Christ’s Superior Priesthood (Hebrews #14)

Text: Hebrews 5:1-10

The Lord Jesus Christ has three offices: prophet, priest, and king.  Here in Hebrews his priesthood is going to be explained.  Particularly why his priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood.

Ordination

  • Chosen by God
    • Not in the sense that they were chosen from the foundation of the world like a Calvinist would say, but at a point in time the man was separated out from among men for God to use him in the office of a priest
    • (vs 1) …taken from among men… (vs 4) …no man taketh this honour unto himself… (vs 4) …called of God… (vs 5) …glorified not himself… (vs 10) …called of God…
    • Many people are called priests, but not because God called them priests.
    • Moses was even accused of taking on his call by himself when a little rebellion started.  The question was asked, Who made you king over us?
    • The Lord Jesus Christ is the man chosen by God.
  • (vs 2) …compassed with infirmity.
    • Human priests had human problems.
    • Compassed with infirmity means everywhere you looked, 360 degrees, infirmity was all around.
  • Common sacrifices
    • (vs 3) …also for himself, to offer for sins.
    • Aaron and all other priests had to make sacrifices for themselves since they were sinners.
    • Jesus Christ never had to sacrifice for himself.  His priesthood would be superior to Aaron’s in that Jesus Christ was not a sinner.

Offerings

  • (vs 1) …pertaining to God…
    • Men can be religious and offer sacrifices and give gifts that don’t pertain to God.
    • Practically speaking, people are so self centered they think if they do it, God accepts it.  If they like it, God likes it.  If they thought it, God directed them to it.  If they decided on it and it goes wrong, it was meant to be.
    • This priest would be pulled out of the everyday routine in order to be able to instruct people in the light that God would provide to people wandering in darkness.
    • Begin the ministering as a priest at 30 years old (Numbers 4:3).  The Lord Jesus Christ began his ministry at thirty (Luke 3:23).
  • Preside over sacrifices
    • (vs 1) …offer .. sacrifices for sins…
    • Standards for sacrifices
      • Leviticus 1:3 If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.
      • Offer a male
      • Without blemish
      • his own voluntary will
      • at the door of the congregation
  • Preside over gifts
    • (vs 1) …offer…gifts…
    • Standards for the gifts
    • Jesus Christ would preside over the gifts
  • Person of Christ
    • Jesus Christ was the sacrifice (vs 7)
    • Acts 2:23-24 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
    • (vs 9) …he became the author of eternal salvation
      • If you’re an author then you wrote the book on… Jesus Christ, with his life in the flesh and blood body, as a living epistle, writes the book on eternal life.
      • He could not speak eternal life into existence like he spoke everything in creation into existence.  He would actually have to get victory over sin, not ignore sin.  He would have to literally beat sin in his body.  Which he did.

Order

  • Insulting to Jews who had faith in their culture
    • Everything about the law to the Jews made them better than other cultures.
    • They were spiritual because they followed the law, in their mind.
    • Now someone is telling them that Jesus Christ as a High Priest is not a step down from Jewish law and culture, but a step up.  He is superior to it.
  • In sequence
    • Melchisedec came before Aaron.
    • Genesis 14 came before Exodus 28.  Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec and Abraham was the great great great great… grandfather of Aaron.
    • Chronologically, Melchisedec is long before the Levitical priesthood.
  • Individual heritage
    • Levites were the sons responsible for priesthood – Levitical priesthood.
    • Melchisedec was not from a priestly lineage.  He had no father or mother that was a priest.  There was no tracing his family to any priesthood.
    • Jesus Christ is not from a priestly family.
  • Immortal term limits
    • In the Levitical setup a priest would minister from 30-50 years old.
    • Melchisedec was not limited to any age.
  • In scope
    • The Levitical priesthood was limited to the Jews.
    • Christ’s priesthood is so broad in scope that in includes both Jews and Gentiles.
    • Melchisedec is a priest of the Most High God and Melchisedec lives before there is a distinction between Jew and Gentile.