“So also, Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ 6 As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’; 7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek,’ 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing” (NKJV).
Last week we took the time to show that Jesus is both King and High Priest. He was born into the lineage of the kings from the tribe of Judah. But He is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Why is this important?
After a bit of study and reading one of my favorite commentators, Guzik, he points out that human high priests all die. They all serve for a period of time, and then they all eventually die. Leviticus 21 lays out the very strict rules for becoming a priest. One could not be lame, blind, or have any physical defect. One could not marry a woman who was not a virgin, and on we can go. The calling was a serious undertaking. The reminder to us was that of the temporary. Both the high priest and their work were temporary. The high priest had to offer sacrifices for both himself and the people over and over again, year after year. So, for our salvation to be eternal, we would have to have another solution. Jesus is that solution.
- Jesus’ Resurrection
This is the key to all that Jesus offers us. No resurrection, no eternal life. Paul puts it this way in 1 Corinthians 15: 13-15,
“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is worthless, and so is your faith. In that case, we are also exposed as false witnesses about God. For we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead, but He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised” (Berean Study Bible).
If there is no resurrection, our faith is worthless, and so too is our preaching. ‘Christianity’ is just another worthless religion filled with nice ideas and lots of fuzzy feelings, but it does nothing for us. We have a ‘good’ life, and then we die and turn to dust, or worse, go to Hell without any hope whatsoever. We will never see Abraham or Isaac or Jacob. I will not see my father, nor brother, nor any of the ones that we bid farewell, hoping to see again. But Jesus did resurrect!
Take the time to read the book The Case for Christ and see the wonderful explanations there from a man who was not looking to be an advocate but to disprove Jesus and all this church stuff. Because He did resurrect, He is not a High Priest after the order of Aaron because they ALL died. They could not offer eternal salvation because their sacrifices were temporary. Jesus, in contrast, lives even now as our High Priest, our Advocate, according to 1 John 2: 1-2:
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father— Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (Berean Study Bible).
This order of priesthood from Melchizedek was different in that, unlike Aaron, He did not die; when He did, He was resurrected. We will explore this more as we move ahead with the study of Melchizedek. But for now, we can see that Jesus was and is our High Priest to this very day.
- Jesus, the Author of Eternal Salvation
The sacrifices of bulls and turtle doves could not save us eternally. They were just a shadow of what was to come and what was necessary. In Hebrews 10: 3-4, we see this sad reminder:
“Instead, those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Berean Study Bible).
These sacrifices were never designed to take away sins; they were a reminder that we are sinners and that we need to be redeemed some other way. Jesus, thus, is our Salvation. He came not to remind us that we are sinners but to abolish our sin and make us Children of God (1 John 3:1). Take a look at Hebrews 9: 11-12:
“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come, He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made by hands and is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by the blood of goats and calves, but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus securing eternal redemption” (ESV).
Jesus secured ETERNAL REDEMPTION for you and me. Only Jesus could do that. No one else in the entire universe could have accomplished this. He did not come to bring an annual reminder of sin but to abolish our sin to the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19) and to take them away as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). There are many verses that tell us that God will remember our sins no more.
Isaiah 43:25, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (ESV).
Colossians 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (ESV).
Jesus has removed our sins forever, something no mere human high priest could do.
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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