Christ: The Ultimate Priest

Hebrews 7:23-25 “23Another difference is that there were many priests under the old system. When one priest died, another had to take his place. 24But Jesus remains a priest forever; his priesthood will never end. 25Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save completely everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf.”
-God never intended the Judaism of the past to be the final or full revelation of His plan or will for them. Judaism set the stage for a new covenant, which would be brought in by the Messiah. Until Messiah came, Judaism came short of the bar and was confined to rituals and laws which all pointed forward to the Word of the Messiah who would bring full growth and allow them to enter into what Judaism could only point toward and prepare for.
-Here in chapter 7 of Hebrews, the writer is showing how Jesus serves as a priest from an order of priests which is vastly superior to the priesthood of Israel. One of the reasons Jesus is a superior priest to the priests who had served Israel is because He has risen from the dead and so serves continually, which is not something the Israeli priests were capable of doing. As John MacArthur states, “The . . . priests had what might be called the ultimate disqualification for permanent ministry: death! None of them could serve indefinitely. Each died and had to be succeeded in order for the priesthood to continue.”
-For the Jews under the Old Covenant, their approach to God was only through a substitutionary sacrifice that would be offered by a priest to God on their behalf. But the problem with that were the questions of what if the priest took their offering to God with a distracted mind or cold heart, or what if the priest was tired or ill or just out of sheer boredom used shortcuts in the procedure that would dishonor the holiness of God? Also, not all the priests served with integrity, some were corrupt and defiled the office, thus the priesthood changed from priest to priest, and as a result, the quality of spiritual life among the people changed as well!
-The writer of Hebrews is saying here that because Jesus has risen from the dead, never to die – his priesthood continues on, unchanging. What makes this especially comforting is that His priesthood, His service as our high priest is perfect! The sacrifice He brings before The Father on our behalf isn’t merely the blood of some bull or goat, which just covered over sin temporarily, it is His own precious blood which purges and washes us as white as snow and removes our sin as far from us as the east is from the west!
-Jesus is serving even now as our great high priest and as Christians we can have full assurance that the service He performs before The Father is totally acceptable to Him. Therefore because Jesus continues forever and abides in the office of our Great High Priest – from that office and position – He is able to save! To what extent does His salvation go? To the uttermost, all the way, completely, entirely, without distraction, with nothing left undone. It doesn’t matter WHO you are or WHAT you have done, Jesus is able to save you, completely!
He who framed the universe with one word He is able to save you and I.
-He has the power to affect all that that word salvation means, to heal, to deliver from danger, to protect and preserve, and to make complete and whole.
-The moment we turn from our sin and put our faith in Christ, we are saved from the penalty of our sin. Now, as we abide in Christ, we are being saved from the power of sin and when Christ comes again, we will be saved from the very presence of sin! What a hope and a freedom we have!
-There is no salvation from sin but faith in Jesus Christ! Not only is Jesus the only hope, the only way of salvation, but now that He has risen from the dead, He lives on, making continual and constant intercession for us before the Father. Unlike the priests of old who entered the presence behind the veil, performed their service then left, Jesus has sat down at the right hand of God and from that position of favor He intercedes on our behalf. Romans 8:34 “Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.”
-There’s a story I heard about a mother who told her son to go into the garden and pick some flowers to make a nice arrangement for his father when he got home from work. The boy collected everything that caught his eye and returned with a mass of both flowers and weeds. But when the father come home, he was greeted by a beautiful bouquet! You see, the mother’s tender care had removed the weeds and arranged the flowers. This story is a beautiful illustration of what Jesus does with our prayers. How often we bring “weeds” in with the “flowers” of our prayers before God, but Jesus knows our hearts and knows the Father’s will, so He arranges our requests and presents them to the Father in a manner the Father is both blessed by and moves to answer. How fortunate we are to have such a wonderful high priest acting on our behalf!
-We need not be so concerned about the wording of our prayers because Jesus intercedes for us always and He takes our prayers and presents them to the Father as a beautiful bouquet!
-Jesus not only makes intercession for us with His words; He also intercedes for us with His wounds! If you went to the house of a former great sports player, like Joe Namath, and you sat on his couch and he said, “I was a great football player,” there would be no debate…all the trophies surrounding him would prove that. In the same way Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father; His wounds the evidence He is a great Savior!
-Jesus makes intercession for more than just our prayers, He intercedes for us! when we fail, when we fall and sin, He is right there at the Father’s side to ensure we may obtain mercy and find grace. So, Christian, embrace this freedom and this intercession and praise and thank Jesus for His wonderful sacrifice and His continuing work on our behalf!

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