Christ—Prophet, Priest and King
Since I have penned a brief meditation on Christ as Prophet, I now take in hand to outline a few thoughts about Christ as Priest, our Great High Priest.
The Epistle to the Hebrews gives us the greatest insight into the priesthood of our Lord Jesus. Therein we have the ground upon which His high-priestly service rests; the sin question fully settled (Heb. 1:3). His priestly work follows the shedding of His precious blood. Christ’s death makes Him the true propitiatory or mercy seat for His people. On that basis He can be their High Priest, the meeting place between God and the Christian.
Christ is “a merciful and faithful High Priest” (Heb. 2:16-17), and thus takes up the cause of His people; He does not take up the cause of angels, they do not need His priestly ministry, but the many sons He is bringing to glory do. Those whom He has sanctified and calls brethren always need His high-priestly intercession; they need His help along the desert road. He is merciful to them in their weaknesses, but at the same time He is faithful to God.
Christ is Son over God’s house (Heb. 3:16). He is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. As the Apostle Christ is sent from God to speak for God; He pleads God’s cause with men. As priest He pleads with God on the behalf of men. Who could ever hope to find acceptance with God if it were not that Christ as High Priest is available?
Here are some of the qualifications of our Great High Priest; these are all found in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews: His sufferings in death (Heb. 2:7), His position of glory (Heb. 2:9), His perfection through suffering (Heb. 2:10), His being made like unto His brethren (Heb. 2:14-17), His accomplishing reconciliation (Heb. 2:17), His suffering being tempted (Heb. 2:18), and His being able to succour (Heb. 2:18). All this is summed up for us in Hebrews 6:4 and 14:17: “We have a Great High Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” Here is stated the greatness of our High Priest; all the resources of the throne are available to us through Him, and, thereby we are sustained in our infirmity and fraility. In Hebrews 4:14-16, it is intimated that we have Him as a possession. He is ours, and because He has ascended on high, we can understand something of His pathway from the altar to the holiest. He is man, accordingly His humanity is assumed; it is real and pure. His pre-eminence is undisputed. He is sympathetic (V. 15), and approachable (V. 16). He has help for us in every time of need (V. 16).
The Priestly Person
The Great High Priest, the Son of God, is “a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” He has entered within the veil, and is now seated upon the throne (Heb. 6:19). Throughout chapter 7 and at the beginning of chapter eight, He is pictured to us as “the Minister of the Sanctuary and of the true tabernacle.” the minister of good things to come (Heb. 9:11). Through Him we have a welcome into the holiest (Heb. 10:19-25 ).
Jottings On The Hebrew Letter
In chapter one Christ is presented as God the Son; His deity is the foundation of His sacrifice.
In chapter two He is revealed as the perfect Man. His glory is that of Son and Messiah; He is superior to angels and they worship Him.
Chapter three states that Moses was only a servant in God’s house, whereas Christ was the Son. These two personalities are contrasted.
Chapter four deals with the rest of God, the Word of God, and the living priesthood of Christ.
Chapter five treats of the eternal sonship of Christ, the power of His heavenly priesthood.
Chapter seven: in this passage the eternal priesthood of the Son of God is contrasted with the former Levitical priesthood.
Chapters eight, nine and ten contrast the old covenants of the past dispensations with the new of the present and the future. They also contrast the inefficient sacrifices of the old with the eternal value of the sacrifice of Christ.