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The Superiority of Christ’s Priesthood
Heb. 7:20-28


Aaronic priesthood doesn’t last long because they die and have to be replaced by another descendant. Christ’s priesthood however, is permanent, it goes on and on because He never dies, His priesthood is eternal. The word eternal is mentioned five times in this Epistle. Eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9), Eternal judgment (Heb. 6:2), Eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12), Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14), Eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:15). Truly, Christ’s ministry will endure forever.

I. A better Covenant (Heb. 7:20-22)
A. With an oath.
1. Christ’s priesthood was established by an oath of God. (Ps. 110:4)
2. The Lord sware and will not repent, will not regret, or change His mind regarding Christ’s appointment as a priest.
3. Heb. 6:13-14 is God’s first recorded “oath”; Heb. 7:20-22 is God’s “last oath”. Both Christ and His priesthood are changeless.
4. Aaronic or Levitical priesthood received their priesthood by descent. It was not with an oath. The Aaronic priests ministered “after the law of a carnal commandment” (Heb. 7:16). Their moral or spiritual fitness was not examined. The important thing was that a priest belonged to the right tribe and met the right physical and ceremonial requirements (Lev. 21:16-24).
B. Jesus Christ is the “surety of a better testament (covenant)” (Heb. 7:22). The word “surety” means “one who guarantees that the terms of an agreement will be carried out.” We see an example in Gen. 44:32, where Judah told Joseph that he had pledged to be surety for his young brother Benjamin. Jesus is the guarantor of the new covenant, that is why it is better.

Illustration 1/Application: Covenant
A solemn agreement, such as the pact between Jacob and Laban (Gen. 31:44). God’s love and grace are shown in the readiness to make covenants with people. When God promised Noah that he would not again destroy the world with a flood, he made a covenant with him (Gen. 6:18; 9:9-17). A very important covenant existed between God and Israel (Exod. 24:1-8), which is pictured in the book of Hebrews as the “old covenant.” When the people repeatedly broke that covenant, God promised a new covenant based on forgiveness and the writing of his law on people’s hearts (Jer. 31:31-34). Jesus inaugurated this new covenant with his blood (Mark 14:24; 1 Cor. 11:25).
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton, IL; 1984), p. 348

II. An enduring ministry (Heb. 7:23-25)
A. Aaronic Priesthood is imperfect, it was always changing by reason of death. There were many high priests because no one priest could live forever. According to my research, there were 84 High Priests who served from Aaron until the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 A.D.
B. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lives forever! Because He lives forever, we have an unchangeable priesthood, which would mean security and confidence for God’s people. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). “Thou art a Priest forever” (Ps. 110:4).
C. Hebrews 7:25 is one of the key verses in this Epistle. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them”. It brings out the full ministry of Jesus in salvation:
1. The complete ability to save forever (to the uttermost). Christ can save completely (from any kind of sin) forever all who put their trust in Him. Because He is our High Priest forever, He can save forever. (no limit, no end).
2. Christ’s work as our High Priest is continuous, drawing us unto holiness and pleading our cause before our Heavenly Father. The word intercession means to intercede on behalf of another, “to meet, to approach, to appeal, to make petition. In reference to man’s prayers to God, intercession speaks particularly of that aspect of prayer whereby we come into God’s presence and petition Him for a specific request.

Illustration 2/Application: The High Priest we need
You and I, are living in a culture in which the priesthood principle is relatively unknown may dismiss these arguments as irrelevant. But our High Priest is a present reality, a reality we need to grasp and know. Because Jesus lives as our High Priest, we too have guaranteed access to God. In failure, we can claim the promised mercy. Under the daily pressures of our lives, we can claim the help of a Man who knows our every need, and who knows as well the path of victory.
The Teacher’s Commentary.

III. Christ’s Superiority (Heb. 7:26-28)
A. Levitical Priests’ weakness
1. Levitical Priests were sinners
2. Levitical priests offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people
3. Their sacrifices had to be continually offered which implies a fundamental weakness in the efficacy of the sacrifices themselves
B. Jesus’ Christ’s superiority
1. He is character is described as “holy, perfectly aligned with God’s will in reverent piety (Ps. 16:10)
2. Harmless, in the sense of blamelessly free from evil
3. Undefiled, in the sense of being unstained by blemish from sinful men.
4. Separate from sinners”, having been separated from sinners, being in a different class from sinners when He was on earth and now separate from them as their high priest in heaven above (Lev. 12:12)
5. Made higher than the heavens. He is “seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).
6. Christ’s sacrifice was a once for all offering of Himself. He did not need to offer daily, nor to offer for His own sins. He offered Himself as a final and efficacious sacrifice, the sinless One alone offering for the sinful (Lev. 16:11) (Unger’s Bible Handbook)
7. Christ’s priesthood is superior because it is sealed with divine oath. God’s oath in Ps. 110:4 (which was made after the Law was given) makes the sinless Son Priest perfect forevermore.

IV. Conclusion:
Christ’s priesthood was established by an oath from God the Father. He is perfect in character; His intercession has no end. His sacrifice was a once for all offering of Himself. His priesthood is eternal so He is our Priest forever. Only our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can save us to the uttermost. Repent from your sins now and receive Him as your personal Saviour before its too late.

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