Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Our Permanent Priest
Please read Hebrews 7:18-28. The writer of Hebrews declares that Jesus Christ came onto the scene "According to the order of Melchizedek," meaning that He followed in Melchizedek's unique way, rather than following the path of the Levitical priesthood, therefore, His priesthood is superior to the priesthood established in the era of the Law. This passage builds upon that foundation and points out that Jesus, our high priest, greatly exceeds all other priests in His character, permanence and work. First, note an important contrast. On the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness, and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. What is true religion? Answer, know God and having access to Him. The writer operates from a basic premise that we need access to God. His words reveal that he hopes to help his readers come into the very presence of God without fear. How do we reach God? The gap between man and his Creator is too great, and sin prevents man from reaching God on his own. Therefore, there must be something to span the gap between sinful man and a holy God. Thus the need for a priest. The good news is that there is One and only One who can open the way to God permanently and perfectly. Second, Jesus Priesthood explained. Note a series of contrasts. These contrasts point out that if we choose an earthly pontiff as our bridge-builder to God, we will have one who lacks God's oath of approval, one who cannot be a guarantee, and one who will die. The following verse gives us a brief wrap-up of what has been presented so far. "He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for us." There are three reasons for Christ's superiority. First because He is sinless. Second, because His sacrifice was offered once for all. That sacrifice was Himself. And third He is Superior because He is the perfect Son of God forever. Third, lets make application of Christ's Priesthood for today. Only through Christ are we able to know God (His thoughts, will, precepts, and Word). Through Christ only are we able to reach God. Have you spent time with your heavenly Priest today? Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.