Mennonite Articles of Faith (1766) - Article 15
XV. Of Christ as High Priest.
As the true high priest (Hebrews 4:14) and only mediator of the new and eternal covenant (1 Timothy 2:5), Christ prayed to His heavenly Father for His apostles and also for them that should believe on Him through their word (John 17:9, 20), yea even for those who crucified Him and would take His life. Luke 23:34.
Moreover, He obediently took upon Himself the most grievous suffering (Philippians 2:8) and offered Himself through the eternal Spirit without blemish unto God (Hebrews 9:14), both in soul and body, to make propitiation for the sins of the people (Hebrews 2:17; 7:26, 27), We believe that this most bitter suffering of soul as well as of body, begun in Gethsemane and finished on Calvary, is an offering whose efficacy is eternal (Hebrews 9:12; Isaiah 53) and by which He has perfected forever them that come to God through Him, are obedient to Him, and are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14. We take the obedience of the Son of God, His precious suffering, shed blood, and sacrificial death on the cross once for all (1 Peter 2:24) to be the ransom (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6) or price (Hebrews 9:13, 14) of our redemption, all sufficient for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2); through which, accordingly, all who truly believe on Him, are reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:19-21), are brought into a condition of peace, and attain unto a well grounded hope and assurance of eternal life. Romans 5:1, 5, 9, 10.
Now, when the Lord Jesus Christ had finished His high priestly work upon earth through His death, He was buried and on the third day arose again from the dead and appeared unto the apostles and many others (1 Corinthians 15) with many infallible proofs by the space of forty days. Acts 1:3, 9-12. Thereafter He ascended into heaven as a triumphant victor (Ephesians 4:8; Colossians 2:15) before the eyes of all His faithful apostles (Luke 24:50-52) and sat down at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16: 19) crowned with honor and glory. Hebrews 2:9; John 17:5.
There, and thus clothed, He continues His holy office as our high priest. Hebrews 8:1. For as He is the servant of the true tabernacle, He has entered not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood once into heaven itself (Hebrews 9:11, 24), to appear before the face of God in behalf of the believers. Wherefore He is called of God a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek (Hebrews 5:10; Psalms 110:4) to the great comfort of the believers in their infirmities. Hebrews 4:14-16. And as He has an everlasting priesthood, since He abides forever, He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God through Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:24, 25; 1 John 2:1, 2.
Lastly, as it was the part of the high priest, after completing the offering of atonement, to return to the waiting and praying people to bless them, so Christ, the great High Priest, is continually bestowing upon His own the fruit, the power, and the sufficiency of His sacrifice that they may benefit by them. Acts 3:26. Having the power and the right to forgive sins (Mark 2:10; Matthew 28:18), He grants this blessing to the penitent (Acts 5:31); through His blood of sprinkling He purges the conscience from dead works (Hebrew 9:14) and thus gives boldness and confidence to draw nigh unto God. Ephesians 3:12. He baptizes them with His Spirit (John 1: 33), holds spiritual and intimate communion with them (Revelation 3:20; John 14:21-23), yea, and He makes His holy and redeemed people themselves to be a royal priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. 1 Peter 2:5, 9.
From all this follows self-evidently that the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 10:5-9), and with it the whole ceremonial law, has been fulfilled, has come to an end, and has been abolished. The law had only the shadow of good things to come (Hebrews 10:1) and it ended in Christ (Romans 10:4) to whom be glory forever. Amen!
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