The previous sermon in the series had introduced the idea of Jesus as our priest. In this passage, the contrast between Jesus and the priests of the old covenant is made even more stark.
The first difference that is highlighted is in the nature of the covenants themselves. The former one is described as useless because nothing can be made perfect by the law. This isn’t saying that the old covenant wasn’t given by God, but simply that it has no ability to make one righteous or reconciled to him. On the other hand, there is the new covenant, which is described as a better hope by which we can draw near to God.
The second difference is regarding an oath sworn. The old priests were not appointed with on oath, but Christ is appointed with an oath from God himself, declaring him a priest forever. The priesthood of Aaron was always going to be temporary, but the priesthood of Christ is eternal. This means that he is the guarantor of the better covenant.
Linked to this is the third difference. In the old priesthood there was a lack of continuity as a priest would serve for a time and then die, with another taking his place. Jesus, however is able to continue in his priestly role permanently and never stop making intercession for his people.
Finally, perhaps the most significant difference is the sinlessness of Christ. He is not like us and so is unstained. The other priests would every day have to make offerings for their own sin before they could make offerings for the sins of the people. Christ has no need to do this.
Some Key Points:
- Jesus is a greater priest than those in the Old Testament.
- He is superior because he is the priest of a better covenant, he was appointed by an oath from God, he is permanent as priest and he is sinless.
- Therefore we can be confident in looking to Jesus as our great high priest.
- Trust In Christ – Whilst other priests in their weaknesses were not up to the task, Christ is everything we can ask of as a high priest and we can trust him to the uttermost.
- Bring Our Needs to Him – We are told that Christ ever lives to make intercession for us. This means that we always draw near to him, and bring whatever our needs are before him.
- Hope In the Gospel – The new covenant is a better hope, in which any who draw near to God can be saved to the uttermost. You could invite people to put their hope in him and experience this salvation.