One Priest – Christ
O believer, think of thy privileges and of thy security. Thou art not under the tyranny of a carnal priesthood, whose assumed office is yielded up tomorrow with their breath, but under the ever-living priesthood in Melchisedec’s similitude, which secures to thee life everlasting in thy living covenant Head, independent of all interference or assistance from the carnal priesthood.
“Now, of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1), who wears the similitude of Melchisedec, and not of Aaron.
Such an High Priest who came into our world in a preternatural manner, not after the ordinary method of generation, but as He Himself describes His incarnation: “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and go to the Father” (John 16:28).
“Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, (to the Father), but a body hast Thou prepared Me.”
Hence the angelic messenger said to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore, also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
In this preternatural existence He united the kingly and the priestly offices, and while in the latter He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, in the former, like Melchisedec, he displays His royal bounty by sustaining all the soldiers of the cross with the bread of life which cometh down from heaven, which is His own Person, and with the old wine of the kingdom, which is His own blood, saying, “My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55), giving them the hearty welcome of, “Eat, O friends, and drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved” (Song of Solomon 5:1).
Moreover, this preternatural, princely Priest of ours scatters His
blessings wherever He goes, as it is written: “Men shall be blessed in
Him” (Psalm 72:17), and having humbled Himself to bear the curse for His people, He is now exalted to bless them for time and for eternity.
Hence He is said “now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24), wearing the names of all His spiritual Israel upon His heart, as the High Priest of old did literally upon his breast-plate graven in precious stones.
“Behold (said He) I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands” (Isaiah 49:16), so that when He lifts up His hands within the veil to intercede and to bless, the graving of the points of the nails is seen, and the blood of atonement is presented before the throne, while all His people are represented by Him as His mystical body.
And immortality is stamped upon all this, for He is “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Does not this sum of the things relative to our glorious Priest cheer your hearts?
O carry everything to Him, and rely wholly upon Him for salvation, for none can perish who confide wholly in His faithfulness.
What a contrast does all this form to the mockery and deception of modern pretenders to an official priesthood, whose farrago of superstition exhibits a distorted caricature of Levitical rites, but not one feature of Melchisedec’s similitude or order!
By Joseph Irons