Christ’s Better Priesthood
30 June 2019 AM – Hebrews 7:1-28 – Heb19 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Sometimes we may wish we could go back and live in what we call “the good ole days”. Before we make that wish, we must consider the benefits of our day. One that stands out vividly for me is that I now type my sermons on a computer instead of a manual typewriter. Some of you have never tried such an experience. Every key was manually pressed against an ink ribbon that printed the letter on the page. There was no previewing your work. There was no moving the text around. There was no inserting of graphics. There was no easy way to fix mistakes. There was no spell-checker. There was no coloured text. There was no variety of fonts from which to choose. No, the good ole days were not all so wonderful.
In the OT, a person who sinned had to take an animal to the priest so that he could offer it as a sacrifice to God to cover his sins. In Hebrews 7, Paul contrasts the OT priesthood with Christ’s new priesthood. The old priesthood was from the family of Levi. Christ’s priesthood was after the order of Melchisedec (6:20). Melchisedec lived long before the OT priesthood began. He was a type of Christ. He lived in the days when Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from his captors, v.1. We see his unique description in v.2-3. Abraham honoured him with tithes of the battle spoil, v.4. We know nothing of his birth, life or death except this brief account. The Law commanded that the priests and Levites receive tithes of the people for their livelihood, v.5-6. Yet the Levites (as children of Abraham) paid tithes to Melchisedec, v.7-10. Neither Melchisedec nor Christ were from the tribe of Levi, v.14-17. God appointed Christ a priest after the order of Melchisedec, v.21. He is an ever-living priest, v.23-24.
Transition: Christ has a better priesthood than any human priest. Christ’s better priesthood has provided us several benefits for which we ought to be truly grateful.
The first benefit of Christ’s better priesthood is that …
1. He is able to save us completely, v.25
a. Christ has an unchangeable priesthood
1) The word “wherefore” takes us back to what has already been said.
2) Because Christ continues forever, He has an unchangeable priesthood, v.24. He will never die and be replaced by another priest.
3) He saves from eternal judgment all who come to God through Him. He saves them to the uttermost. In other words, He saves them completely, perfectly and to the every end. What makes His salvation so complete?
a) It fully propitiated God’s wrath, 1Jn 2:2.
b) It completely saves us from all judgment, Rom 8:1.
c) It is eternal and will never end, Jn 5:24.
d) No true Christian will ever lose it, Jn 10:28.
b. Christ ever lives to intercede for us
1) Since the Lord fully paid for our sins, He is now able as our advocate to intercede for us when we do wrong. (1 John 2:1) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”
2) Christ also intercedes for us and defends us when the devil condemns us. (Romans 8:34) “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” True Christians are secure!
O We are greatly blessed to have Christ as our high priest who saves us to the very end.
The second benefit of Christ’s better priesthood is that …
2. He is perfectly fitting for our needs, v.26
a. He perfectly filled the need we had
1) The word “became” means to be becoming, fitting or just right. Christ was just what we as sinners needed.
2) He, being God, was sinless. Every human priest was limited in that he had to atone for his own sins before he could help anyone else. We needed a sinless high priest and Jesus Christ just right to meet our need.
b. He was perfect in every way
1) He is holy or pure and set apart from sin. Every OT priest was a sinner who could not do much to help other sinners. Christ being holy can help in every way.
² I find it frustrating when I want to learn how to make something and a YouTuber tries to tell me how to make something he has never made himself. Christ can make us holy because He IS holy.
2) He is harmless or literally free from guilt. Christ has never sinned even once.
3) He is undefiled. In other words, He was unsoiled and in no way deformed. He did not have a heart that had been washed clean. His had never been soiled.
4) He is separate from sinners. Though He had lived among men as the God/man for 33 years, he never partook of any of man’s sinful lusts or pleasures.
5) He was made (lit. became) higher than the heavens. That is, He ascended into heaven where He eternally had been.
O Because Christ remained holy, guiltless, unsoiled and separated from evil while on earth and is now returned to heaven, He is just right to enable us to overcome sin. No human priest could do that.
The third benefit of Christ’s better priesthood is that …
3. He ended the need for daily sacrifices, v.27
a. Daily sin required daily sacrifices
1) Daily we struggle with sins. It may be sins of evil habits, sins of lust, sins of the mouth, action or attitude, sins in our thoughts, sins of disobedience, or sins of neglecting one of God’s commands like reading the Bible or prayer.
2) Before Christ came to earth, the OT priests kept busy offering daily sacrifices to cover man’s sins.
3) God required every Old Testament priest to offer for his OWN sins before he could offer sacrifices for others.
b. Christ offered up Himself ONCE forever
1) Because Christ was sinless and eternal, He was able to give His own life just ONCE to be the sacrifice for the sins of every human who has ever lived.
2) Christ will never need to repeat His sacrifice for sin. Daily sacrifices are no longer needed.
a) (Hebrews 9:12) “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.”
b) (Hebrews 9:28) “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
c) (Hebrews 10:12) “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;”
3) Instead of daily sacrifices, we now must simply confess our sins for God’s cleansing. (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
c. Christ the Son is consecrated forever, v.28
1) Every human priest had infirmities, weaknesses, deficiencies, and limitations. He would eventually die and be replaced by another human priest.
2) God by His oath made His Son our Priest who is consecrated forever. The word consecrated describes that which has been completed or finished.
3) God Himself declared that His Son completed the need for sacrifices for sins forever.
Conclusion: We have never struggled with the burden of daily sacrifices for sin as did the OT Jews. We are blessed abundantly to live in the NT. We now can enjoy the benefits of Christ being our Priest. 1) He is able to save us completely – not just to cover our sin until the next time we sin. 2) He is perfectly fitting for our needs – He is the sinless, holy Son of God, thus able to pay our sin debt for us. 3) When Christ died and rose again for our sins, He ended the need for daily sacrifices for sin. These are benefits for which we ought to praise the Lord.
Christ paid for your sins, but you must receive that payment before it can become yours. If you have not yet asked Christ to apply His payment to your life, I urge you to do so today.
Song: Thank You Lord – 221