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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This week we are continuing our series on Sunday nights titled “Jesus Christ as Our High Priest.”

The book of Hebrews isn’t the most popular book in the New Testament.

In many respects it is neglected.

The Jewish, or Old Testament, back ground that permeates every chapter has probably contributed to its neglect by many pastors.

The book of Hebrews portrays an exalted concept of Jesus Christ.

This week we are talking about,

Christ, The Superior High Priest.

Text

Hebrews 7:24-25 (ESV)

24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 

25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost[a] those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Scripture Reading

Hebrews 7:1-28 (ESV)

Introduction 

The readers of the letter to the Hebrews were aware of the Jew’s high priesthood system.

They also knew of a special historical priest named Melchizedek.

Now they were learning about the high priesthood of Christ.

This chapter compares the three seperate high priesthood systems to prove that Christ is the superior High Priest.

We need none other than Jesus Christ.

  1. The priesthood of Melchizedek in Hebrews 7:1-7.
  1. The Priest of God.

Hebrews 7:1 (ESV)

The Priestly Order of Melchizedek

7 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,

Melchizedek’s outstanding designation was “priest of the most high God”

It is significant to the Levitical system that this man was recognised by Abraham, the father of Israel.

B. The king of righteousness.

Hebrews 7:2 (ESV)

2 and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.

This mysterious Melchizedek was also the king of Salem, the ancient city of Jerusalem.

His reign was one of righteousness.

The people he ruled could trust his judgement.

C. The king of peace.

Again Hebrews 7:2 (ESV)

The result of Melchizedek’s reign was peace.

The people of his kingdom profited under his great rule.

D. Unlimiting facts 

Hebrews 7:3 (ESV)

3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.

Some interesting statements have been made regarding Melchizedek.

The most feasible way to interpret this verse about his being “without father, without mother” is to understand that all other priests were required to have a genealogical record proving their heritage.

This was not so with Melchizedek.

No records gave details about his origin, family, life, or death.

E. Superior to Abraham.

Hebrews 7:4-7 (ESV)

4 See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! 

5 And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham. 

6 But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 

7 It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.

Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.

The priest blessed Abraham in return for the tithes.

The author concluded that the greater always blesses the lesser, therefore Melchizedek was greater than Abraham.

2. The priesthood of Levi. Hebrews 7:8-12.

The author was establishing the idea that Jesus is superior to Melchizedek.

In the process, he also pointed out that the priesthood of Melchizedek was superior to that of Levi.

  1. In deferential respect to Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7:8-10 (ESV)

8 In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. 

9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 

10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.

The author reasoned that when Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, all future generations of Abraham, including the yet unborn Levi, also shared in this experience through him.

This would mean that Levi gave tithes to Melchizedek through his grandfather Abraham.

B. Less than perfect.

Hebrews 7:11 (ESV)

Jesus Compared to Melchizedek

11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron?

The way the author posed the question clearly indicates that the priesthood of Levi was not perfect.

C. To be replaced.

Hebrews 7:11-12 (ESV)

Jesus Compared to Melchizedek

11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 

12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.

Though it may be a dismaying to the Levitical priesthood , the author wrote if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? In verse eleven.

3. The priesthood of Christ Hebrews 7:13-27.

The heart of the whole matter is the high priesthood of Christ.

  1. Of the tribe of Judah.

Hebrews 7:13-14 (ESV)

13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 

14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

The superior high priest came from the tribe of Judah, not the tribe of Levi.

Moses had not indicated that this would happen.

B. Like Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7:15-17 (ESV)

15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 

16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him,

“You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

The special emphasis of this characteristic is that Christ’s authorities based on “an endless life” not a carnal law.

C. Strength replaces weakness.

Hebrews 7:18-19 (ESV)

18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 

19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

The superior High Priest was destined to replace the weakness of the old system with strength that would result in perfection.

D. Priest by an oath.

Hebrews 7:20-21 (ESV)

20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 

21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.’”

Christ was made High Priest through an oath by the Most High God.

This was not so with the Levitical system.

E. Eternal priesthood

Hebrews 7:22-24 (ESV)

22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 

24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.

The Levitical priests faced an inevitable death.

Christ did not.

He has an unchangeable priesthood that continues forwver.

F. Offered Himself.

Hebrews 7:25-27 (ESV)

25 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.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 

27 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.

The Levitical system required animal sacrifices.

Christ offered Himself as the Lamb of God, the only sacrifice needed to bring salvation to everyone.

Sacrifice and High priest are welded together in the person of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion.

The Son was set apart a High priest by the oath of God himself in Hebrews 7:28 (ESV)

28 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.

This is an eternal act.

Because of this High priest who intercedes on our behalf, we can have eternal security.

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

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