Prophet, Priest and King

The priesthood of Christ does not consist merely of an external legal transaction of sacrifice, a paying of the bill, so to speak, but also of a reconciliation accomplished in his person and maintained in his person. (Rom. 4:25) This is why life not death is the “essence” of the atonement, that by which sin is covered (Rom. 5:10). Though of course it was His perfect life given up in death that came first. Note in the text both are together, but the “much more” is “we shall be saved by his life.” The Levitical killing of an animal in sacrifice meant the fullest offering of its lifeblood. What was presented to God was not the death, but the life of the creature (Lev. 17:11). So the highest conception of offering death has no place. Had man never fallen it would still have been a duty to offer himself together with all he possessed to God in whom he lived, moved, and had his being. The effect of Christ’s priesthood, then, is to accomplish something within us, something that changes us and reconciles us from the inside out. And of course this is the work of the Holy Spirit as Paracletos (John 14: 26) in us.

And Jesus Christ has become a Priest after “the power of an indestructible (endless) life.” (Heb. 7:16) A priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 9:20), Jesus lives forever. He does not have his priesthood by virtue of Aaronic descent, and does not die as all other priests have. For while He is fully man, the man in our place, he is yet “holy, blameless, pure set apart from sinners,” so He “meets our need” (Heb. 7:25) Jesus now is the most fully human person to ever live. Humanity in its highest capacity, deep joy, and uttermost fulfillment has been reached in the ascended Christ. This is the man who is our forerunner (Heb. 6:20) who has passed thru the heavens and gone within the veil. Now by the Spirit in prayer and worship (but one, by the same Spirit, in our glorified flesh), wee too, in His life, have access to the Holy Of Holies. It is the abiding life of our High Priest which makes His atoning Sacrifice operative, and it is the unfailing spring (freshness) of the life of justification and grace in all true members upon earth. Thus as 1 John 1:7 says: “And the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses (present tense) from all sin.” It is the total efficacy…the person & work of Christ Jesus! Our endless praise and worship!

– Anglican Presbyter

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