Christ In the State of Humiliation and Exaltation

For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. (Romans 14:9 ESV)

“The three offices of Christ, they have this order in regard of manifestation. First, he was a prophet to instruct and teach his in himself, and likewise by his ministry. And then a priest to die for those that are his, to make intercession now forever in heaven. And then a king.

First, a prophet, then a priest, and then a king.

He was all at once.

The very union invested him in all these, but in regard to manifestation he was first a prophet to instruct us of the end of his coming into the world; and then a priest to do that grand office that we have most comfort by; and then a king to rule us. He could not be otherwise, for if he had manifested himself a King and a Lord in his glory, where had been his abasement? If they had known him to be the Lord of glory, they would never have crucified him.

Only some sparkles of his Godhead and lordship and kingdom and royalty over all flesh break out in his miracles; yea, in his greatest abasement there were some sparkles, I say. Even when he lay in the manger, kings came to adore him. When he paid tribute, he had it out of a fish by a command, by majesty. When he was on the cross he converted the good thief. So somewhat brake out of him that he was a person more than ordinary, but that was for special ends.

Ordinarily he went on in a course of abasement, and all that he might perform the great work of redemption. Therefore he made a stop of his glory and kingly office, that he might not manifest himself in that relation and office; that he might do the office a priest to die for us. … So you see here Christ’s offices, the state and condition of his humiliation and of his exaltation, and the use and end of all, ‘ that he might be Lord of the dead and of the living.’

And if we be anything offended with that abasement, that God should die, look to his rising and reviving and lordship over all, both living and dead; and if we be dazzled with his glory, look back again to God in our flesh, and God in our flesh abased, even to the death of the cross.

Oh, it is a sweet meditation, beloved to think that our flesh is now in heaven, at the right hand of God; and that flesh that was born of the virgin, that was laid in the manger, that went up and down doing good, that was made a curse for us and humbled to death, and lay under the bondage of death three days; that this flesh is now glorious in heaven, that this person is Lord over the living and the dead. It is an excellent book to study this.

Beloved, study Christ in the state of humiliation and exaltation.”

— Richard Sibbes, Christ’s Exaltation Purchased by Humiliation (London, 1639).