1. The first section (1:1-4:13) emphasizes "the superiority of Christ as God's spokesman." 2. The second section (4:14-ch.10) emphasizes "the superiority of Christ as High Priest." a. (4:14-5:10) Jesus is shown to be a great High Priest. b. (5:11-ch.6) The need for spiritual growth is stressed. 1) Christ was made a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec (5:6, 10; 6:20). 2) Understanding this subject requires spiritual maturity because little information is revealed about Melchisedec. 3. (ch.7) Information is presented that shows how the Lord's priesthood is superior to the Jewish ["Levitical"] priesthood. Discussion: I. (7:1-3) CHRIST WAS MADE A HIGH PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC, NOT LEVI
A. Melchisedec was a great man in that he served as king and priest, even though his genealogy is not recorded. 1. Melchisedec met Abraham after he rescued Lot (Genesis 14:11-20). 2. Melchisedec served as king of Salem and as God's priest. 3. Melchisedec blessed Abraham, signifying his greatness over Abraham. 4. Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchisedec. 5. Melchisedec's genealogy, birth, and death are not recorded. 6. In this sense, Melchisedec: a. was made like unto the Son of God b. abides a priest continually. B. By comparison,: 1. Aaron and his sons served as priests under the law (Exodus 28:1; Numbers 18:1-2, 6-7) 2. Aaron's priesthood did not continue because his genealogy, birth, and death have been recorded (Exodus 6:20; Numbers 20:23-29). C. It was prophesied that: 1. Christ would be a priest after the order of Melchisedec (Psalm 110:1-4) 2. Christ would be a priest while He ruled on His throne (Zechariah 6:12-13). II. (7:4-10) MELCHISEDEC'S GREATNESS IS REFLECTED IN HIS DEALINGS WITH ABRAHAM, THE ANCESTOR OF LEVI III. (7:11-19) THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD COULD NOT MAKE ANYONE PERFECT
A. If the Levitical priesthood could have made people perfect, there would have been no need for another priest to rise after the order of Melchisedec. B. However, in order for Christ to serve as High Priest the law had to be changed because He came from the tribe of Judah. C. In addition to changing the law, the Lord's new covenant made perfection possible. IV. (7:20-22) GOD MADE CHRIST A HIGH PRIEST WITH AN OATH
A. The Jewish priests were not ordained with an oath. B. Concerning the Lord's priesthood God made an oath, and He will not change His mind. V. (7:23-25) CHRIST SERVES AS AN UNCHANGEABLE HIGH PRIEST
A. The Jewish priests could only serve as long as they lived. B. However, Christ continues forever, and He ever lives to intercede for His followers. VI. (7:26-28) CHRIST IS A SINLESS HIGH PRIEST
A. Because of their sins the Jewish priests had to offer sacrifices regularly for themselves as well as for the people. B. Christ had no sin (1 Peter 2:22), but He offered Himself once for the sins of the world.