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Sermon No: 773-Hebrews 5-7 (Part 1) - Greater than Aaron



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SERMON TOPIC: Hebrews 5-7 (Part 1) - Greater than Aaron

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 30 October 2011

Topic Groups: HEBREWS, NEW COVENANT, BOOK STUDY

Sermon synopsis: Jesus is greater than Aaron because:
(1) He is sinless
(2) He serves in a better tabernacle
(3) He officiates for a better covenant
(4) He offered a better sacrifice
(5) His intercession is superior
(6) He has a greater ministry
(7) He has a better order of priesthood (the order of Melchizedek).

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Hebrews 5-7 Part 1:

Greater than Aaron

In Hebrews 1 we saw that Jesus is not just a prophet - but greater than the prophets.

JESUS GREATER THAN

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We then saw that Jesus, the Son of God, is not an angel - but greater than the angels.

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Hebrews 3 we saw that Jesus is greater than Moses, the mediator of the Old Covenant (Testament).

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Hebrews 4 we saw that Jesus is greater than Joshua, because through him we enter the true rest (from works).

JESUS GREATER THAN

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In Hebrews 5-7 we see that Jesus is greater than Aaron, because he has a better priesthood.

JESUS GREATER THAN

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MILK &

SOLID FOOD

Newborn babies need milk so that they can develop and grow. Likewise the newborn “baby Christian”:

1 Pet 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation

Babies cannot handle solid food – in fact they will choke on it.

There is no problem with this, provided the baby comes to maturity within a reasonable time.

MILK & SOLID FOOD

At some stage though, a child needs to move on to solid food – or their development will be stunted.

Paul rebukes the worldly Corinthian church because they remained spiritual infants.

1 Cor 3:1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly - mere infants in Christ.

MILK & SOLID FOOD

The jealousy and quarrelling in the Corinthian church was evidence of their spiritual immaturity.

1 Cor 3:3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

Another sign of spiritual immaturity was that the Corinthians had divisions among themselves. They were ‘men-followers’ rather than ‘God followers’.

SPIRITUAL INFANTS

1 Cor 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?

So too spiritual babies believe that only their group and their leader have exclusive access to God, while mature Christians recognise that God has children in more than one denomination.

SPIRITUAL INFANTS

Another sign of spiritual immaturity is an overemphasis on the miraculous.

Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

SPIRITUAL INFANTS

Babies need to be looked after and cannot care for themselves. This is true of the spiritual infant as well - they continually need encouragement and assistance without any reciprocation.

A child is self-centred; one of the signs of maturity is when a person becomes concerned about their parents and others.

In 1 John 2:12-14 John speaks of 3 classes of people; children, young men and fathers:

A child needs to be looked after

A young man can look after himself

A father looks after not only himself, but others.

Which type of Christian are you?

SPIRITUAL INFANTS

Children need discipline, but don’t like it or understand why they need it – so too with spiritual infants. One of the difficult ‘meat’ teaching that will follow in the Book of Hebrews is that sometimes we will have to undergo hardship and that this is a form of discipline.

Heb 12:7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

SPIRITUAL INFANTS

So the signs of a spiritual baby are:

Their lives are characterized by jealousy, quarrelling and divisions.

They are ‘men-followers’ and believe the true church is limited to their own group.

Overemphasis on the miraculous.

They need to be looked after, but cannot reciprocate.

They need discipline, but don’t like it.

In terms of teaching, they cannot handle spiritual solid food – they continually need milk.

SPIRITUAL INFANTS

We saw that babies cannot handle spiritual solid food – they cannot chew it and will choke on it. Because they were “spiritual babies”, Paul said the Corinthians could only handle spiritual milk and not solid food.

1 Cor 3:2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

Paul says that to the spiritually mature, they “speak a message of wisdom”:

1 Cor 2:6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

MILK & SOLID FOOD

The writer to the Hebrews (which I believe to be Paul) uses very similar language to that of the apostle Paul in Corinthians. He rebukes the Hebrews for still being spiritual infants, requiring “milk, not solid food”.

Heb 5:11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

MILK & SOLID FOOD

Immediately afterwards he then says that he is now leaving the elementary ‘foundation’ teachings, and moving on to more mature teachings.

Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.

While some are content to stay spiritual infants remaining only with foundation doctrines, the writer to the Hebrews instructs them to start growing up. So the teachings that follow are “solid food” for the spiritually mature.

MILK & SOLID FOOD

IMPORTANCE

OF AARON

Heb 5:1 Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 this is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

PURPOSE OF A PRIEST

PROPHET

REPRESENTS GOD TO THE PEOPLE

EXHORTS

REBUKES

PRIEST

REPRESENTS THE PEOPLE TO GOD

INTERCEDES ON THEIR BEHALF

OFFERS SACRIFICES

Aaron was the elder brother of Moses. 1 He was an eloquent speaker and because of Moses’ initial reluctance Aaron was chosen by God to be the spokesperson to Pharaoh and the Israelites. 2

1 Ex 7:7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh. 2 Ex 4:14-15 … “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well... You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.”

IMPORTANCE OF AARON

It was Aaron’s staff that was used in the miracles performed before Pharaoh. 1

1 Ex 7:10 … Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake… Ex 7:19 … “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt - over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs’ - and they will turn to blood…” Ex 8:1 …“Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’” … Ex 8:16 … “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.”

