In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Last week we saw that Jesus is a priest because he offered a sacrifice for the sins of his people. This week I want to show you that Jesus is a priest because he intercedes for his people.
The priests in the Old Testament were commanded to come to God and intercede on behalf of the Israelites. In 1 Chronicles we read about the intercession of the priests: ‘Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the LORD, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name forever’ (1 Chronicles 23:13).
Also in Numbers we see that priests would pronounce blessings from God on the people: ‘The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “‘ “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ‘”So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them”’ (Numbers 6:22-27).
So the question is, does Jesus intercede for God’s people? Yes. The author of Hebrews say about Christ: ‘Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them’ (Hebrews 7:23-25). Paul also says that Christ ‘is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us’ (Romans 8:34). Furthermore the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17 gives us just a small taste as to what Jesus prays for his people.
Therefore Jesus is a priest because he intercedes on behalf of God’s people. And if you trust in Jesus as your priest then he intercedes for you. Who better to speak to God on your behalf than the son of God?
So do you recognise that Jesus is a priest as he intercedes for God’s people? Have you trusted in him so that Jesus is your priest and intercedes for you?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.