Sermons on Priest
In Hebrews 10:11-18 the author brings the longest theological section of the book to a close. Summing up his previous arguments he notes that the priests stand each day offering the same sacrifices that cannot take away sins, whereas Christ has once and for all been seated at the right hand of the Father, having definitively completed His work. All of this forms the basis for the exhortations to follow: Since we have a great high priest, let us hold…
In Hebrews 9:23-28 the author explains the cleansing power of Christ’s blood. Pastor Grasso explains the distinction between propitiation and expiation to understand these two elements of the atonement. Propitiation is the satisfaction of God’s wrath. Expiation is cleansing from sin. Christ’s blood, however, has a cosmic element to its cleansing. As Adam’s fall resulted in the world being subject to corruption, so too, in Christ’s death, the world is cleansed so as to bring forth a new creation.
In Hebrews 9:15-22 the author explains the significance of Christ being the mediator of the new covenant. As the mediator of the covenant He had to die to instituted the testamentary aspect of the covenant. Is the new covenant a testament? Yes, because it grants the right to an inheritance. The glory of the mediator is seen in that by His blood this inheritance is now in place for His people and by that same blood He has cleansed us…
In Hebrews 9:11-14 the author to the Hebrews shows that Christ’s ministry in the better and more perfect tent, the tent not of this creation, made without hands has opened the way to God and cleanses the worshipper in order to give him a clear conscience before God. What could not be done under the old covenant has been accomplished by Christ in the new.
In Hebrews 9:1-10 the author explains the basics of the ministry of the priests in the tabernacle and shows that the tabernacle ministry points to the ministry of Christ while also indicating that the way to God has not yet been opened. Shadow must give way to substance if the people of God are to approach Him. The levitical ministry also was unable to perfect the worshipper in regard to his conscience. What could not be done in the old…
Jeremiah 31:31-34 is a very important text for understanding the relationship between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Pastor Grasso explains the similarities and differences between the two as given in Hebrews 8 and other parts of the New Testament, showing that the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old, that the way of salvation was fundamentally the same between the two, and that the New is superior in terms of efficacy.
In Hebrews 8:2 the author speaks of Christ as the priest of the true tabernacle, pitched by God, not man. The tabernacle and the temple were instituted by God but constructed by man. The Old Testament speaks of a time when God himself would construct a house for his name and bring His people to dwell with Him there. Christ is the priest of this new tabernacle, serving in heaven itself.
In Hebrews 8:1-13 the author speaks of the glory of Christ as our high priest. Having shown that he is the glorious priest after the order of Melchizedek, the author now moves to show how he serves as priest. Whereas the levitical priests served on earth, Christ, as the superior priest, serves in heaven, making a way for the true approach to God.
In Hebrews 7:20-28 the author explains how Christ serves after the order of Melchizedek showing that Christ serves according to the oath of God (vv. 20-22, cf. Ps. 110:4), that he is not limited by death from continuing in office (23-25), and that thus he is not appointed according to weakness but, having made a sacrifice for sins once and for all, he is the true priest after the order of Melchizedek, appointed as the Son perfected forever.
In Hebrews 7:11-19 the author shows how Christ is better than the Levites as the priest after the order of Melchizedek. The author shows that the promise of a new priest after the order of Melchizedek shows that the first priesthood had weaknesses. He then shows that Christ is the priest after the order of Melchizedek as the one who serves forever according to the power of indestructible life, thus able to save those enslaved to death.
In Hebrews 7:1-10 the author returns to the subject begun in 5:1-10 comparing Christ’s priesthood to that of the Levites. Here the author shows that Melchizedek himself was far greater than Levi, which means that the priest after the order of Melchizedek, of which Melchizedek was merely a type, must be far greater than any Levitical priest. This greater priest is Christ, a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Sometimes simple verses can contain deep theology. In Hebrews 5:8 the author says that Christ learned obedience through suffering though He was a Son. How can the eternal Son of God learn if He is omniscient as the eternal Son of God? This verse highlights the wonder of the incarnation and the glory of Christ being able to sympathize with His people as a great high priest.