Sunday Service Sermons
Christ-the Super High Priest
Text: Hebrews 7:1-28
Specific Text: Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Heb. 7:24-25
If you have any Catholic background Jesus is our real Pope. He is the one we can go to for whatever we need for he said, anything you ask of me I will do for you. Actually it was anything that you ask in my name. I think he should have said, anything you ask of me, lead by the Holy Spirit, I will be able to grant to you. Maybe Jesus knew that if we used his name, if we were part of God and Him and the Holy spirit we would ask for things that they could grant. Do you think the name of Jesus gets misused? There was a song a while back stating that one of God’s greatest gifts is unanswered prayers. We often ask for things that are not the best for us.
What we are thinking about today is Jesus, who is The Christ, being our High Priest. We Brethren / Baptist folks do not have the regard or heritage of a High Priest. We do not even have a Bishop. Our District Executive Minister functions sort of like a Bishop but not really. Our Congregational Leadership model places the ultimate authority within the local congregation. We do not understand this passage as did those who came from the Jewish Faith. With the High Priest coming down from Moses’ brother Aaron and being the ultimate authority of the Church. The High Priest pleaded the people’s case before God and administered the sacraments from God to the people. Remember when Jesus died the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom. It was four inches thick. That tarring of the curtain symbolized the change that had taken place. Believers could now go to God without going through the High Priest. Hebrews is talking about his change. Jesus is now with the Father and is our High Priest speaking to the Father on our behalf.
The readers of Hebrews were aware of the Jew’s high priesthood system. They also knew of a special historical priest named Melchizedek the priest king. Now they were learning about the high priesthood of Christ. This chapter compares three separate high priesthood systems to prove that Christ is the superior High Priest. We need none other than Jesus The Christ. Let’s look at the priesthood of Melchizedek as found in Heb. 7:1-7. Melchizedek was known as a priest of the most high God. Abraham recognized him as having this office as well as being a King. Melchizedek was King of Salem, which was the ancient city of Jerusalem and he reigned in righteousness. He was a trusted ruler. The result of his reign was peace. The people had peace and prosperity under his rule. Melchizedek seemed to stand alone. He had no linage of priestly or kingly rule. There are no records that give details about his origin, family, life or death. His righteous leadership is his legacy. Abraham gave homage to him in the paying of tithes. And the priest blessed Abraham in return for the tithes. Here the father of Israel recognized and pays homage to another righteous leader. In doing so Abraham was saying the Melchizedek was greater than Abraham. Making him the greatest High Priest, while a king, known. So, in comparing Jesus to Melchizedek, Jesus becomes the greatest High Priest and King known. The author was establishing the idea that Jesus is superior to Melchizedek. And that the priesthood of Melchizedek was superior to Levi.
Not all of the High Priests of Israel were good men. All priests, for they were not established at this time, would then be less than Melchizedek. This would mean that Levi gave tithes to Melchizedek through his grandfather Abraham. Human priests were not perfect people. Jesus was. No High Priest was or would ever be all that they needed to be for all were human and weak.
The heart of the whole matter is the high priesthood of Christ. This superior High Priest came from the tribe of Judah, not the tribe of Levi. God himself chose this High Priest. And Jesus was like Melchizedek being righteous before God. And possessing endless life. As he sits at the right hand of God. This superior High Priest was destined to replace the weakness of the old system with strength that would result in perfection. Christ was made High Priest through an oath by the Most High God. This was not so with the Levitical system. Jesus is High Priest eternally. This was not so with the Levitiacl system for the Levitacal priest faced an inevitable death as human being. Christ did not. He has an unchangeable priesthood that continues forever. Jesus was the sacrifice to atone for sin forever. 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 The Christ.
The Son of God was set apart as High Priest by the oath of God himself. Heb. 7:28 this is an eternal act. Because of this High Priest who intercedes on our behalf, we can have eternal security. We can go to our High Priest, Jesus The Christ, and trust him to intercede on our behalf.
His sacrifice is sufficient to cleans us from all sin. We can ask of him whatever we need in order to live a life pleasing to God and he will provide it for us. All to often we have not because we ask not. We must ask with hope and faith in Jesus as our High Priest. He can and will provide for us all that we need to be God’s person. To Glorify God and help our neighbor.
Now and forever more. Amen.