Priest Forever

His priesthood is superior since it rests on his endless resurrection life, the promised priest after the order of Melchizedek – Psalm 110:4

Sunburst - Photo by Vincent Ledvina on Unsplash
 employs several comparisons t0 demonstrate the superiority of the “word” of God “spoken” in His “Son,” which surpasses all past revelations “spoken in the prophets,” including “words” given through angels, and even by Moses. The purpose of the comparisons is to stress the fullness of the “word” that Yahweh has “spoken” in His Son - [Photo by Vincent Ledvina on Unsplash].

God’s past revelations were valid but partial, temporary, and promissory, but the Sonly Word is complete, “having achieved the purification of sins” that is so vital to the people of God. This Jesus did and qualified fully to become the high priest who mediates life and forgiveness for his “brethren” forevermore.
  • (Psalm 110:4) – “Yahweh has sworn, and will not repent, you will be a priest unto times everlasting, after the order of Melchizedek.
  • (Hebrews 1:3) – “Who, bearing up all things by the utterance of his power, purification of sins having achievedsat down on the right hand of the majesty in high places.”
Purification of sins” introduces the subjects of the priesthood and sacrifice, preparing the reader for the letter’s discussions about his priesthood, sacrifice, and the “new and better covenant” inaugurated by him. It contrasts the priesthood of the “Son,” his “new” covenant, and once-for-all sacrifice with the Levitical priests, the “first” covenant, and the repeated animal sacrifices required by the very Torah given through angels - (Hebrews 2:1-5, 8:13).

The fact that God promised another priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” demonstrated that the Aaronic priests could not achieve the “purification of sins.” Under that ancient priesthood, “the people received the law.” But the change in priesthood promised by Yahweh meant also a change of law” - (Psalms 110:4).

Due to human mortality and weakness, the Aaronic priesthood was dependent on lineal descent and multiple generations of priests. In contrast, the priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” is perpetual, since it is based on an endless resurrection life. The “weakness” of human mortality inherent in the old system meant there was a “disannulling” of the previous commandment, which could “make nothing complete”:
  • (Hebrews 7:11-17) – “If indeed, therefore, there had been a perfecting through means of the Levitical priesthood for the people, thereon, have had based a code of laws, what further need, according to the rank of Melchizedek, for a different priest to be raised up, and not according to the rank of Aaron to be designated? For seeing there is to be a change of the priesthood, of necessity of law, too, a change comes. For he as to whom these things are said, with a different tribe has taken partnership, from which no one has given attendance at the altar. For it is very evident that out of Judah has sprung our Lord, respecting which tribe, concerning priests, nothing did Moses speak. And yet, more abundantly evident it is that, according to the likeness of Melchizedek, there is to be raised up a different priest. Who, not according to a law of commandment dealing with the flesh has arisen, but according to the power of an indissoluble life. For it is witnessed, You are a priest everlastingly, according to the rank of Melchizedek.
Unlike under the previous order, the priest after the “order of Melchizedek” was installed by the declared word and oath of God; therefore, Jesus holds the priesthood “nontransferable” and unchangeable. Furthermore, he became the “guarantor of a better covenant” and is able “to save to the uttermost” all who approach God through him, because he “lives evermore to intercede on their behalf” - (Hebrews 7:19-25).

Galaxy - Photo by brandon siu on Unsplash
Photo by brandon siu on Unsplash

In contrast to all previous high priests, Jesus “sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,” having become the minister of “the Real Tabernacle,” not a tent assembled and pitched by man. On the earth, the old system constituted “glimpses and shadows of the heavenly realities,” just as Moses was told to make the earthly Tabernacle “according to the pattern he had seen in the mount” - (
Hebrews 8:1-5).

Likewise, having “attained to a more distinguished ministry, he also is the mediator of a better covenant legislated upon better promises.” If the “first covenant” had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second. But having found fault with it, the Lord announced the coming days when “I will conclude a new covenant”:
  • (Hebrews 8:6-13) – “… Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by their hand, to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt, because they abode not in my covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. Because this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord, giving my laws into their understanding, upon their hearts, also, will I inscribe them: and I will become their God, and they shall become my people; and in nowise shall they teach everyone his fellow-citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, Get to know the Lord! Because all shall know me, from the least to the greatest of them; because propitious will I be as to their iniquities, and of their sins, in nowise will I be mindful anymore. In saying, Of a new sort, he has made obsolete the first; but the thing that is becoming obsolete and aged is near disappearing!
The new covenant was NOT “according to the covenant” made at Sinai. It was not a “renewed” or slightly modified piece of legislation based on the regulations of the Torah, but instead, a very new kind of covenant that was needed since the old one was incapable of accomplishing the “purification of sins.”

The new covenant empowers all citizens of the kingdom to know God and establishes them as His people, the righteous requirements of His Law having been written on their hearts. Moreover, the covenant established by the “Son” has achieved the purification of sins - (“I will become merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins will I remember no more”).

By establishing the new covenant, Jesus “made the first obsolete,” which means the previous covenant ceased to be in effect because of the superior act and status of Jesus. Anyone who removes himself from the jurisdiction of our “Great High Priest,” Jesus, will place him or herself under the jurisdiction of an incomplete and now obsolete system.


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