Today we’re going to focus on another role which is fulfilled by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s the subject of Him being our great high priest. Read last article Jesus Christ is God John 10:11
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Aaron as Priest
Back in the Old Testament, we have Aaron the brother of Moses this was the start of the Levitical priesthood. Just as Moses was a type or shadow of Christ as the “redeemer” of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh as Moses brought them out of Egypt, so was Aaron a picture of Christ as our high priest.
Aaron not being perfect as none are except for the Lord Jesus Himself, he committed two notable sins before the eyes of the Lord, the first one is when he fashioned a molten calf which caused the children of Israel to commit idolatry (Exodus 32:1-6). The other was when he and his sister Miriam spake against Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1) this may have been the first account of racism. Afterwards, the LORD called all three to the tabernacle just as a father would discipline His bickering children; resulting in Miriam’s leprosy (Numbers 12:2-10). God had no tolerance for this possible case of racism.
Through Aaron, the LORD chose the tribe of Levi to perform all the priestly functions of the tabernacle. The book of Leviticus informs as to how to worship God. God consistently gives us a pattern in which we are to follow if you recall God gave Moses the pattern of how to build the tabernacle (Exodus 25:9). Our God is orderly we cannot worship Him however we feel like by making up our own “rules”. Things are done in a precise way, how we gather, how we are to have order in the church etc. Leviticus contains the laws concerning worship and sacrifices before God for Israel, holy days, moral laws, ceremonial cleanness and the sabbath. Leviticus can be divided up into the following sections:
Ch 1-16 Approach to God – The Altar and Worship
- The Means – ch 1-7
- The Mediators – ch 8-10
- The Manner – purity – ch 11-15
- The Maintenance – ch 16
Ch 17-27 Abiding with God – Appreciation of God’s Character and our Walk
- People – ch 17-20
- Priests – ch 21-22
- Feasts – ch 23-24
- Canaan – ch 25-27
The Book of Hebrews
It’s very important to get a clear understanding of the book of Hebrews for many reasons. Some try to use it to teach that you can lose your salvation. The warning passages must be understood as warnings to Jews who had made a profession in Christ but were thinking of returning to the Temple sacrifices. This would give proof that they were never saved in the first place.
The text in Hebrews gives us a deeper understanding of the priestly work of Christ. It was proclaimed by God in the Old Testament in the book of Psalms.
Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Christ the things spoken of who Melchizedek is directly correlated to the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s word says that Melchizedek had no father nor mother, neither beginning of days, nor end of life. This means He had no earthly father or mother and had no beginning or end of life, this can only speak of deity. The same is spoken of the Lord Jesus in John as He always existed as the Word.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word was always there from eternity past He was literally face to face with God, in the Greek, it’s pros (πρός) ton (τὸν) Theon (θεόν). Therefore, the Word never was created He always been with the Father having no “beginning or end of life” just as Melchizedek.
Because of the fall of man in the garden we are in total depravity in a bad standing before the Creator, dead in sins and trespasses. In the Old Testament, the high priest would go into the Holiest of Holies once a year to atone for the sins of the people. But the blood of bulls and goats could never atone for sin.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
The purpose of God (Elohim) was for the Son (the Word) would come into the world and take on human flesh to be the only perfect sacrifice that would make a permanent atonement for sins. That’s what Christ did, He alone is perfect and without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:21-25). God said that He was done with the sacrifices of the children of Israel (Isaiah 1:11, Hosea 6:6, Psalm 51:16).
In Hebrews chapter 5 as it relates to the Lord Jesus Christ as our high priest, it brings forth His never-ending priesthood “after the order of Melchisedec” before God the Father. He (Jesus Christ) makes intercession for the saints before the throne and is our advocate (Romans 8:34).
Hebrews 5:1, 5-6 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: … So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Another beautiful truth about these passages of scripture is that the Lord Jesus is both fully God and fully man. A priest according to the Levitical priesthood must be from the tribe of Levi and a man, but that line of the priest is not everlasting because it’s composed of humans. Christ, because He’s God, continues forever without beginning or end of days.
Hebrews 10:11-14 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Only the perfect man Jesus Christ being God in the flesh is able to be our mediator.
Hebrews 9:6-7, 11-14 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: … But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The blood of Christ mentioned here tells us that His (Jesus Christ) blood is infinitely better than any other sacrifice. Because Christ is perfect and the scriptures say only God is perfect, Christ sharing the same nature as the Father and the Holy Spirit are collectively 3 distinct co-equal co-eternal persons who are capable to keep us and bring us into His presence.
Hope you’ve enjoyed.