IMPORTANCE OF AARON

When the Israelites fought the Amalekites it was Aaron and Hur who held up Moses’ hands during the battle. 1

1 Ex 17:10-12 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up - one on one side, one on the other - so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

Aaron was from the priestly tribe of Levi and was appointed by God to be the first high priest of the Israelites. This office was to be passed down to his sons.

Heb 5:4 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.

APPOINTED

When Aaron’s cousin Korah challenged the exclusive priesthood of Aaron’s line, the earth opened and swallowed up the insurgents (Num 16).

APPOINTED

Subsequently Moses instructed each of the tribal leaders of Israel to write their names on a rod and the twelve rods were left overnight in the Tent of Meeting. The following morning Aaron’s rod had budded, blossomed and produced ripe almonds (Num 17:8). This miracle proved that God had indeed chosen Aaron’s line.

APPOINTED

So while all Levites were to be devoted to duties in the Tent of the Testimony, the special charge of the sanctuary and the altar was reserved for Aaron’s descendants only (Num 18).

APPOINTED

Ex 40:14 “Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. 15 Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue for all generations to come.”

ANOINTED

Ex 40:12 “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. 13 Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest. “

GARMENTS

We saw how the function of a high priest was both to (a) offer a sacrifice and (b) to intercede on behalf of the people. Aaron did both:

THE SACRIFICE

Lev 7:2 He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for your sin offering and a ram for your burnt offering, both without defect, and present them before the LORD.

INTERCESSION

Num 16:47 …The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. 48 He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.

SACRIFICE & INTERCESSION

GREATER

THAN AARON

There was a need for a new and better priesthood than that of Aaron in order to bring about our redemption:

Heb 7:11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come - one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

With the new and better priesthood of Jesus, the Old Covenant of Law was made obsolete:

Heb 7:12 for when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law… 18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

JESUS A PRIEST

As noted earlier, the function of a high priest was both to (a) offer a sacrifice and (b) to intercede on behalf of the people. Jesus did both:

THE SACRIFICE

Heb 7:27b He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

SACRIFICE

INTERCESSION

Heb 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

1 John 2:2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

Heb 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

INTERCESSION

The Aaronic priests were types of Christ. As such they had to physically perfect – which was a symbol of Jesus’ sinless perfection.

Lev 21:21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.

PERFECTION

With Aaron we saw how the high priesthood was not something that could be taken upon by self appointment. In fact when Korah challenged God’s appointment, he was severely punished by God.

Heb 5:4 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.

Likewise Jesus was appointed by God to be high priest:

Heb 5:5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” 6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” … 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

APPOINTED

Before he could assume his priestly duties Aaron was anointed to indicate his selection by God.

Ex 40:13 Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest.

ANOINTED

‘Christ’ (Greek) and ‘Messiah’ (Hebrew) both mean “the Anointed One.” The oil used to anoint the OT priests was a shadow of the Holy Spirit which was the anointing Christ received.

Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

As high priest, Aaron had to wear sacred garments:

Ex 28:2 “Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron, to give him dignity and honor.”

As Aaron was attired to give him “dignity and honour” so Jesus is “now crowned with glory and honour” (Heb 2:9).

The white linen in the priestly garments speak of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

GARMENTS

Jesus is greater than Aaron because:

He is sinless

He serves in a better tabernacle

He officiates for a better covenant

He offered a better sacrifice

His intercession is superior

He has a greater ministry

He has a better order of priesthood (the order of Melchizedek)

GREATER THAN AARON

Aaron sinned by making the golden calf for the Israelites.

Ex 32:2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

Moses said to Aaron:

“What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” (Ex 32:21)

Aaron then lied about his direct involvement in making the calf:

Ex 32:24 “So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”

1) SINLESS

Aaron and Miriam also challenged Moses’ authority, resulting in Miriam being temporarily struck with leprosy.

Num 12:1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this.

1) SINLESS

Both Moses and Aaron were not allowed by God to enter the Promised Land because they disobeyed God’s instructions about speaking to the rock.

Num 20:10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

As a priest who was sinful, Aaron was required to offer the sin sacrifice for himself as well:

Lev 9:8 So Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself.

1) SINLESS

And all the high priests in the Old Covenant were also sinners and had to make sacrifices for their own sins as well:

Heb 5:1 Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

1) SINLESS

Unlike the OT high priests, Jesus was perfect and “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners”:

Heb 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

Heb 7:26 Such a high priest meets our need - one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

1) SINLESS

While Aaron was a sinner, we see in the book of Hebrews that our high priest Jesus was sinless (although he is still able to sympathize with our weaknesses):

Heb 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin.

Having a sinless high priest is one of the many reasons Jesus is greater than Aaron and why our New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant (The Law):

Heb 7:28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

He serves in a better tabernacle

Heb 8:1-2 … We do have such a high priest… who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

He officiates for a better covenant

Heb 7:22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

He offered a better sacrifice

Heb 9:23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

BETTER PRIESTHOOD

His intercession is superior because of:

his indestructible life:

Heb 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

He is a tested - but sinless - intercessor:

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

BETTER PRIESTHOOD

He has a greater ministry

Heb 8:6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one…

He has a better order of priesthood

Heb 7:11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come - one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

Next time we will examine the order of priesthood that Jesus held (the priesthood of Melchizedek) and why it is better than the Aaronic priestly order.

BETTER PRIESTHOOD

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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