An Unchangeable Priesthood

There are three huge gates that lead into the Cathedral of Milan. Over one gate there is an inscription in marble under a beautiful flower bouquet that says, “The things that please are temporary.” Over the second gate there is a cross with this inscription: “The t … More

Eternal

God did not swear to Aaron that his priesthood would be forever. In fact God never suggested to Aaron or anyone else that priesthood would be anything but temporary. One generation of priests yielded to another generation because the priests would die (v. 23). However, in Christ the permanent eternal ministry had come; therefore confirmation was with an oath (v. 24). His heavenly priesthood was established on the basis of His work on the cross (vv. 26-27). Jesus alone lives forever and always intercedes for us. He had no need for repeated sacrifices for others because His one act of self-offering was all sufficient and needed no successor. As our High Priest, Christ is our mediator between us and God. He looks after our interest and intercedes for us with God

In Old Testament times when animals were sacrificed, they were cut into pieces, the parts were washed, the fat was burned, the blood was sprinkled, and the meat was boiled. Blood was demanded as an atonement for sins, and God accepted animal blood to cover the people’s sins (Lev. 17:11). He is able to save to the “uttermost”, which means our salvation is complete in every respect (v. 25).

Concluding the thought begun above, the writer explains again that the Old Testament system has been superseded by a full and final sacrifice by our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 26). Christ’s  priesthood is unending and provides access into God’s presence. The Levitical  priesthood had weaknesses because the priests changed and could not always meet the  needs of all the people. Christ has both the authority and also the holiness of a superior High Priest who loved us and became the sacrifice for our sin. Christ is our authority. He is the God of Heaven. He is able to save completely and forever all that put their faith in Him. He is sinless, and does not have to offer sacrifice for His own cleansing as the previous high priests did. Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, gave Himself for our sins (vv. 27-28).

Application

Jesus death served as the perfect atonement for my sins. His death brings me eternal life. How foolish and stubborn it would be for me to refuse God’s greatest gift.

Hebrews 7:23-28 (English Standard Version)

The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

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