11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”[a]
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.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Heb. 7:11-25
There is a great movement afoot in the “modern” churches that demean or render useless the importance of not only the Birth, but the person and work of Jesus Christ. This is one of the great heresies that small and almost insigniﬁcant churches like the Armenian Church struggle against, as they continue to be the light of Orthodoxy and the true and right faith. While the modernist churches strive to be relevant they have become irrelevant, while the true church of the holy tradition of the Apostles safeguarded by the bishops, seem insignificant but remain relevant.
Modernism is not atheist or anti-Christian. It is much worse and much more dangerous. It does not try to eliminate Jesus from history, it tries to sublimate Him, rendering Him insigniﬁcant-His Incarnation (God’s real Birth in Human ﬂesh), His Person (The Eternal Second person of the Holy Trinity equal to and co-essential with God the Father and His Work (Redemption of a Fallen and morbid humanity). In a word, trying to fit in and become relevant to a secular and ever anthropocentric society, what they have done is removed from history and theology the “priesthood” and sacriﬁcial ministry of Christ. The very center of His earthly ministry!
The work that Jesus came to do was primarily sacriﬁcial and thus He is none other than the High Priest. The difference between His priesthood and the pre-ﬁgurative priesthood before Him is two—fold and as such, is a fulﬁlment and accomplishment of any and all other priesthood. First, He is Eternal High Priest. His offering IS holy and acceptable, because he is offering to his True Father on behalf of all humanity, being by nature truly God and having Himself become truly man, the anti-type and fulﬁllment of Adam, He is both Priest and sacriﬁce. He did not use any animal or vicarious entity to accomplish Redemption, but Himself was offered to His Father. His sacriﬁce has eternal value and thus makes any future sacriﬁce invalid impotent and unnecessary. It is his Blood that was offered once and for all. His sacriﬁce, the Passion, Cruciﬁxion and death, unlike all others, by the spilling of His own Blood, cancels the debt for sin and eternal condemnation for those who believe and trust in Him.
He is “both debtor and debt, immolation and anointed, Lamb and heavenly bread, high priest and sacriﬁce; for He Himself is distributed always in our midst without ever being consumed.” (pg. 30 – pew book). What connects us to Him and to His Work, is faith. We must however deﬁne “faith”. Faith is not merely recognition of the “existence” of a god, nor even the belief that the God of scripture is real nor even that Jesus might actually be God! Faiths “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) It is an explicit trust and dependency on Christ, the “forever Priest”, who alone can forgive sins, redeem, renew, enlighten, strengthen, grant resurrection from the dead, and ultimately share with us His divine nature, so that we can become by grace what He is by nature.