A Heavenly Priesthood

from the Hebrews reading plan

Hebrews 8:1-6, Zechariah 6:12-13, John 10:14-18, Romans 11:33-36, Romans 12:1-2

We’re all tempted to be on the lookout for items that are “new and improved.” We can easily become enamored with appliances promising additional conveniences, cars loaded with luxury options, houses that include energy-efficient features, or cell phones with the latest upgrades. But we know from experience that the latest and greatest updates do not always match their promotional hype. Newer is not always better.

Nevertheless, the possibility of occasional letdowns does not discourage us from taking advantage of significant leaps in technology. We know that advances in science and industry do lead to some wonderful inventions. An automobile is better than a horse and buggy, steel-toed work boots provide much more support and protection than primitive sandals, a phone is a much quicker way to contact someone than the Pony Express, and thanks to anesthetics, surgery today is much more bearable than in centuries past. So, while the claims for the latest “life-changing” product deserve a certain level of scrutiny, there are many instances where the claims have some truth to them.

Throughout Scripture, God institutes priests to make atonement for His people. Like us, they couldn’t shake their sin no matter how hard they tried. A priest represented the people for the Lord in helping remove the weight of sin through the sacrificial system God commanded. As the Israelites wandered in the wilderness in the book of Numbers, Aaron was first appointed to carry this mantle of the priesthood. In places like Zechariah 6, we see the Israelites longing for the day when their final priest would come. God promised a newer and better covenant fulfilled by a new and better priest.

In Jesus, that promise of a new and better priest has come true. The priests of God throughout biblical history had a role to play, but were ultimately pointing forward to Jesus, who is both the final priest and the final sacrifice of the new covenant between God and man. As Hebrews 8:6 says, “Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been established on better promises.”

In the case of Jesus, newer really is better. He has a superior ministry based on a better covenant and better promises. We don’t need to look around for a better sacrifice. We don’t need to search for a better salvation. We only need to look at Jesus, our risen Priest and King.

Written by Brandon Smith 

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3 thoughts on "A Heavenly Priesthood"

  1. Chuck Adair says:

    The point of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has not just come to fit into the earthly system of priestly ministry as the best and final human priest, but he has come to fulfill and put an end to that system and to orient all our attention on himself ministering for us in heaven. The Old Testament tabernacle and priests and sacrifices were shadows. Now the reality has come and the shadows pass away.

    The point—the main point of it all—is that the one priest who goes between us and God, and makes us right with God, and prays for us to God is not an ordinary, weak, sinful, dying, priest like in the Old Testament days. He is the Son of God—strong, sinless, with an indestructible life.

  2. Frank Dankowski says:

    God is always better than all.

  3. Kevin says:

    Day 12: Imagine if sacrificing things was still around today. I mean we might be used to it because it’s been around forever, but how wild would it be to sacrifice something to God for forgiveness. In some ways, we are sacrificing our lives to be with God by giving up the things of this world and pursuing him. Easier said than done. I’m thankful for Christ’s sacrifice for us. He really cares about us right? So good. ⚒

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