We cover thousands of years in this sermon, demonstrating how Israel’s kings and the activities of the Temple’s High Priest all point to Jesus. He is the Ruler of the Kingdom of God, and our High Priest who is always making intercession for us.
Hundreds of years of Israelite history, wars, the shifting of power in Middle East over 2500 years ago, two nations exiled but in two different ways, the complete destruction of one nation, the voice of God warning His people, and a nation starting all over again–these all point to Jesus! Not so obvious, but true!
The nation of Israel, once it began to get a sense of its identity, wanted a king–a king like other nations. In spite of the prophet Samuel’s warnings (I Samuel 8:10-18), they chose a king, a bad one. But God even rescued this, promising King David that one of his descendants would be on the throne forever (II Samuel 7:12-16).
After King Solomon died, the nation split into the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom. Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom, scattering its inhabitants forever. The North’s capital was Samaria, the center of a greatly compromised religious system. Babylon conquered the Southern Kingdom, but its exiles eventually returned, chastised and focused on the true worship of the Lord.
Once those exiles returned, the rebuilt the Temple, gave up their idolatry, and focused on religious rather than national concerns. During this time, the role of the priests grew, and the role of the High Priest went from merely religious to highly political. When Jesus came, the High Priest was the most powerful political figure among the Jews. Since the nation was conquered by one empire after another–Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome–the issue of the king became less and less important. Even the focus on a coming Messiah began to lessen. Finally, there were 400 years of prophetic silence–when the Lord didn’t raise up any prophets to speak to the nation.
Then–Jesus came, and fulfilled both roles in Himself!
Luke 1:32-33, Romans 1:3–in the line of David
Colossians 1:3–a new kingdom established, with Christ as King
He’s also the ultimate fulfillment of the role of the High Priest:
Hebrews 3:1; 4:14; 5:9-10; 7:26-27: 8:1-2; 10:19-20 and many more!
Hebrews 2:17-18 tells us how this blesses us–as a High Priest, he knows what we go through.
And Romans 8:34 shows us that He is constantly interceding for us!
We need to acknowledge His kingship, even while residing in a democratic republic. We may reside in America, but we LIVE in the Kingdom of God! And we can rejoice that those many scriptures that describe the challenging work of the High Priest in the Old Testament all point to the One who even now is making intercession for us!
Mind-blower: More than 500 years before Jesus came, the prophet Zechariah prophesied that the two roles of king and priest, previously completely excluded from one another, would someday be combined in the Messiah!
That’s Jesus, Our King and High Priest!