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THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part V: The Superiority Of Christ's Priesthood To Other Priesthoods, Hebrews 5:1-10:39
F. The Superiority Of Christ As Priest Over All Other Priests Of All Faiths
Lesson: Christ is infinitely superior to all mortal priests not only of the Aaronic priesthood under the Mosaic Law, but by way of application, He is infinitely superior to all other priests of all other faiths.
- The author of Hebrews taught in Hebrews 7:4-10 that Melchisedek after whom Christ's priesthood is ordered was greater than Levi, head of the Mosaic Law's Aaronic priesthood, and he taught in Hebrews 7:11-19 that Christ's new priesthood must void the old, so Christ the new Priest must be greater than the Levitical priests, Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 799.
- Hebrews 7:20-28 then not only shows the superiority of Christ as Priest over the Levitical priests, but also over all other priests of all other religious faiths, and we view that passage for our edification as follows:
- The Superiority Of Christ As Priest Over All Other Priests Of All Faiths, Hebrews 7:20-28.
- Unlike the Aaronic priests, and unlike any other human priest of any religious faith, Jesus was made a priest by way of an oath made by Almighty God the Father, Hebrews 7:20-21 in citing Psalm 110:4.
- Since Jesus was sworn to His priestly office by God the Father, He was made a guarantee (engyos) of a better covenant than what was provided under the Aaronic priesthood of the Mosaic Law, Hebrews 7:22; Ibid. No other priest of any other religious faith is given such an oath, so he can not guarantee a better covenant than was supplied under the Aaronic priesthood!
- The Aaronic priests, like priests of any other religious faith, can not continue indefinitely to minister since they are mortals and die, Hebrews 7:23. However, Psalm 110:4 claims Christ is made a priest forever after the order of Melchisedek, meaning He must live forever so as to hold that office forever in INFINITE superiority over all other mortal priests with finite life spans! (Hebrews 7:24)
- Accordingly, Jesus Christ is able also to save completely and eternally those humans who come unto God through Him, for He eternally lives to make fully acceptable intercession for them, Hebrews 7:25! (Ibid.)
- This kind of priest meets our every spiritual need, Hebrew 7:26-28:
- Christ is "holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners" so He can effectively intercede in our behalf to a perfectly righteous God unlike all other priests who are sinners, Hebrews 7:26a,b NIV.
- Christ is "exalted" by the Father, having full, welcomed influence with Him, Hebrews 7:26c NIV.
- Christ is exalted "above the heavens," having greater sway with God than any other, Heb. 7:26d NIV.
- Unlike all other mortal priests, Christ being sinless does not need to offer sacrifices daily first for his own sins and then for the sins of others, Hebrews 7:27a. Rather, He offered one sacrifice for the sins of others when He sufficiently offered His sinless self "once for all" on the cross, Hebrews 7:27b.
- This idea of one, non-repeated sacrifice contrasts sharply with the repeat sacrifices of priests of other religions such as the repeat sacrifices of Christ in the mass of the Roman Catholic Church. Loraine Boettner, Roman Catholicism, 1978, p. 173-174 cites a Roman Catholic Catechism of Christian Doctrine that claims: "The Holy Mass is one and the same sacrifice with that of the Cross, inasmuch as Christ, who offered Himself, a bleeding victim, on the Cross to His Heavenly Father, continues to offer Himself in an unbloody manner on the altar, through the ministry of His priests."
- However, the Hebrews 7:27 expression "once for all" is from the Greek term, ephapax, and in the context it means "once for all" in contrast to the repeat sacrifices of the Aaronic priesthood, or thus of any other priesthood, Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the N. T., 1967, p. 330.
- The Mosaic Law appointed men who were weak as mortals, as is also true of all other religious faiths where weak mortals serve as priests, Hebrews 7:28a. However, in huge contrast, Jesus Christ was appointed the eternal and thus able Priest by the Father's oath, and He has been made an adequate priest forever in contrast to all other priests of all other religious faiths, Hebrews 7:28b.
Application: May we confidently look to Christ versus any other priest or religious priesthood for intercession with God the Father relative to every spiritual need we have!