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12 August 2019

A Priest Forever

The Resurrection -
The book of Hebrews employs a series of comparisons t0 demonstrate the superiority of the revelation given by God in His Son Jesus Christ. The “Word spoken in a Son” is superior to past “words” there were given in the prophets, through angels, and by Moses at Sinai.
The purpose of the comparisons is not to denigrate Moses or the Torah, but, rather, to stress the vast superiority of the Word spoken in the Son. God’s past revelations were valid but partial, temporary, and promissory.
Thus, for example, the word spoken in God’s Son is complete and “better than” the partial revelation that was given through the “prophets” (Hebrews 1:1-2). The Son, “having achieved purification of sins,” sat down at God’s right hand (Psalm 110:1) and was “appointed heir of all things,” the clear inference being that the word spoken in the past “in the prophets” failed to obtain “purification of sins.”
The opening reference to the Son having “achieved purification of sins” introduces the subjects of his priesthood, sacrifice, and the new covenant, which are detailed in Chapters 7-10.
The Author of Hebrews demonstrates the superior revelation in Jesus by contrasting the priesthood, “better” covenant and sacrifice of the Son with the Levitical priesthood, the old covenant, and the animal sacrifices required under the Torah.
The fact that God promised a future priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” proves that the Levitical priesthood did not and could not achieve the purification of sins (Hebrews 7:11). 
Under the previous priesthood, “the people received the law.” But the change in priesthood promised by God means also “a change of law,” God’s promise of a new priest “after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:12Psalms 110:4).
Unlike the Levitical priesthood, which due to human mortality was dependent on lineal descent and multiple generations of priests, the priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” is perpetual because it is based on an endless resurrection life (Hebrews 7:15-17). The “weakness” of human mortality inherent in the old system meant there is a “disannulling” of the previous commandment, which could “make nothing complete.”
Unlike the Levitical priesthood, the priest after the order of Melchizedek was installed by God’s declared word and His oath (“The Lord swore and will not regret, ‘You are a priest everlastingly’”). Therefore, Jesus holds the priesthood “un-transmissible” and “unchangeable.”
(Psalm 110:4) – “You are a priest everlastingly, according to the rank of Melchizedek.”
Moreover, he has become “guarantor of a better covenant” and is able to save to the uttermost all who approach God through him, because he “lives evermore to intercede on their behalf” (Hebrews 7:19-25).
Unlike the Levitical priests, Jesus “sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,” having become the minister of “the Real Tabernacle” rather than a tent assembled and pitched by man.
The Levitical priesthood and sacrificial system on the earth constitute “glimpses and shadows of the heavenly realities,” just as Moses was told to make the earthly Tabernacle “according to the pattern he had seen in the mount” (Hebrews 8:1-5).
Likewise, having “attained to a more distinguished ministry, he also is the mediator of a better covenant legislated upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). If the “first covenant” had been faultless there would have been no need for a second one. However, having found fault with it, the Lord announced the coming days when “I will conclude a new covenant.”
This promised new covenant is expressly stated to be “NOT according to the covenant” made at Sinai following God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. It is not a “renewed” or slightly modified covenant, but one of an entirely new kind (verses 7-9). This was necessary because the old legislation instituted at Sinai was unable to achieve the purification of sins.
The new covenant instituted by the Son enables all citizens of the kingdom to know God and establishes them as His people, His righteous requirements of His laws Law having been written on their hearts (verses 10-12).
Moreover, unlike the covenant given at Sinai, the new one does achieve the purification of sins (“I will become merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins will I remember no more”).
By establishing the promised new covenant, the Son “has made the first obsolete” and is even in the process of disappearing (Hebrews 8:13). This means the covenant established under Moses at Sinai ceased to be in effect as a result of the superior act and office of the Son, Jesus Christ.
Anyone who chooses to live under the old Mosaic legislation selects that which has already been made obsolete, which previously demonstrated its inability to achieve purification of sins or make anyone complete. It is regression not revelation, and certainly not spiritual advancement.
This also suggests that anyone who removes himself from the jurisdiction of Christ’s priestly ministry places himself back under the incomplete and now obsolete Levitical system.

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