In this series we're talking about the names and descriptive
phrases identifying Jesus. Thus far we've talked about Jesus
the Son of
God, the life,
of God, the Firstborn,
of the church, an Author,
and the propitiation
for our sins.
In this article, we talk about Jesus as our high priest
Jesus: King and Priest
Jesus uniquely serves as King and priest, unlike anyone
else of the Jewish nation.
Jesus' priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek, who
like Jesus was both King and priest (Heb. 7:1).
- "Where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for
us, having become a high priest forever according to the
order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:19-20).
- "For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest
of the Most High God . . ." (Heb. 7:1).
Change of the Priesthood Foretold
David foretells the change in the priesthood, from the Aaronic
order to the order of Melchizedek.
- "The Lord says to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'
The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion,
saying, 'Rule in the midst of Your enemies'" (Ps.
- "The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, 'You
are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek'"
A distinguishing trait of God's Messiah is that He's both
priest and King. Therefore, as Jeremiah prophesies, there
would be another covenant established by God, since one
man couldn't hold both offices under the Mosaic Law.
- "'Behold, days are coming,' declares the Lord,
'when I will make a new covenant with the house
of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the
covenant which I made with their fathers in the day
I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land
of Egypt . . .'" (Jer. 31:31-32).
The Law Changed
Paul takes these points a step further, building on these
Old Testament prophesies, which he references in Hebrews
5, 6, 7, and 8.
Now he concludes that God changed the law, of necessity.
His reasoning, besides the Old Testament Scriptures already
pointed out, is that Jesus could not serve as priest and
King under the Mosaic Law. Therefore, God had to change
- "For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity
there takes place a change of law also. For the one
concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to
another tribe, from which no one has officiated at
the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended
from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke
nothing concerning priests" (Heb. 7:12-14).
Jesus came to fulfill the Mosaic Law (Matt. 5:17-18).
In so doing, God established a new law so He could serve
as our high priest in heaven, although He was from the tribe
of Judah rather than the tribe of Levi.
Thus speaking of the Mosaic Law, Paul says it was nailed
to the cross, signifying it's fulfillment.
- "Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting
of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and
He has taken it out of the way, having nailed
it to the cross" (Col. 2:14).
We Live Under the Law of Christ
Today, we live under the law of Christ.
- We are under the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21).
- We must fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).
The law of Christ is composed of the teachings of Christ,
recorded by inspired writers of the gospel.
- We must abide in the teaching (doctrine) of Christ
to be saved (2 Jn. 1:9).
- Christ's teaching (doctrine) is contained in Scripture
(2 Tim. 3:16-17).
- We must obey the gospel to be saved (2 Th. 1:8). Therefore,
the law of Christ is contained in the gospel message.
We must obey Jesus to be saved.
- Jesus is the source of eternal salvation to those who
obey Him (Heb. 5:9).
- We'll be judged by Jesus' words (Jn. 12:48).
Jesus, Priest Forever
Like Melchizedek, Jesus is our high priest forever, perpetually.
- "Where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having
become a high priest forever according to the order
of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:20).
- "Without father, without mother, without genealogy,
having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but
made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually"
Since Jesus is a priest forever, He's become the guarantee
of a better covenant, and able to save forever.
- "So much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee
of a better covenant. The former priests, on the one
hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented
by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand,
because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.
Therefore He is able also to save forever . . ."
Therefore, our hope is sure and steadfast, with Jesus
as our high priest.
- "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters
within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner
for us, having become a high priest forever . .
." (Heb. 6:19-20).
To be continued.