Lesson 7: A Humanitarian by Giving Mediators
Study Guide Pages 52-58
Did you know Christ is not a name but a title? It’s the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew “Messiah” and means the Anointed One. In the Old Testament, kings, prophets, and priests were all anointed into their offices. Their anointment demonstrated they had been appointed by God. Jesus was the Christ, the Anointed One, because he was appointed by God to be our ultimate prophet, priest, and king.
Right now, let’s focus on Jesus being the ultimate priest. Old Testament priests represented the people before God. As the people’s representatives, one of their main responsibilities was to offer sacrifice for the people.
As our ultimate priest, Jesus didn’t sacrifice animals for us; he sacrificed himself! Scripture says:
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himselfHebrews 7:27
This is amazing. Where else do we see a priest sacrificing himself?
This is unique because Jesus was and is a unique person. From all eternity, he was God himself. This is why his one death could pay for the sins of all people. When Jesus died, it was nothing less than God sacrificing himself for us! Scripture says that God purchased us with his own blood (Acts 20:28). And only he could do this. Scripture also states no person can pay for the sins of even one other person (Psalm 49:7).
Jesus and only Jesus could pay for your sin and my sin. This is why he is the Christ, the ultimate priest.
That’s not all. Priests not only sacrificed for the people, but they also prayed for them. This is something Jesus still does for his believing children. Once again, listen to Scripture.
He ever liveth to make intercession for themHebrews 7:25
This passage is from Hebrews 7, a chapter in the Bible which emphasizes that Jesus, since he lives forever, is the first and last member of the Melchizedek priesthood. According to Scripture, he alone holds this priesthood.
Because Jesus continues to serve as our priest, we don’t need any earthly mediator to help us approach God. In Jesus, we have full access to him. This is tremendously comforting. Wherever you are, whenever it is, you can approach God through Jesus and be confident he will forgive and help you. All because Jesus is the ultimate priest.
Key Bible Verses
One of the Old Testament High Priest functions was to carry the needs of God’s people before the Lord in prayer. Jesus completed his priestly work of sacrificing for us. But he continues his priestly work of interceding for us.
Wherefore he [Jesus] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
The primary function of the Old Testament priest was the offering of sacrifices. Those sacrifices, however, didn’t remove sin. They only pointed forward to the sacrifice of the coming Messiah. Jesus offered himself as the once-for-all sacrifice that has taken care of all of our sins.
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
Questions to Consider
- When you hear the word “priest,” what are the first thoughts that come to your mind?
- What does the name “Christ” mean? What makes this such a unique title for Jesus?
- In which of the usual ways did Jesus serve as our priest? In what unusual and unique ways did he serve as our high priest?
- Why was Jesus the only one who could pay for our sins?
- How does knowing that Jesus, the ultimate high priest is our mediator help us approach God with confidence?
- Agree/disagree: We no longer need priests like the ones God supplied in the Old Testament.
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