Summary: Part 3 of a study of the priesthood.
This morning we are going to conclude our study entitled The Code of the Priest. This series was designed to strengthen your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and how He interacts with His children. It is my hope that by studying the ancient customs and cultures of the Bible God’s Word will come alive for you, and you will be that much more confident in the truth found in its pages.
Let’s begin today by reading Hebrews 5:1-10, “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.  He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.  This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.  No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.  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.”  And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”  During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered  and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him  and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
This passage of Scripture is the essence of what we have been studying these past weeks. The Aaronic priesthood originally instituted by God in the wilderness had reached the end of its usefulness by the time that Christ was born into this world. The priesthood was corrupt and defiled and so God transferred the honor and glory of the priesthood onto Christ, His Son. He started a new priesthood – the priesthood of Melchizedek. A priesthood that would last forever, whose high priest could offer salvation to all people. A perfect priesthood based upon grace and not reliant upon the law.
Last week we saw where this transfer from the old priesthood to the new took place, and who was involved. John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, was a true Levitical priest and 30 years old when he was ministering and preaching in the wilderness, and therefore fulfilled the requirements of being able to transfer the priesthood onto someone else. At the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River, (at a very special place called Bethabara), we saw that John transferred the priesthood to Jesus Christ. And from that moment on, God removed His blessing and glory from the old Aaronic priesthood and placed them on His Son and the new Melchizedek priesthood. The old priesthood was finished.
We looked at some unusual signs in Jewish history that confirmed that God had removed His blessing from them and was now working through His Son. Signs like the temple gates opening and closing on their own, signifying that Jesus was now the way to God. And the red thread that signified forgiveness of sin never turning white again, because it was Jesus who would now cover sins with His blood and not the blood of animals.