North Anderson Baptist Church
The Law of Atonement- Part 2: The Substance
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Review Last Week

The role of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) (Leviticus 16

• God’s hatred for sin
• Seen on the horns of the alter—the blood of the sacrifice

• The scapegoat
• God’s promise to remove our sins from us

• The Shadows
• The role of the high priest in the Old Covenant was but a dress rehearsal for the big day!

• The Writer of Hebrews has already given insight into the Melchizedekian priesthood
• It is greater than Abraham (Hebrews 7:1-7)
• He is greater than Levi (Hebrews 7:5-10)
* Since Melchizedek is greater than Levi, and consequently, Jesus is as well, then the writer of Hebrews argues that Jesus’ Priesthood is greater than the Levitical priesthood *

• If Jesus’ priesthood is Greater, than the New Covenant is also Greater

Who is Melchizedek?
• KING of Salem—Jerusalem

• High Priest to God most High

Jesus and Melchizedek
• The argument is this: IF perfection could have been attained under the Levitical priesthood, then there would have been no need to change to Jesus’ priesthood
• The goal of the Law—perfection
• If we are to be Holy, perfection is the only destination

• The guidelines of the Levitical law showed HOW one could accomplish perfection, HOWEVER, the law was not able to make men perfect!
• Sacrificial system—Leviticus 16
• God graciously accepted these “shadows”

* The Levitical Priesthood, then, stood as a “TEMPORARY” solution for an immeasurable problem! *

• A TEMPORARY solution that pointed to the ULTIMATE SOLUTION (dress Rehearsal)

Verse 12- The Change in Priesthood=A Change in the Law

• When the change of priesthood occurred with Christ, there also came a change in the Law!

•How has the Law Changed?
• Christ is now our High Priest

• Christ is from the tribe of Judah
The law does not give the priestly office to that tribe, because it was given to Levi
* Since Christ is now the High Priest, but not from the tribe of Levi, the law has clearly changed. *

• This argument would silence objections that Jews in his day may have raised
• Jesus cannot be high priest since he is of the tribe of Judah
• This argument is countered by the entire teaching about the order of Melchizedek
Because Jesus serves under the order of Melchizedek, He is completely worthy of serving as High Priest!

* Since Melchizedek’s priesthood>Levi’s *
• Jesus’ Priesthood>Aaron’s

A Priest Forever

* Many Jews in the 1st Century were looking for a Messiah who would also serve as High priest. However, they expected the Messiah to come from Aaron’s order. *
•This was a wrong Expectation as the writer of Hebrews shows by referencing our Old Testament
• In response, the writer of Hebrews emphasizes the SUPERIORITY of the Melchizedekian priesthood.
•The Levitical priesthood was inferior to Melchizedek because the sacrifices under the Levitical order could not save anyone
• The Sacrifice of the priest of the order of Melchizedek is able to make men RIGHTEOUS
* When Jesus stepped on the scene 2,000 years ago, He brought with Him a change in the Priestly requirements of the Law (verse 12)
• This change has already been evidenced
• Jesus—Tribe of Judah>Tribe of Levi
• Tribe of Judah—Royal line

* As if the fact that Jesus is from the tribe of Judah wasn’t enough to confirm a change in priesthood, the writer of Hebrews gives us more evidence to confirm Jesus’ priestly work.
• Jesus’ indestructible life not only shows that His priesthood is superior, but it also evidences His eternality!

John Calvin on Jesus’ Priesthood
• “Unlike the Levitical priesthood, a mortal man did not consecrate him, but the Holy Spirit, and not with oil, nor with the blood of goats, nor with the outward pomp of vestments, but with CELESTIAL Power”
This indestructible life qualifies Jesus to be the High Priest FOREVER, and enables Him to justify the many by counting them RIGHTEOUS in front of the Father. He will never die or cease to be High priest

* The Levitical Priesthood was TEMPORARY; Christ’s priesthood is ETERNAL *
• A Better Hope
* Because of persecution, many of the audience of Hebrews were considering returning back to the old covenant *
• They had forgotten the hope found in Christ was better than the hope offered under the old Covenant system
The Former commandment’s uselessness and weakness
• It is important to understand that at the core of this argument is not the Old Covenant itself, rather, the Levitical priesthood and the attendant sacrifices that were offered year after year for the forgiveness of sin.
Now that Christ has come, they have ceased! Because they were but a “shadow” of HIS perfect sacrifice!

* The WEAKNESS of the Old is then, to the writer of Hebrews, given way to the PERFECTION of the New.
• The reason for the Law’s weakness is not to be found in the law itself (Romans 7:12)
• The law’s weakness is found in man
Man’s sinful heart made the law USELESS by itself to grant the righteousness needed
In the hands of law-breaking humanity, it became an instrument of death. (Romans 7:10)
• The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
* Christ has now introduced a BETTER HOPE by FULFILLING THE LAW, which now enables the wretched sinner to “Draw near to God.” (Hebrews 7:19)

Not Without an Oath

* The people of God have always had a hope for Salvation
• Under the Levitical system, this hope was but a shadow
• It only provided a TEMPORARY solution to the problem of sin.

In this section, the writer of Hebrews again emphasizes the SURETY of Christ’s priesthood by again quoting the 110th psalm.

• God never declared to Aaron that His priesthood would be Eternal (20)

• Rather, God declared that this eternal priesthood would belong to His Son (Psalm 110:4)

* God has SWORN Christ as the Eternal High Priest. This oath is ETERNAL *
A Better Covenant
* Legalism has always been a temptation of the church *

• Paul’s admonition of the Galatians for trying to ensure their salvation by works of Law

• Various holiness groups shun anyone who drinks coffee, plays cards, etc.

* Like the Galatians, and some today, the audience of this letter seemed to be doubting the superiority and freedom found in the New Covenant.

• The New Covenant IS SUPERIOR
• We have a high priest appointed not on the basis of legal descent, but of an indestructible life (16)
• Unlike the priests of old, the New High Priest was made so by God’s divine oath (20-21)

* Again, the argument is not that the old covenant was worthless, but that it was a SHADOW, a PICTURE of what was to come when the real high priest took His place!

• Instead of having to look forward to a day when God will solve the problem of sin

• We can now look BACK to the CROSS AT CALVARY as the ANSWER to the problem. That is why the New Covenant is SUPERIOR!
• No longer sacrificing bulls and Goats—Jesus was the sacrifice!
• We can now rejoice in the one who has provided PERFECT ATONEMENT!
We do not have a mediator who has sinned as we have (old)
We have a mediator without sin!
We have, not a shadowy promise, but a GLORIOUS FULFILLMENT!

* This Covenant is greater because Jesus is Greater!

A Priest who Saves Perfectly
* The priests of the Old Covenant made the FULL experience of salvation IMPOSSIBLE. Why?
• They were sinful
• They were not eternal

They were NEVER able to offer a sacrifice COMPLETELY separated from their sin!
They could never save anyone, WHY
They needed to be saved themselves!

* Because Jesus is Eternal and free from sin, He is the power of Salvation itself!
Christ does not leave us to ourselves for salvation (works) but He brings about our WHOLE salvation!

* Christ’s atonement is perfect, and His intercession is ETERNAL
• Christ FOREVER pleads on behalf of the Children of God
• The priests of old could only do this imperfectly…
• They all died
• Christ FOREVER intercedes for His children!


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.