The Priesthood of Christ

Text: Hebrews 3:1

The Hebrew writer called Jesus our high priest. The priesthood changed when the covenant changed (Hebrews 7:11-14). Under the new covenant, all Christians are priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9) and Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 3:1). This lesson will examine the priesthood of Christ and how it affects us today.

The Purpose of a Priesthood

  • To offer sacrifices (Hebrews 5:1-3) – as priests, we sacrifice (Romans 12:1); as our high priest, Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 9:23-28)
  • To make intercession (Hebrews 7:25; 9:24) – He is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1)

The Comparison with the Levitical Priesthood

  • Shadow vs. substance – the OT system was never designed to remedy sin (Hebrews 10:1, 4)
  • Order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10) – clearly shown to the better than the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:1-10) by the fact that Melchizedek blessed Abraham and Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek
  • How the priesthood of Christ is better than the Levitical priesthood – the high priest is better (Hebrews 7:26-28); the sacrifice is better (Hebrews 9:11-14, 23-28; 10:11-14); it endures longer (Hebrews 7:3, 23-25)

Qualifications of Christ to Be Our High Priest

  • He partook of flesh and blood (Hebrews 2:14-18) – blood had to be shed (Hebrews 9:22); a physical body was all that Jesus lacked
  • He was tempted in all things, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16) – this was so we know that He knows what it is like to be tempted
  • He is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26)
  • He is the Son of God (Hebrews 5:5-6; 7:3) – again, He was “separated from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26); man could not do this, it took the person of God

His Sacrifice

  • Offered Himself (Hebrews 9:27) – the perfect sacrifice; did this willingly (John 10:17-18); we are sanctified by His body (Hebrews 10:10) and cleansed by His blood (Hebrews 9:14; cf. 1 Peter 1:18-19)
  • Appeared in the presence of God (Hebrews 9:11-12; 24) – this is another reason why He to be innocent/sinless
  • He did this one time for all times (Hebrews 7:27; 9:26, 28)

His Work

  • Besides the work He has already done in His sacrifice, He makes intercession for us (Hebrews 9:24) – acts as our advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1); grants us access to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16)
  • He will always be able to do this (Hebrews 7:25)

The Benefit We Derive from Christ Being Our High Priest

  • Confidence (Hebrews 10:19-23) – draw near to Him and hold fast to our confession
  • Hope (Hebrews 6:19-20) – hope of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-22); we are saved by hope (Romans 8:24)

Conclusion

  • The priesthood of Christ is one of the major advantages over the old law
  • Because of His work as our high priest, we can have forgiveness of sins and hope of eternal life – but we must take advantage of His sacrifice
  • Do not disregard His sacrifice through disobedience (Hebrews 10:26-31)

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