D. Christ Superior in Mediation. Hebrews 4:14 – 10:18 (Aaron and Melchizadec)
1. Because of His Qualifications. Hebrews 4:14-7:25
Paul explained –
a. His Priesthood –
Last week we learned of His High Priesthood –
1). Declared. 4:14-16
Today we will be challenged by His Position as we see His High Priesthood –
2). Compared. 5:1-10
The High Priest –
a). Under Law. 5:1-4
We are reminded that the High Priest according to the will of God was appointed by God, chosen from the Tribe of Levi, and specifically from the family of Aaron of the family of Levi. The appointment, setting apart, of this man was for the purpose of approaching God with gifts and sacrifices as man’s representative before God. Note again the High Priest was a man from among men. Therefore he understood man and had compassion on them. It is interesting that his representation is noted where the sins were for the ignorant and wayward. NOTE: there was no sacrifice designated for the sin committed on purpose, man understanding the act of sin and committing it anyway. A man can only throw himself before God seeking mercy in His judgment.
Numbers 15:30-31 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.
When we, believers, sin against God on purpose, consequences for that rebellion against Him will result. We should repent of that sin, turning from it and to God, but we will be punished according to His decision of what is appropriate. We will not lose our salvation! Paul teaches this clearly in chapter six.
The believer’s High Priest –
b). Under Grace. 5:5-10
The appointment of Jesus as High Priest is based on the authority (…Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest…), and purpose of God (…Thou art a priest…). One question that would be naturally raised by the Hebrews was that Jesus of Nazareth was not of the tribe of Levi, but of the tribe of Judah, from which no High Priest were chosen. How could He then be the High Priest? Paul answered the question by informing us that Jesus was not set apart as of the Aaronic Priesthood, but of that which was long before Levi and Aaron – that of Melchisedec (…after the order of Melchisedec…) – The Priest of Salem to whom Abraham submitted and paid tithes –
Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Melchisedec held the positions of King and Salem and Priest of God. Jesus’ priesthood did not follow lineage, but type. Melchisedsec was a type of the Promised Messiah. The Holy Spirit had declared these two things through the Psalmist in –
Psalm 2:6-7 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
And in –
Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
We need to remember these two statements of the will of God. They will be referred to in the following chapter!
The Hebrews knew these truths but did not understand the application of them. The Lord led Paul to explain this ministry of our Saviour. Paul, knowing the mindset of the people turned now to challenge them and us to seek to know and understand the meaning of God’s Word and its application in our lives.
Paul then exhorted –
b. His People – challenged. 5:11-6:20
Note: 5:11-6:20 contains a challenge from Paul to the recipients of the letter. These verses are a parenthesis containing a challenge. Beginning in 7:1 he continues his train of thought, elaborating on his statement in 5:10. In this challenge, He used a pattern that he would later send to Timothy to help in his ministry. Refer to 2 Timothy 4:2
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
We note the –
1). Rebuke. 5:11-14 Paul confronts –
a). Indifference. 5:11
b). Immaturity. 5:12,13
c). Idleness 5:14 Not exercising their sense of discernment.
The believers were assured of their salvation and were challenged to grow in their knowledge of the Lord. The unbelievers were confronted with the evidence of their unbelief. Assurance of salvation is noted throughout the Word of God.
Are you saved today?
Do have assurance of that salvation?
Are you living out your salvation in such a manner that gives glory to God?