Author: Ron Graham
In this lesson, we consider "the apostle and high priest of our confession, Christ Jesus" (Hebrews 3:1). Our study is mainly in the book of Hebrews.
He is a merciful and faithful high priest who is able to aid those who are tempted (Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:14-16, 1Corinthians 10:13)
He is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. This is a higher order than that of Levi and Aaron (Hebrews 5:5-11 Psalms 110:4).
He is a priest "for ever" with the power of an endless life. It was a weakness of the old order of priests that they were subject to death. Christ has permanence (Hebrews 7:15-17,23-25).
He is a priest who has been sworn in by an oath made by God (Hebrews 7:20-22, Hebrews 6:13-20, Genesis 22:15-18). It was another weakness of the old order of priests that they were without such an oath.
He is a perfect priest. It was a very great weakness in the old order of priests that they were sinners like the people for whom they offered sacrifices (Hebrews 7:26-28, Hebrews 4:15).
He is a priest who offered himself as a perfect sacrifice that never needed to be repeated (Hebrews 7:27 Hebrews 10:11-18). Another problem with the old order of priesthood was that they had no perfect sacrifice, so they had to offer sacrifices continually and repeatedly, day after day, year after year (Hebrews 10:1-4, Hebrews 11-12, Hebrews 9:25).
He is a priest of a heavenly sanctuary, not an earthly one (Hebrews 8:1-4, Hebrews 9:11,24). Note: If Jesus were ever to officiate in an earthly temple he would break the law of Moses (Hebrews 7:14, Hebrews 8:4).
He is a priest who is the mediator "of a better covenant" (Hebrews 8:6, Hebrews 12:24, 1Timothy 2:5-6). God's law now comes to us through Christ and this law is covered by grace through Christ's sacrifice and priesthood.
Through him we ourselves have access into the holy place (Hebrews 6:19-20, Hebrews 10:19-20). Remember: this holy place is no longer an earthly temple, but a heavenly and spiritual one (Hebrews 9:11, cf Hebrews 13:10,15-16, 1Peter 2:5,9, Revelation 1:6). Christ "is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us" (Romans 8:32-34). Our prayers go by the Spirit through Christ to God.