The Present Work of Christ Part V: The Present Work of Christ in Heaven (Part 3) -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 122:485 (Jan 1965)
Article: The Present Work of Christ Part V: The Present Work of Christ in Heaven (Part 3)
Author: John F. Walvoord


The Present Work of Christ
Part V:
The Present Work of Christ in Heaven
(Part 3)

John F. Walvoord

Christ, The High Priest and the Royal Priesthood

The Scriptural revelation of the work of Christ as our great High Priest is one of the most important aspects of His present work. Frequently it is considered to be the total of His present work, and other ministries, such as are here being discussed, are made subdivisions of His larger work as our High Priest. It is clear, however, that the priesthood of Christ is one of a number of figures which reveal to us the present work of Christ. Actually His priesthood is something more than a mere figure or symbol of truth as Christ is, indeed, a priest in a more literal sense than He is a vine or a shepherd, although the priesthood of Christ is revealed in type and antitype throughout the Scriptures. The Epistle to the Hebrews is its principal exposition in the New Testament. The truth relating to this area of divine revelation falls into four divisions: first, the nature of His high priesthood; second, His sacrifice as High Priest; third, His intercession as High Priest; fourth, the royal priesthood of the believer related to Christ the High Priest.

The Nature of the High Priesthood of Christ

The essentials of priesthood. In order to understand the

nature of priesthood, it is necessary, first of all, to define what is meant by a priest. W. G. Moorehead defines a priest in this way: “One who is duly qualified to minister in sacred things, particularly to offer sacrifices at the altar, and to act as mediator between men and God.”1 According to Scripture, Christ fulfilled all of the essential qualities of a priest. He ministered in sacred things (Heb 5:1). His life and ministry were concerned with “things pertaining to God.” Christ was made a priest by God Himself (Heb 5:4–10) in contrast to contemporary high priests who were elected under authority of the Roman government in a manner unrecognized by the Scriptures. According to 1 Timothy 2:5, Christ was a true mediator. He offered sacrifice to God (Heb 9:26). On the basis of His sacrifice, Christ offered intercession to God (Heb 7:25). In all of these respects, it is evident that the priesthood of Christ unquestionably is established as valid and fulfilling the full-orbed ministry of a priest.

Christ in His priesthood as the antitype of Melchizedek. According to...

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