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“Now the main point in what has been
said is this: we have such a high
priest, who has taken His seat at the
right hand of the throne of the Majesty
in the heavens, a minister in the
sanctuary and in the true tabernacle,
which the Lord pitched, not man”
Hebrews 8:1, 2
After His resurrection and ascension to the heavenly sanctuary, Christ
entered into a new phase of the plan of redemption (Heb. 2:17).
With the indispensable requirement of His sacrifice fulfilled, He was
inaugurated as Priest and began His priestly ministry in order to
mediate His perfect sacrifice in behalf of those covered, by faith, by His
His priestly ministry consists of two phases, both foreshadowed in the
earthly sanctuary: the daily ministry and the yearly ministry during the
Day of Atonement.
This lesson we will study the work of Jesus during His daily ministry
and see some of the practical ramifications that His work has for us.
We can, indeed, draw great comfort from knowing that Jesus is now
standing in the presence of God, ministering the merits of His sacrifice
in our behalf. The sanctuary message offers hope and encouragement
to even the weakest of His followers.
According to the
order of Melchizedek.
According to the
order of Aaron.
Our High Priest
The New Testament book that speaks the most about Christ as Priest is
Hebrews. The Old Testament backbone of Hebrews consists of two
verses quoted from Psalm 110. Verse 1 is cited to confirm that Christ is
exalted above all because He sat down at the right hand of God. This is
a recurring theme in Hebrews, one that emphasizes Jesus’ divinity and
Messiahship (Heb. 1:3, 4:14, 7:26, 8:1, 12:2). Psalm 110:4 is used to
demonstrate that Christ’s priesthood has been foreshadowed by
Melchizedek (Heb. 5:6).
“The Lord has sworn and will not relent, “You are a priest
forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”” (Psalm 110:4)
The priesthood of Melchizedek is a priesthood
“not according to the law of a fleshly
commandment, but according to the power of
an endless life” (Heb. 7:16)
He is a symbol of the character of Jesus
(Psalm 89:14): Righteousness and peace (v. 2)
o “Melchizedek” = “My king is
o “King of Salem” =“King of peace”.
He is a symbol of the eternity of Jesus and
His priesthood (v. 3)
o His genealogy is unknown.
o We are not able to determine the
date of his birth or death, or how long
He is a symbol of the superiority of Jesus
o He blessed Abraham and Abraham
gave him the tithe.
Who was Melchizedek? How is he related to the
priesthood of Jesus (Hebrews 7)?
THE ORDER OF
“And no man takes this honor to
himself, but he who is called by
God, just as Aaron was” (Hebrews 5:4)
Although the Levitical priesthood (the
priests were Aaron’s descendants) was
limited because of human weakness, we
still can see a clear example of the
priesthood of Jesus in it (Hebrews 5:1-5)
He interceded on behalf of the people
He is patient with ignorant and lost
people (v. 2-3)
He was called by God to his duty
Jesus fulfilled both the Aaronite and the Melchizedek high priesthood in a better
way than either of those priests, or priesthoods, ever did or could. Both types met
their antitype in Christ.
The book of Hebrews portrays
Christ as the new High Priest.
He is of a better order than
even Aaron; not only does He
fulfill the requirements of the
Aaronite priesthood, He
enhances them. Jesus had no
sin, was fully obedient, and
did not need to bring an
offering for Himself. On the
contrary, He Himself was the
offering—the most perfect
“The high priest held a position of
power and importance. He was not
only counselor and mediator, but
judge; and there was no appeal
from his decision … The high priest,
clad in his consecrated and
expensive robes, with the
breastplate upon his breast, the
light flashing upon the precious
stones inlaid in the breastplate,
presented a most imposing
appearance, and struck the
conscientious, true-hearted people
with admiration, reverence, and
awe. The high priest was designed
in an especial manner to represent
Christ, who was to become a high
priest forever after the order of
Melchisedec [RH 12-17-1872]” E.G.W. (SDA Bible Commentary, on Matthew 26)
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if
anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”
(1 John 2:1)
What DOES NOT Jesus Christ do when He intercedes
on our behalf at the Heavenly Sanctuary?
