We Have An Advocate in Heaven
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (I John 2:1 NIV).
We do not need human priests for we have a divine priest in heaven, who ever lives to intercede for us.
The first mention of “Priesthood” is found in Exodus 19:6. At the time that God gave the law to the nation of Israel He addressed them as follows:
“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites” Exodus 19:5-6.
Since this honor was dependent on an “if”, for God said if you obey My voice and keep My covenant, it never materialized. Israel did not obey His voice nor keep His laws, and therefore they did not become a national priesthood. Instead, God chose one family- the family of Aaron – and he and his sons were ordained to officiate as a special priesthood, as we read in Exodus 28:1: “and take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother and his sons with him from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto Me in the priest’s office.” The New Testament tells us in Heb. 7:11 that this was known as the “Levitical” priesthood because Aaron and his sons were of the tribe of Levi. It is often called the Aaronic priesthood because Aaron was its first High Priest – see Heb. 5:4. This priesthood functioned during the Old Testament days and was still in force when our Lord came from Heaven to be our Savior.
But upon the death of Christ a change was made, as we read in Hebrews 7:12. Another priest arose, as we read in Hebrews 7:11, after a new order – the order of Melchizedek. Five times in the epistle to the Hebrews we read of Christ as the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. The old priesthood was abolished; a new one took its place. Aaron was the original head of the old Levitical priesthood; Christ is the Head of the new spiritual priesthood. This was dramatically illustrated when our Lord stood before Caiaphas, as recorded in Matt. 26:63-65. Two High Priests faced each other on that occasion; one, the earthly Levitical priest; the other, Heaven’s Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. Caiaphas rent his clothes and by Jewish law, he was forbidden to do so – see Lev. 21:10. By his act he automatically lost his job, and rightly so, for, though he did not realize it, the new High Priest was standing before Him and was about to succeed and supersede him. What’s the difference between the Aaronic and Christ’s priesthood? Let’s see!
The Earthly Levitical Priesthood and the Priesthood of Believers
1. Aaron and his sons were the priests of old.
Christ and his sons (believers) are the priesthood of today. The Lord Jesus is called the “High Priest” twelve times in the epistle to the Hebrews and “Priest” about six times more. As we read for example in Heb. 4:14: “Seeing then we have a Great High Priest who is passed into the Heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”
2. Aaron was a human being, full of failure. Christ, our High Priest, is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens”.
3. Aaron’s priesthood was an earthly one and operated in connection with an earthly sanctuary – Hebrews 9:1.
Christ’s priesthood is a heavenly one, as we read in Hebrews 8: 1: “Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven.”
4. Aaron and his sons offered physical, animal sacrifices, which could never take away sin(s)- see Hebrews 10:11.
Christ, on the other hand, offered Himself through the eternal Spirit without spot to God – Hebrews 9:14. The blood of animals could never atone for sin, but the precious blood of Christ indeed purges the conscience from dead works to serve the living God- Hebrews 9:14.
5. Aaron and his sons did what all men do eventually- they died. Hebrews 7:23 says “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office.“ But: This Man- Christ- continues ever; He has an unchangeable priesthood Hebrews 7:24, and so He is able to save to the uttermost (to the very end) them that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them – Hebrews 7:25.
6. Aaron had to offer sacrifices not only for the sins of the people, but also for his own sins- Hebrews 5:3. But Christ died for our sins; He did not offer for His own sins because, praise God, He had none. Aaron offered the blood of others (of animals) for his own sins; Christ on the other hand offered His own blood for the sins of others, which is the exact reverse.
7. Aaron’s work never put away one sin. Christ’s blood is able to cleanse every soul from sin- I John 1:9.
That Is Why The Gospel Is Called The Good News.
He’s Only a Prayer Away