The Priesthood of the Lord Jesus

Dr. John Boyd, Holywood, N. Ireland

IN the New Testament, explicit teaching concerning the Priesthood and the Priestly work of the Lord Jesus Christ is confined to the Epistle to the Hebrews, and to an example of His functioning as such in John 17.

His Qualifications for the Priesthood.

(How He qualified for His priestly Office).

His Incarnation. He was made like unto His brethren, 2. 17.

His Call. He was called of God, 5. 6, 10.

He was made a priest by the oath of God, 7. 21.

His Experience. He was tempted in all points like us, 2. 18; 4. 15.

He offered up prayers in the days of His flesh, 5. 7.

He experienced obedience through sufferings, 5. 8.

He was perfected through sufferings, 5. 9; 7. 28.

His Work. He offered Himself a sacrifice, 8. 3; 9. 12, 14.

He passed through the heavens, 4. 14.

The Type of His Priesthood.

The nature of His Priesthood is seen in type in Aaron's in that He, like Aaron :

(1) Was taken from among men, 2. 17 ; 5. 1.

(2) Was called of God, 5. 4, 5.

(3) Could enter within the veil, 6. 19, 20 ; 9. 7, 12.

(4) Was a minister of the Sanctuary, 8. 1, 2 ; cf. Lev.16. 16.

(5) Was appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices, 8. 3.

(6) Cleansed the Tabernacle and the vessels of the ministry, 9. 21-24.

(7) Offered a sacrifice for sin, 10. 11, 12.

The Order of His Priesthood.

(The rank, or class in which He was included).

(a) It was of the order of Melchizedek's priesthood, 7. 1-3, in that

He was a King-Priest.

He had no genealogy.

He had no beginning, nor ending.

He abideth a Priest for ever.

(b) It was a different rank from that of Aaron, because

He was of a different tribe, 7. 12-14.

He had a different tenure of office, 7. 15-19.

He received His appointment in a different manner, 7. 20-21.

(c) It was superior to that of Aaron, because

Aaron was blessed by Melchizcdek, 7. 6.

Aaron paid tithes to Melchizedek, 7. 6, 9.

Christ was the surety of a better covenant, 7. 22-28, because ;

They of Aaron's order died. He ever liveth.

They were sinful. He was sinless.

They had infirmities. He was perfected.

They were earthly. He was made higher than the heavens.

They never led the people into the holiest. He is our Forerunner, 6. 20.

The Ministry of His Priesthood.

(a) His Past Ministry.

He made propitiation for the sins of people, 2. 17 ; 7. 27.

He appeared to put away sin, 9. 26.

He became the surety of the new covenant, 7. 22.

He sanctified believers, 10. 10.

He offered one sacrifice for sins, 10. 12.

He perfected the sanctified, 10. 14.

He entered into heaven: As forerunner, 6. 20.

As Redeemer, 9. 12.

As Purifier, 9. 23, 24; cf. Lev. 16. 16.

(b) His Present Ministry (In the true Tabernacle, 8. 2).

He succours the tempted, 2. 18; cf. Luke 22.31,32.

He encourages us to draw near to the Throne of Grace, 4. 16 ; 10. 22.

He brightens our hope of being in heaven, 6. 20 ; 10. 23.

He saves to the uttermost those who come unto God through Him, 7. 25.

His salvation is initial, continual, eternal.

He makes intercession, 7. 25 ; cf. Lev. 16. 12 ; Ps. 141. 2.

He is the mediator of the new and better cove­nant, ensuring that believers receive the promises of it, 8. 6; 9. 15 ; Cf. 1 Tim. 2. 5.

He appears before God for us, 9. 24; cf. Ex. 28. 29.

He presents our sacrifice of praise to God, 13. 15.

(c) His future Ministry.

He will appear a second time for the consumma­tion of our salvation, 9. 28.

The Excellence of His Priesthood.

Because of the excellence of :

(a) The Priest Himself.

Without sin, 4. 15; 7. 27.

Perfect, 5. 9 ; 7. 28.

Undying, 7. 16, 24.

(b) His Ministry.

A perfect sacrifice, 7. 27 ; 9. 14, 23, 26.

A perfect salvation, 7. 25.

A perfect covenant, 7. 22 ; 8. 6.

A perfect approach through Him, 10. 20.

(c) The Sphere of His Ministry.

Within the Veil, 6. 19.

The true Tabernacle, pitched by God, not by man's hand, 8. 2; 9. 11.

Heaven, 9. 24.

Before the face of God, 9. 24.

The Character of the Priest.

Merciful, Faithful, 2. 17.

Sympathetic, 4. 15.

Experienced, 4. 15.

Unchanging, 7. 16, 24.

Holy, Guileless, Undefiled, Separated from sinners, Made higher than the Heavens, 7. 26. Perfect, 7. 28.

Majestic, 8. 1.

An Example of His Priestly Work. John 17.

He prays for the believers that:

(1) They might be kept in the knowledge of God's will, v. 11.

(2) They might have His joy, v. 13.

(3) They might be kept from the evil in the world, v. 15.

(4) They might be sanctified, separated to the ministry of the Word, vv. 17, 19.

(5) They might be one with all believers, v. 21.

(6) They might be with Him in eternity, and see His glory, v. 24