Today, for all of those in the church, we have a high priest. This high priest is none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews goes into great detail for us, to show us that our high priest is far superior to the old, Levitical priesthood. Christ was tempted in all points as we were without sinning, and this allows Him to be the perfect intercessor between us and God today (Heb. 4:15-16). The Levitical priesthood was tempted like us, but they did not live sinless lives. When the priests offered the sacrifices daily, they had to offer up gifts and sacrifices not only for the people but for themselves as well (Heb. 5:1-3).
Christ was chosen to be our priest just like the Levites were, “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, ‘Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.’ As he saith also in another place, ‘Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec’” (Heb. 5:5-6). Because He suffered just as we have and He was made high priest, “he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9). Melchisedec was both the King of Salem and a priest of the Most High God (Heb. 7:1). Even Abraham, the father of the Israelites, paid tithes to him and blessed him (Heb. 7:1-2). Melchisedec had no father, mother, or descendent, so his priesthood continues forever (Heb. 7:3). The Levitical priesthood needed to be constantly renewed because of the death of the priests. It had to be passed down from father to son in order for the priesthood to continue (Heb. 7:5). So if the Levitical priesthood was perfect, why did we need a change of priesthood? Because, when the priesthood changed, we also needed to change to a new law (Heb. 7:11-12).
The priesthood changed from the tribe of Levi to the tribe of Judah, “of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood” (Heb. 7:14). To avoid breaking the law, the law must be changed to allow for our new priest, “Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life … For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God” (Heb. 7:16, 19).
Christ’s priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood, because His priesthood continues forever, it is unchangeable, He is our intercessor forever, He is holy, harmless, undefiled, higher than the heavens, not a sinner, and He offered Himself, the perfect sacrifice, once and for all men (Heb. 7:22-28).