Temple Baptist Church - 5-1-2019
A. The Book of Hebrews, written to the strangers scattered referenced by Peter in 2 Peter 3:15, was written to encourage the saved Jews of the dispersion. They were familiar with the Old Testament economy of Law but not yet familiar with the New Testament economy of Grace and Truth.
John 1:15-17 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (16) And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. (17) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
B. “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum.” Sum – the combination or culmination of different things that go together to make one. A summary.
C. The Holy Spirit uses these verses to show the ultimate priesthood of Christ, which was far better than the Levitical priesthood.
D. These Jewish believers were familiar with the work of the priesthood. The Levitical Priesthood began with Aaron, whom God personally appointed. The priesthood of Christ came after the Order (character) OF Melchisedec.
E. Melchisedec was an Old Testament type and our Lord Jesus Christ was the anti-type or fulfillment of that type.
Hebrews 7:2-3 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; (3) Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
F. Why a High Priest?
1. In the Old Testament, the High Priest represented man to God. Individuals could not come directly to God, therefore the priesthood. Priests offered up the sacrifices brought to the Tabernacle (and later the Temple). The High Priest represented man to God when, once a year, he entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of atonement.
2. In the New Testament economy, God gave passing gifts of apostles and prophets during the “Transitional Period” because the Word of God had not yet been completed. (1 Corinthians 13). The apostles represented God to man whereas the priests represented man to God.
3. God also gave evangelists and the pastor/teacher to the local church. The evangelist is the missionary and the pastor/teacher the Bishop or “under-shepherd.”
4. The apostles and prophets are now gone as the Word of God came in its completion and purity. Pastors take the oversight of the flock of God and each individual is his own “priest.” We can go directly to God through the precious blood of Christ instead of through a priest.
5. But, there was and is still a need for a High Priest. In chapter 9, we will see much about the blood of Christ once offered for the sins of the people and applied to the Mercy Seat in heaven. The blood is still there and the censor remains in the HOLY OF HOLIES in the heavenly Temple.
Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
G. Here is the Sum: through our Better High Priest:
1. We have a Better Purity. “such an high priest” Before Christ, men could not enter the Holy Place. They brought their sacrifices to the priests who offered those sacrifices upon the Brazen Altar.
a. The Old Testament high priest had to wash at the Laver before entering the Holy Place. The Laver was made of the brazen mirrors of the women to make the high priest see and recognize his need of personal cleansing.
b. The Old Testament high priest had to first offer for his personal sins before offering for the sins of the people.
c. Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of God who knew no sin, did not sin, thought no sin, and spoke no sin. He had no need of sacrifice for purification. Through His sacrifice, we become pure as He is pure.
2. We Have A Better Position. “who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens”
a. The Old Testament priest was an earthly man. Though the work of the priesthood was 24 hours a day, the High Priest could only approach God at the Mercy Seat once a year.
b. His work was to offer incense daily but, as an earthly man, he had to sleep.
c. Jesus Christ is a heavenly man who is seated with God with intercession being made throughout the day. We are eternally positioned, hid with Christ in God.
d. While we sleep, He is our safeguard, our mediator, our intercessor. Jesus Christ neither slumbers nor sleeps.
3. We Have A Better Performance. “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
a. The Old Testament Priest ministered in the Tabernacle made by man. A shadow of the true Tabernacle in heaven. The Old Testament priest offered daily for sin.
b. Jesus Christ entered the True Tabernacle in heaven for us. Our High Priest offered once for sin, never to be offered again. Christ died once for all.
4. We Have a Better Propitiation. “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.”
a. The Old Testament high priest offered the blood of bulls and goats as an atonement for sin.
b. Jesus Christ offered His precious, incorruptible blood as the final payment for sin.
5. We Have a Better Promise. “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”
a. The Old Testament high priest’s work was Prophetic.
b. Jesus Christ’s priestly work is fulfillment of Prophecy.
Conclusion: The sum is the culmination of who Christ is and what Christ has done.