Monday, September 22, 2008

Robertson On Priesthood of Christ

In the third chapter of the Israel of God, Robertson deals with the topic of worship. Under the Old Covenant God defines what worship is, and God is also the One who commands the means by which He is to be approached. Under the New Covenant God also defines how we are to approach Him.

The two Covenants have a radically different approach in worship. Under the Old Covenant God gives the Levitical Priesthood as the means by which men may approach God. Under the New Covenant, God has established a new High Priest according to the order of Melchizadek. Robertson spends much time explaining from Hebrews chapter 7 that Jesus has changed worship forever.

Robertson's conclusion of his exegesis of Hebrews 7 demands we come to a sound and consistent view of worship under the New Covenant.

As the writer to the Hebrews has indicated, Jesus cannot exercise His priesthood according to the old order. He belongs to the tribe of Judah, and cannot function as a Levitical priest. For this reason, He will never function as a priest in a temple built in Jerusalem according to an order that has passed away. His priestly ministry is located in the temple of the heavenly, eternal realities. He cannot fulfill His exalted ministry in the shadowy, temporal forms of the old covenant.

Any restoration of temple and sacrifice according to the order of the old covenant would supplant the high priesthood of Jesus. The idea is unthinkable. No priesthood on earth could compare with the perfected priesthood of Jesus in heaven, and it would be an insult to His perfect sacrifice to suggest that any subsequent offering by other priests would be able to reconcile the sinner to God.

Dispensationalists have argued that the Old Sacrificial order would be a memorial. Jesus however gives only one memorial to His sacrifice that He commands us to follow. That is the Lord's Table or Communion. To go back to the old system, even as a memorial, is to go back to the shadows and types.

At the consummation Christians will sit with Christ at His table and partake of the only memorial established by Christ. That is what Christians ought to look forward to, not an earthly temple or an earthly sacrificial system.

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