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Doctrine of Christ: The Nature of the Priesthood II

October 10, 2021 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Scripture: Exodus 28:1–3, Hebrews 7

Scripture -> Exodus 28:1-3 / Hebrews 7


Last week we spent time looking into the Priesthood of Melchizedek.

We learned:

  • the Priesthood of Melchizedek is better than the Aaronic priesthood.
  • the Priesthood of Melchizedek is eternal
  • the Priesthood of Melchizedek points to Christ, witness to Christ
    • as the King of Righteousness
    • as the King of Salem, the King of Peace
  • There were other things we learned through the example of Abram but our focus today is on the Priesthood.
  • We’ll continue examing how Christ fulfills the Role of Mediator through the Office of Priest

In Hebrews 7-10, the writer emphasizes the Priesthood of Christ, after the order of Melchizedek.

He shows how Melchizedek is far better than Aaron.

Some might be tempted to dismiss the Aaronic priesthood.

But much can be learned from the Aaronic priesthood as it points to Christ.

This is our focus for today.

First, let us compare the Priesthoods of Melchizedek and Aaron....and

  • And see how Melchizedek was typical of Christ in one way
  • and Aaron typical of Christ in another.

The Eternality of the Priesthood

The priesthood of Aaron

  • was a successive, not a perpetual priesthood
  • The Aaronic priests died

The priesthood of Melchizedek

  • was, typologically, without father without, without mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days, or end of life (v. 3)

So the eternality of Christ's priesthood

  • is shadowed in Melchizedek
  • is not shadowed in Aaron.

The Offerings of the Priesthood

In Melchizedek, there are two priestly actions.

Do you remember what the two priestly actions that Melchizedek did?

  • He blessed
  • He received tithes

But Melchizedek never makes offerings

  • he doesn't have a temple where he administers
  • we are never told of any holy garments or consecration.

Melchizedek did not make any offerings / We have no record of that.

Melchizedek cannot be a type of Christ in the way of his offerings, because he offered no offerings. But this is where the Aaronic priesthood shines.

The Ordination of the Priesthood

The consecration of Melchizedek is never shown in Scripture

  • The consecration in the Melchizedek priesthood is really upon Christ
  • The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit in my right hand, and declaring Him to be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

The consecration of the Aaronic priesthood is explicitly presented in Scripture


  • Melchizedek as a type is very good to teach us about the eternality of Christ's priesthood.
  • But there is no consecration
  • But there is no offering / It does not teach about sacrifices

Every high priest taken from among men has to have gifts and sacrifices to offer.

  • The typology of Melchizedek is not complete with regard to the office of Christ

Aaron, as a type,

  • can teach us about Christ from the Old Testament

Aaron foreshadows and points to Christ

Aaron legitimately foreshadows and points to Christ (type)

Aaron, as a high priest, was ordained by God in things pertaining to that priesthood

  • We can learn from the Bible as it tells us about the similarities between Aaron and Christ.

Hebrews 5:1-5

  • Notice the direct line of typological parity the writer draws there in verses four and five between Aaron and Christ.
  • Aaron, as a high priest, was ordained by God in things pertaining to that priesthood, where he would represent his people before God
  • so also was Christ.
  • There is a typological parity between them.

They are both high priests and offer gifts and sacrifices for sin on the behalf of others. (v. 7)

  • The scriptures, speaking generally, speak of them both of things that pertain to both of those offices of Aaron and Christ.

Hebrews 8:3 we read that every high priest needs an offering to offer.

  • And so also Christ, and Aaron had offerings to offer.

Hebrews 2:17 There is a common element that to be a high priest, he must be a man.

  • Aaron was, and so is Christ, a man.

The high priest offers on behalf of others

  • not only on behalf of those who are respected and honorable
  • not only on behalf of the great men of the earth
  • but also on behalf of those who are weak and ignorant and erring.

Hebrews 5:1-2

  • Aaron offered on behalf of those, notice verse two, Hecan have compassion on the ignorant and them that are out of the way for that he himself also was compassed, with infirmity.

Hebrews 4:15

  • Notice also that we have a high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, even though that is the word of God, Jesus Christ Himself
  • He does offer for those who are weak and those who are infirm.

There is a common representation for the people of God in that high priest.

  • Not only are they a type/ anti-type pair, because of the things that are common to high priests generally, but because of whom they represent.

Whom did Aaron represent when he stood before God in the Holy of Holies?

  • He represented the Church of the Old Testament.
  • He represented the people of God of that day.

Whom does our Lord Jesus Christ represent?

  • The people of God of all time.

Thus we can reason not only from the similarity of the high priesthood but also from the similarity of who it is that is represented.

  • There is a parity between the Old and New Testament churches
  • The people that Christ represents here in the days of the New Testament, are the same people that Aaron represented in the Old Testament

It is important that we understand that it is not physically the people that are represented but the parity of those who are being represented.

  • His people. His church.

Aaron by way of type is, standing for Christ Jesus

  • representing the entirety of the Church of his day, typologically speaking

Acts 7:37 Remember Steven when he stood before the Sanhedrin in "this was he who was with the church in the wilderness, that it was Christ, who was with the church in the wilderness, to whom Aaron pointed when he ministered"

  • the same people that were under Aaron, were under Christ.

Remember when we studied the covenant of grace?

Larger Catechism Q.34

How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?

The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the Passover, and other types and ordinances which did all four signify Christ than to come and were for that time, sufficient to build up the elected faith in the Promised Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation.

It is the same covenant, the same people Old to New Testament.

There is a general and typological understanding between Aaron and Christ given to us in the scriptures.

Hebrews 9:8-14

  • There is a direct typological connection that the apostle draws between Aaron and Christ.

Hebrews 10:9-10

  • There is a direct and typological connection there in Hebrews chapters nine and 10

They draw that line, that prophetic line between Aaron and Christ.


So we have seen how both the Priesthood of Melchizedek and the Priesthood of Aaron both point to and foreshadow and are types of Christ.

Melchizedek teaches us of the eternality of the order of his priesthood.

Aaron teaches us

  • The priest must be a man
  • Offering and sacrifices are to be made for the people
  • There is a commonality in the people of God cared for by the High Priest

In both of these, we are to learn of the character/ nature of Christ as His Priest.

We learn of the necessity of the Office of Priest as Christ fulfills His role as mediator.

That the mediator, of necessity, must also possess the Office of Priest.


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