Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
    Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
    Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory;
    Strength and honor give to His holy Name!
    Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
    In His arms He carries them all day long.

    • Refrain:
      Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness;
      Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!
  2. Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
    For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died.
    He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
    Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.
    Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
    Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.
  3. Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
    Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring!
    Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever;
    Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!
    Christ is coming! over the world victorious,
    Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong

 

 

 

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