Volume. XXVI, No. 37
Sunday, 11 March 2012


Of the Priestly Office of Christ - ll


Christ\'s Appointment to the High Priesthood is also typified by Human Priests

There never was but one Priest (with a capital P) by whom transactions might be made with God, and he is Christ. All others appointed to the priestly office were called priests, because they represented, pointed to, and foreshadowed Christ the true Priest as types—their priestly work was never meant to be perfect and final. Because only Christ could atone for sin, turn away the wrath of God, and bring men to God in reconciliation. All the typical priests of the Old Testament, including all high priests in their way, “typified or represented” Christ our Great High Priest. These typical priests include:

First, Melchizedek, king of righteousness. The most eminent type of Christ as our Priest in the Old Testament was "Melchizedek, king of Salem, and priest of the most high God" (Gen. 14:18). This is important because being a type of Christ, Melchizedek was apparently “…without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” (Heb.7:3)

And it is in this similitude of Melchisedec that the author of Hebrews says in 7:15-17: “…there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”  For the sake of argument, I * believe that the lineage of Melchisedec was purposely hidden. Melchisedec was perhaps a Canaanite King and Priest, not Christ Himself in Theophony because he was “made like” unto the Son of God, the author of Hebrews says. He was not the Son of God, but made like the Son of God.

Second, Aaron, the high priest of Israel was also a clear type of Christ. When Christ came, the Aaronic order was forever abolished. But Aaron served to typify and represent Christ throughout the Mosaic age.

Third, all Levitical priests. Again, all the common, Levitical priests were also types of Christ. Like Christ, they were ordained from among men and for men, to offer gifts and sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. Of course, the typical priests were clearly inferior to Christ. The type is never perfect.

We must bear in mind that all the sacrifices offered to God from the beginning of the world were “typical” of and pointed to the one great sacrifice of Christ our High Priest because Christ Himself is the Priest and Christ Himself is the Altar and Christ Himself is the ultimate Sacrifice! The Old Testament saints were not saved by offering animal sacrifices, but by faith looked forward to the coming of the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ. We have considered how Christ’s priesthood was appointed by God and foretold and typified in the Old Testament.

Last week and above, we considered the beauty and glory of the office and work of Christ as our great high priest. We learnt that all the sacrifices offered to God from the beginning of the world were typical of and pointed to the one great sacrifice of Christ our High Priest because Christ Himself is the priest and Christ Himself is the altar and Christ Himself is the ultimate sacrifice and that the Old Testament saints were not saved by offering animal sacrifices, but by faith looked forward to the coming of the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ. Now we shall conclude our discussion by considering how Christ qualifies to be our High Priest. 

Jesus Christ, our great High Priest made like unto His brethren

In the essence of our human nature by His incarnation

The Apostle Paul confesses when He wrote to Timothy his son in the faith, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) Our Lord had a real human body, a real human soul, a real human heart, with real human feelings, motions, and needs. The only difference between Christ and us is that He had no sin. Christ body was no bigger, stronger, or more impressive than any other man’s. The experiences of life touched Him and moved Him, just as they do us. He was and is a ‘real’ man.

In the temptations He endured as a man

Writing to the scattered tribes of Israel who might have been undergoing varying degrees of persecutions and sufferings, the writer of Hebrews reminded his readers, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) What a comfort must it have been to the readers of the first century Christians to know that Christ was tempted in all points like as we are, only with this one glorious exception, He had no sin! Some of us might ask, “What is the difference between Christ’s temptations and our temptations? And how could He be really tempted if He had no sin?” By and large our temptations arise from within, from our inward unbelief and lusts, but Christ’s temptation arose from without, like how He was tempted of Satan in the wilderness. Yet in every way, our Saviour’s temptations were like Adam’s temptation in the Garden of Eden—those temptations were real to Christ—except that our Lord had no inward inclination to do evil.

In His sufferings of all things as a man

The writer of Hebrews again assures his readers that Christ suffered as a man just like us, “7 (Christ) in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:7-9) Christ knows what it is to be hungry, thirsty, tormented with pain, slandered by His enemies, misunderstood by His family, despised by His kin, deserted by His companions, betrayed by His friend, denied by His disciple, put to public shame, scandalized and reproached, and forsaken by His Father. As a child of God, may we never say, “No one would understand me. Nobody knows what I have been through. There is no point asking for help.” May those of us who are suffering come to Christ today!

In the death that He died as a man

To the suffering saints, the apostle Peter also wrote, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” One writer wrote, “Christ died the death that we should have died, deserved to die and must have died, had He not died in our place, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) It was His being made like one of His brethren, enduring all temptations, suffering all the sufferings and dying the death on our behalf that qualifies Him to be. Therefore, Christ is the kind of Priest we need. Hebrews 2:17 says, "…a merciful and faithful High Priest".

A merciful High Priest

Christ is moved to compassion and pity by the things that we suffer, being touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because He has also suffered those very things. He is merciful, not only because it is His will as God to be merciful, but also because He has a fellow-feeling with those who need mercy.

