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For unto us a child is born and a son will be given to us Isaiah 9:6

One of the main roles of a biblical prophet was to foretell the future, highlighting both the discipline and healing that would come to God’s people. Foretelling the future would often lead to repentance, while also kindling hope that God would bring lasting peace to His children.

Jesus came with a mission, a purpose. He came to fill a role—a few roles, actually. As we jump into this Advent series titled Christ Was Born for This, we’re going to take up three particularly significant roles Jesus came not only to fulfill, but to perfect. We’re talking specifically about Jesus’ role as our perfect Prophet, Priest, and King.

For each of the next three weeks we will unpack some of the particular functions the persons in each of these offices performed for God’s people, and then we will look at how Jesus perfectly fulfilled that role through His life, death, and resurrection—and how He remains our perfect Prophet, Priest, and King today.

We begin our journey by looking at the work of a prophet. Perhaps the most obvious work a prophet does is to proclaim what is to come. One of the main roles of a biblical prophet was to foretell the future, highlighting both the discipline and healing that would come to God’s people. Foretelling the future would often lead to repentance, while also kindling hope that God would bring lasting peace to His children.

God spoke through His prophets in the Old Testament (Hebrews 1:1-2). He chose them to foretell events yet to come (Jeremiah 1:5-10), and their messages predicted seasons of both blessing and struggle (Jeremiah 30:1-3). The current that ran through every message from every prophet in the Old Testament was a promise that a Savior would come—the Messiah—who would deal with their brokenness and usher in blessing once and for all.

Prophets in the Old Testament were often bearers of hard news—promises that God was going to discipline His people for their disobedience and rebellion. And God kept His word. But as hard as the news might have been, and as swift the discipline, the very existence of the prophets held up a holy truth—God was not distant. He was not silent, but involved. He was not tuned out to their perils or fears. He was listening. He was actively working.

The Advent season is a time when we consider how God has worked in time and space. We remember how He promised the people, through the prophets, that a Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace would come with healing on His wings. It is a time when we celebrate that, through Christ, God has kept His promise.

We remember how Christ has foretold our future too—that He will come again and heal every broken heart and give us deep, soul-level satisfaction and peace. And we respond as the people in the Old Testament did when the prophets predicted the Messiah’s first coming: we worship.