Sunday, February 27, 2011

Christ Our Great and Perfect High Priest (Part 3)

This is part three of a sermon seriesChrist our Great and Perfect High Priest


Hebrews 7:25-28
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

In our two previous considerations of these four precious verses in Hebrews 7, we saw our Great Perfect High Priest, His powers and qualifications. We saw His ability to mediate between God and man numbered amongst us sinners, yet separate from sinners and raised higher than the heavens, there to daily mediate and intercede for us. He is far superior to the high priest under the Law.

In this our last consideration of this passage, let us begin by focusing our minds on what His qualities should mean to us. Let us refresh our minds of the last paragraph of our last talk:
“If we give up ourselves to the conduct of this High Priest, if by Him alone we design to approach unto God, then conformity unto Him in holiness of nature and life according to our measure is indispensably required of us. None can more dishonour the Lord Jesus Christ, nor more perniciously deceive and betray their own souls, than by professing Him to be their Priest, with their trust thereby to be saved by Him, and yet not endeavour to be holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, like unto Him

Now to verse 27:

“who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself”


In this and the next verse the Apostle names other instances in which our High Priest is pre-eminent over those of the order of Aaron. His perfections, described in verse 26, exempted Him from all the infirmities of the Levitical priests, which disqualified them from making personal atonement. The design of the Apostle is to show that Christ was infinitely well pleasing to God, and because He was under no necessity to sacrifice for Himself, the offering which He made for the people is of eternal validity. This he did once, announces there is no need for any further repetition.

Read More: Christ our great and perfect High Priest - Part 2

The Apostle is still contrasting Christ from the Levitical high priests. How could they pacify the declarative holiness of God which had been outraged by others, when God was justly displeased with them for their own sins? They were obliged to offer daily from time to time, day by day or again and again, by periodical repetition, for their own sins. Compare this to Hebrews 10:1 “from year to year” and note that the literary translation of Exodus 13:10 “from year to year” is “days to days”. Not only did the legal high priest have to sacrifice for his own sins, the offering which he presented on behalf of the people had no abiding efficacy, but had to be repeated annually. Whereas Christ, being perfect, needed no sacrifice for Himself, and His offering, being perfect; there is no need for any further one. Christ’s sacrifice abides, “a new and living one” (Hebrews 10:20)


Hebrews 7:28:

  “For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.” 


In this verse the Apostle sums up the whole of His preceding discourse, evidencing the true foundation on which he had built. Those who still adhered to the Mosaic institutions allowed that there must be a priest over God’s people, for without such there could be no approach unto God. So it was under the law, and if the same order be not continued, then the Church, must needs be under a great disadvantage. As Owen rightly said; “To lose the high priest of our religion, is to lose the sun out of the firmament of the Church.”


John Owen quote


Book Recommendation: An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews by John Owen (7 Volume Set)

Now the Apostle has granted that the high priests who officiated in the tabernacle and temple were appointed by God to that office. His opponents were persuaded that these priests would continue in the Church without change or alteration. God has designed a time when they were to be removed and a Priest of another order introduced in their room. This change so far from being regrettable was to the great advantage, safety, blessedness, glory of the Church.

First, the Levitical priests were appointed under by “the law”; but the new High Priest and indeed perfect High Priest, “since the law” (that is in Psalm 110:4); showing Christ had superseded them.

Second, they were but men; Christ was the “Son of God”.

Third, they were “made” by “the law”; Christ by “the word of the oath”.

Fourth, they had “infirmities”; the Son had none.

Fifth, they served only in their day and generation; Christ is forever more.


“But the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.” 

The Apostle turns again, in a most emphatic and conclusive manner, unto the key-note which he had struck at the beginning of the Epistle. The Law of Moses constitutes priests that were changing continually; but the Word which came with the oath after the law, consecrated forever as High Priest, Him who is the Son. Compare the same emphasis on “Son" in Hebrews 1:1-2. Only the Son could be the High Priest, and He became the High Priest. Through His incarnation, through all the experiences of His life of sorrow and of faith, through His death on the Cross, through His resurrection and ascension, Jesus is perfected forever more. Christ abides perpetually in His priestly office because of the validity of His perfect sacrifice. We should all shout Hallelujah.

Christ our Great High Priest – what a name and what an office? Is He your Priest? Is He your mediator before God? Thoughts of Him should make us sing more often.

May the Lord bless you all.

Other sermons in the series:
Christ Our Great and Perfect High Priest (Part 1)
Christ Our Great and Perfect High Priest (Part 2)

Visit the series page: Christ our Great and Perfect High Priest

Check out other sermon series:  Sermon Series by Silas

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