Jesus is Our King, Priest, and Prophet
Jesus the King
Pilate ordered Jesus to come in, so he could judge the man from Nazareth. The first thing Pilate said to Jesus was: "Are you the King of the Jews?"
"I was born into this world, so I could tell others about the truth," Jesus replied. "Everyone who belongs to the truth hears my voice!"
Based on John 18:33b, 37b
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. The word "Christ" means "Anointed of God." Long before Jesus was born, kings and priests of Israel were anointed on their foreheads with olive oil to declare their place and power. The great prophet Elijah anointed his successor, Elisha, and gave him his place and power. Soon, the peoples of Israel and Judah yearned for someone who would have the best qualities of king, priest, and prophet. Someone who would rule them with justice, offer sincere worship to God, and tell them the truth about God's desires. Someone God would anoint with his very power to do his will. Someone to be the Christ: king, priest, and prophet. When he died on the cross, Jesus showed everyone he truly was the Christ.
King, Priest, and Prophet
One of the thieves crucified with Jesus mocked him. "So, aren't you the Christ?" the man said in a sneer. "Save yourself and us!"
"Don't you have any respect for God?" the other thief shot back. "We've all condemned to death. You and I got a just sentence. After all, we did so many bad things that we deserve to die. But this man didn't do anything wrong! Jesus," the man continued, "remember me with kindness when your reign comes."
"Listen!" Jesus replied. "Today you will be with me and God."
Based on Luke 23:39-43
What does a king do? He serves his people. On the cross, Jesus is our king because he shows us how far he will go to serve us. He was willing to die for us!
What does a priest do? He offers God worship. On the cross, Jesus is our priest because he offered himself to God for us.
What does a prophet do? He shows everyone God's will. On the cross, Jesus is our prophet because he shows everyone what sort of God we worship. He is a God of love and forgiveness!
We Do What Jesus Does
Jesus said to his followers:
When the Son of Man comes in power with his messengers, he will sit like a king on a royal throne. Everyone who ever lived will gather together before him. And he will divide them into two groups. Then, like a king, the Son will say to those on his right, "My Father has blessed you. Come and receive the Kingdom God planned when he created everything."
"I was hungry," the Son continued, "and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you made me feel right a home. I had few clothes and you gave me more. I was sick and you visited me to see if you could help. I was under arrest and you came to see me. Whenever you served the least important person, you served me."
Based on Matthew 25:31-32,34-36,40
As followers of Jesus, we are called to share his role as king, priest, and prophet. Jesus served all people as king. So we are to serve others and their needs.
Jesus offered himself as God's High Priest. We, too, are to offer God our prayers and ourselves.
Jesus proclaimed God's Good News. He calls us to do the same with our family, friends, and neighbors. He wants us to give them God's message of love and forgiveness.
The Sacrifice of the Mass
The Mass celebrates the death of Jesus on the cross. So, it is a sacrifice, an offering of a victim animal by a priest to God. Jesus is active in Mass as High Priest who offers himself completely to God the Father. But Jesus is also the Victim of the sacrifice because he died for us.
At Mass, the bishop or priest represents Jesus, the High Priest. He prays for the Spirit to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. And he says the words Jesus spoke at the Last Supper: This is my body. This is my blood.
Just as the victim animal was shared as food with those who offered it to God, Jesus shares himself in his Body and Blood at Mass.