A faithful High Priest

Our Lord faithfully shows mercy to us, because the things He suffered, He suffered for us. He exercises constant care for all the concerns of his brethren. He lovingly condescends to the wants and sorrows of His suffering, tempted brethren because His compassion does not fail and his faithfulness is great. For He “…feeds his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

Jesus Christ, Our Great High Priest who Succours His People

Christ succours His people by making effectual Intercession for them

Our Lord’s presence in heaven is a perpetual and just intercession for the people He represents. His plea before God is his blood, shed for His redeemed once for all. And His plea is effectual. On the basis of His one sacrifice for sin, I believe our great High Priest perpetually asks three things for His people:

First, for the salvation of those who are already saved

The apostle Paul assures his readers who had suffered much for the cause of their faith, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34) It is such a great joy to know that Christ our great High Priest is daily interceding on our behalf and is able “to save us to the uttermost that come unto God by him…” (Hebrews 7:25) It is also in this sense that a Christian must claim the promise found in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The promise is, “he is faithful and just to forgive our sins” but all those who sin must “confess their sins before Him.” It must be noted that it is Christ to whom we confess our sins, not to Mary (note: there are no apostles today!) or to a Pope or to any man.

Writing to the Christians at Corinth who are often tempted with various temptations, the Apostle Paul exhorts, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Is there a time when we think the temptation is so overwhelming or too alluring to resist? Be assured that Christ is there to intercede for us and will provide a way for us to escape, for He is faithful and He prays for us from heaven that our testimony may be preserved. But we must flee from the temptations and youthful lusts….we must not glue our eyes upon something that we should not see or linger in a place of sin and temptations.

Third, for the sanctification of His people

Be sure to know that our Lord prayed for His disciples to be sanctified by His Word before He went back to His father. Before He went to the cross, our Lord said to His Father on behalf of His disciples, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.…“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:15,17) It is so comforting to know that Christ continues to pray for our sanctification. Paul says, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23,24)

Christ succours His people by meeting their needs in time of trial and temptation

By giving us strength to withstand the tempter’s power. “For the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.” (2 Peter 2:9)

By giving us consolation in the midst of trial. Who do we turn to when we need the best consolation? The author of Hebrews says, “…it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” (Hebrews 6:18; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

By giving us deliverance at the time appointed. When our petitions for deliverance have not yet been answered, be assured that in His own time, He shall deliver us. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Conclusion

May we, as children of God, learn to tell Jesus Christ, our merciful and faithful Great High Priest, about our troubles and sorrows! May we as God’s precious people, draw strength in times of temptations; seek consolation from Him in times of trials and wait upon Him patiently to deliver us in times of trouble. May our friends who still do not know Jesus Christ as their Saviour, trust Him, the only mediator between God and man, to be their Lord and personal Saviour today. He is able to save until the end.
                 
Ps Weng

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Boongs Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Suzane Lim.
*Deepest sympathy to Sis Clara Sim & family on the home-going of her auntie.
*Hope Bookstore - Open from 12:30 - 1:45pm.
*Easter Family Bible Camp Registration - Camp Registration & Special Diet Request forms are still available on the foyer table. Sis Shu Ai Cho will be by the table after service to collect the completed forms.
*Ladies’ Fellowship/Family picnic - All welcome.
*No Adult Sunday School on 18 & 25 March.
*For our first Evening Worship Service at 6:45 pm, 25 Mar, there will be dinner at 5 pm. Speaker: Ps Ki.
*Basic Bible Knowledge (BBK) Class starts on Sun, 15 April. Anyone interested in the Christian faith, baptism, or reaffirmation of faith, please register with Ps Weng.

Prayer & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren; Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong; Bros Raymond Ang, & Daniel Ki; & Sis Catherine Teng (Adl); & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Bro Tony & Sis May Zhang (Canb); & others who have arrived at their destinations.
Church Activities - over the past week.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Visitors & new worshippers.


Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Cathy Carpenter, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.
Sis Nary Li’s pregnancy -  for normal foetal development. (Wife of Bro Alex Li, S’pore).
Sis May Zhang’s sister in ICU, Camberra.
Cambodia Missions - Rev Luke Kim & Ministry (Phnom Penh & Veal Renh).
Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.
Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.
God’s Comfort - those who are grieving.
iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim (Melb).
IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman, Board & missionaries in India, South America & USA.
Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.
Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.
Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
House of Hope, Cebu, The Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.
Journey mercies: Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Adl); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); & others who are travelling.
Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.
Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.
Health in pregnancy: Sis Bernadette Ng.
OT Placement - Sis Felicia Tan.
Full-time Jobs - Sisters Michelle Lee & Corinne Teng.
God’s guidance in work - Bro Youwen Yeap; Sisters Cyndi Chan & Lydia Fan (S’pore).
Easter Family Bible Camp - Speaker: Rev Chee Boon Lim; Children’s programme: Mrs Onn Nah Lim; & Camp committee.
Baptism: Sis Natalie Cheng; & Membership transfer: Sis Yashu Qin, on 25 Mar.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063