The Superiority of Jesus’ High Priesthood–Part Two

And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: ‘The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’), by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also, there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever” (Hebrews 7:20-28).

Embedded in Hebrews 7:11-28 is a mountain of evidence for the immense superiority of Jesus’ High Priesthood in the new covenant over the Levitical priesthood of the old covenant.

In yesterday’s blog, the first two—It was promised while the Levitical priesthood was in effect (vv. 11-14) and It would last forever (vv. 15-19) were considered. Today, the final three are considered:

  • It was made by God with an oath (vv. 20-22). The Levitical priesthood was inaugurated by God’s word and thus was divinely authorized. But, just as God’s promise made to Abraham and confirmed with an oath provided irrefutable proof of the immutability of His word (Hebrews 6:13-18), His oath concerning the new order of High Priesthood also provides equally irrefutable assurance that God would keep this promise.

  • It has no line of succession (vv. 23-25). Every Levitical High Priest had a successor because each died. Jesus’ High Priesthood is unchanging because He lives forever. He is “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek…since He always lives to make intercession” for His people.

  • It needed no preliminary or repeated sacrifices for the imperfections of its High Priest (vv. 26-28). The Levitical High Priests always had to offer up a daily sacrifice for their own sins before they could make any acceptable sacrifice(s) for God’s people. Not so with Christ. He is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separated from sinners. In addition, He did not offer another living being for the sins of the people—like a bull, lamb, or goat; instead, He offered up Himself—as the sinless Lamb of God—once for all time for the sins of all.

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Author: jchowning

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