Jesus does not need to beg the Father for us, or to
beg Him to be merciful, because our Heavenly
Father loves us (Jn. 16:26-27)
Jesus does not need to change the Father’s attitude
to us or to appease an angry God (Jn. 3:16)
What DOES Christ DO when He intercedes on our
behalf at the Heavenly Sanctuary?
Jesus meets His Father to help men and women in
their daily struggles against evil by giving them the
Holy Spirit (Jn. 15:5)
Jesus saves us by forgiving our sins and justifying us
Jesus vindicates us against Satan’s accusations. He
gives us confidence in the Day of Judgment (1Jn. 4:17)
Read Romans 8:31–34.
What great hope and promise
is offered us here?
The background of verses 31–
34 is a courtroom scene in
which we should visualize
ourselves on trial. Questions
are asked: Who is against us?
Who will bring a charge
Who condemns us?
Such a situation could easily
send shivers down our spines.
After all, are we not well
aware of our human
imperfection and sinfulness?
How can you better
experience the marvelous
truth that nothing will
separate you from God’s
How can you use this
assurance as a motivation to
live as God would have you
live, as opposed, perhaps, to
how you are living now?
“Who desires all
men to be saved and
to come to the
knowledge of the
truth. For there is
one God and one
God and men, the
Man Christ Jesus,
who gave Himself a
ransom for all, to be
testified in due time”
(1 Tim. 2:4–6, NKJV).
How do these verses
help us to
what Christ is doing
for us in heaven?
Christ is called the one Mediator between God and man.
There is no one else because, in fact, no one else is necessary.
Through Christ’s position as Mediator, salvation and knowledge
of truth are universally available (1 Tim. 2:4). The crucial
question for us all is whether or not we will take advantage of
what Christ has offered to each of us, regardless of our status,
race, character, or past deeds.
What is the difference between Jesus’ ministry of intercession and
His ministry of mediation?
The ministry of intercession involves
Jesus pleading for the fallen man who
needs to be justified.
The ministry of mediation involves
Jesus restoring the broken relationship
between God and man. He brings man
to God through reconciliation and
“The world’s Redeemer possessed the power
to draw men to Himself, to quiet their fears,
to dispel their gloom, to inspire them with
hope and courage, to enable them to believe
in the willingness of God to receive them
through the merits of the divine Substitute.
As subjects of the love of God we ever should
be grateful that we have a mediator, an
advocate, an intercessor in the heavenly
courts, who pleads in our behalf before the
E.G.W. (“Selected Messages”, vol.1, cp. 36, pg. 258)
Which qualities does the
Bible confers to Jesus as
the High Priest?
“For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled,
separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26)
“And every priest stands ministering
daily and offering repeatedly the
same sacrifices, which can never
take away sins. But this Man, after
He had offered one sacrifice for
sins forever, sat down at the right
hand of God” (Hebrews 10:11-12)
The animal sacrifices were symbols, so they could not actually
forgive or cleanse any sin.
Sin is something too terrible to be forgiven by the death of
mere animals. Only the death of God —represented by Jesus—
can forgive sins.
The death of Jesus is the only one that can cleanse the sins of
the whole human race.
“As by His own choice He [Jesus] died in the presence
of an assembled nation of worshipers, type met
antitype. Priest and victim combined, He entered the
Temple as a place of sacrifice. Christ our Passover was
sacrificed for us. He was the Lamb slain from the
foundation of the world. He is a true high priest, for
after enduring humiliation, shame, and reproach,
after being crucified and buried, He was raised from
the grave, triumphing over death. He is a priest
forever, after the order of Melchizedek”
E.G.W. (Manuscripts Releases, vol. 12, MR No. 999, p. 398)
Look around at the world,
look at the damage that sin
has caused: the pain, the
loss, the fear, the
How can we learn day by day,
moment by moment, to cling
to Jesus as the only solution
to the sin problem in our own
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