Skip to content ↓

Man of Sorrows, King of Glory

Man of Sorrows

Christians are known for being people of the cross—people who rightly focus a great deal of attention on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. But while the cross stands at the very center of the gospel, it does not stand alone. Rather, it is surrounded, as it were, by the wider context of Jesus’s humiliation and exaltation—by all he did before and after he was crucified.

The humiliation and exaltation of Jesus Christ are the twin subjects of Jonty Rhodes’s excellent new book Man of Sorrows, King of Glory. He begins by introducing Christ’s threefold office as prophet, priest, and king since “before we can look at the work of Christ, we must be clear on his identity.” We must be equally careful that we do not inadvertently separate him from his works so we receive what Christ did without understanding we must receive Christ himself. “This is the invitation of the gospel. Not so much ‘Receive these gifts: justification, sanctification, adoption, reconciliation,’ but rather ‘Receive Christ.’”

Having introduced Christ’s threefold office, Rhodes turns to his twofold state: humiliation and exaltation. The structure of the book helpfully shows how he explores his topic. One section is dedicated to the humiliation of Christ and it contains four chapters: one that explains what is meant by “humiliation,” then one that covers each of these topics: the humiliation of Christ as our prophet, the humiliation of Christ as our priest, and the humiliation of Christ as our king. The next section repeats the pattern, except with exaltation instead of humiliation.

Rhodes does a number of things especially well: he makes complex topics accessible even to people without postgraduate degrees in theology; he offers precise positions without becoming pedantic; he presents Christ as especially beautiful and the atonement as especially awe-inspiring; he draws from the very best of Christian authors and theologians; and he shows why a gospel that is focused exclusively on the cross neglects the crucial context of Christ’s humiliation and exaltation. And he does all this in only 150 pages.

I’m glad to say that Man of Sorrows, King of Glory is one of the very best and most enjoyable books I’ve read all year. I cannot recommend it too highly.


  • We All Have To Do With God

    We All Have To Do With God

    Every one of us must deal with God. Every one of us must, at some time, face God. Every one of us must be prepared to give an account to God. For, as Scripture says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (February 24)

    A La Carte: Wherever he leads, he’ll go / Britain’s loneliest sheep / Helping your teen with porn / How do the Arminian and Calvinist views of election differ? / Exposing the good in digital distractions / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)

    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…

  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.