Author: Ron Graham
Christ Our High Priest
—Nine points about his priesthood
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.
1 A Priest Who Helps the Tempted
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)
2 A Priest Like Melchizedek
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).
- Melchizedek was not only a priest but a king (Hebrews 7:1, Genesis 14:18-20)
- Melchizedek was greater than Abraham from whom the priestly tribe of Levi was descended (Hebrews 7:4-10)
- If the priesthood of Levi and Aaron were perfect, a priest after the order of Melchizedek would not be required (Hebrews 7:11).
- Our Lord was not descended from Levi but from Judah. The kings were descended from Judah, but not the priests. This means that a complete change of priesthood has taken place (Hebrews 7:12-14).
3 A Priest Forever
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).
4 Sworn in by God’s Own Oath
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.
5 A Priest Who is Perfect
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).
6 He Offered Himself as the Sacrifice
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).
7 A Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary
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).
8 The Mediator of a Better Covenant
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.
9 We Have Access to God Through Him
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.