Study of Our High Priest : Lesson #2
Jesus Replaces the Old Testament Priesthood
In the previous lesson we looked at some of the things that Jesus Christ does for us as our high priest. These things are very important and helpful for us to understand as a saved person. In this lesson we are going to show scripturally how that Jesus Christ replaced the Old Testament Levitical Priesthood which gives us clear scriptural evidence for not needing an earthly priest today.
Two Lines of Priest :
There were many different kinds of priest found in the Old Testament. As we will see in the next lesson many of the false religions in the Bible had a priest for their religion. But God only recognized two lines in the Old Testament that were connected to him.
1) The line of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-24)
- In this passage we find that Abram when he returned from a battle he gave Melchizedek tithes. This Melchizedek is said in verse 18 to be the priest of the most high God.
- This account is verified for us in Hebrews 7:1-3 where we find some additional information on Melchizedek.
- We will list the additional information as follows (but we are not trying to study Melchizedek at this point we just have to show that he was a priest of the most high God and that he is connected with the Lord Jesus Christ).
- He is said to be the King of Salem and the King of Righteousness.
- He is said to be without father and without mother and without descent.
- He is said to have neither beginning of days, nor end of life.
- He is said to be made like unto the son of God.
- He is said to abide a priest continually.
- Now it is tempting to try and find out exactly who this person was but for the sake of this lesson don’t try and figure it out just bear in mind that Jesus is going to be connected with this priesthood.
2) The line of Aaron (Exodus 28:1-3 ; Hebrews 5:1-4 ; Hebrews 7:5)
- After giving the law God selected Aaron and his sons to be the priest. God was very serious about this as we will see in the next lesson.
So throughout the Old Testament we see Melchizedek and the sons of Aaron as the priest that God recognizes as scriptural.
The Changing of the Order : (Hebrews 7:11-28)
In this passage we see an explanation for the Lord Jesus Christ taking the place of the sons of Aaron and becoming our High Priest. Let us go through the passage and make a few comments on the verse all though they are fairly self explanatory.
- Here we see that if the law and the Levitical priesthood under Aaron had been perfect then there would have been no need to change the law or have another priest come from the order of Melchizedek.
- In these verses we see that Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah. (Now we know that Joseph was not his literal father, but remember that both Mary and Joseph go back to David who is of the tribe of Judah). This is why Jesus is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5).
- If Jesus Christ is not of the tribe of Levi then he has no right to be the High Priest. But remember that Jesus Christ is said to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:5-6 ; Psalm 110:4)
- Note that verse 16 says that the change would require a priest who was made after the power of an endless life. Jesus Christ fits the bill perfectly.
- Therefore the passage is showing that after the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ the law was changed and the priesthood of Aaron was done away with and Jesus Christ replaced the Old Testament priesthood and he is now our High Priest.
- It also shows that it does not matter that he was not connected with the tribe of Levi because that priesthood was not perfect anyway. His priesthood is connected through Melchizedek which makes him separate from the Levitcal priesthood and a whole lot better.
- Here we see some of the reasons that the Lord Jesus Christ is so much better that the Levitcal priesthood.
- The Levitcal priests kept dying and therefore they had to be replaced. Jesus Christ has an unchangeable priesthood because he is alive for ever more.
- In verse 25 we see that Jesus Christ is able to save us to the uttermost. The Old Testament priest as the earthly priest today cannot save anyone to the uttermost that is why they have to come to them every time they sin. But Jesus Christ can save us once and for all because of his finished work on Calvary (Hebrews 9:11-15).
- Note also in verse 25 that we see Jesus Christ as the only mediator between God and man note the wording “he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him”. Note that it says a person must come unto God by him and he is the only one that can get you to God (1 Timothy 2:5).
- Last of all we see that even though he was made like us he never sinned and he did not have to offer a sacrifice for himself as the Old Testament priest did. Therefore he was perfect and he will remain that way.
Therefore when the Law changed as a result of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ the priesthood also changed. Now the Lord Jesus Christ is our High Priest and he is the only way to get to God. And because of his mediator ship and his intercession we have no need for an earthly priest today.
Study of Our High Priest : Lesson #2 Handout
Jesus Replaces the Old Testament Priesthood
1) Under the Law who were to be the Priest? Give a reference for your answer.
2) Give a reference showing Melchisedec was a priest of God before Abraham had children.
3) What are some of the unique characteristics that are recorded for us in the word of God concerning Melchisedec? Where are these found?
4) Why is it important that Jesus be connected with Melchisedec and not Aaron?
5) Give a verse showing Jesus was connected with Melchisedec.
6) Why is Jesus a better High Priest than all of the Old Testament Priest?