Derek Prince - The Ministry Of Jesus As A Priest
Now the great pattern of our priestly ministry is Jesus. If you look for a moment in Hebrews chapter five, verse one, it says: For every high priest taken from among men, is appointed for man in things pertaining to God, that he may offer [Notice the key word: offer.] both gifts and sacrifices for sin. And applying this to Jesus, the writer goes on in Hebrews 5:7, he describes the sacrifices that Jesus offered. Who, in the days of his flesh [while he was still on earth], when he had offered up [See that sacrificial word? What did He offer up?] prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears. His sacrificial ministry while on earth was to offer the sacrifices of prayer. Then came the time when He offered Himself.
For instance, we read in Hebrews seven verses 26 and 27: For such a high priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens. Who does not need daily as those high priests [The Levitical order.] to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the peoples.’ For this he did once for all when he offered up Himself. At the cross He was the priest and He was the sacrifice. He offered up Himself. Hebrews 9:14, returns to that theme: How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God?
Notice that He did it through the Holy Spirit. Let me state briefly just as a matter of interest that every major phase of redemption involves all three persons of the godhead. It’s like they’re jealous of one another, not one of them wants to be left out when it comes to blessing humanity. So, the incarnation: God the Father incarnated the Son by the Holy Spirit. It’s very clearly stated, it was the Holy Spirit that did the work. The ministry of Jesus, it says in Acts 10:38: God the Father anointed Jesus the Son with the Holy Spirit. [The result was] ...He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him.
It’s very interesting to me to see that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all in the ministry of healing. And then we come to the cross, and we just read the Son, through the Spirit, offered Himself to the Father. We come to the resurrection: the Father by the Spirit raised the Son. And then we come to Pentecost, the last act of that particular drama, it says, Jesus, being by the right hand of the Father exalted, and having received from the Father the promise of the Spirit, poured it out on His waiting disciples. So, every major phase of redemption involves all three persons of the godhead. And here we have, as I’ve said, Jesus the Son offered Himself through the Spirit to the Father.
So, that was the climax of His earthly priestly ministry, that He offered Himself. He was the priest and He was the sacrifice. And then in eternity, He still ministers as a priest. In Hebrews 7 verse 24, speaking of Jesus: Hebrews 7:24: But he, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood [one that does not pass from Him to another]. Therefore [in this unchangeable priesthood] He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them. So what is His priestly ministry in heaven? It’s to make intercession. So here we have Jesus, the pattern high priest. On earth He offered up prayers and cries to God. On the cross He offered Himself. And in eternity He offers intercession.
I pointed out, I think this morning, the time phases of the life of Jesus are rather instructive. Thirty years of perfect family life, 3.5 years of active ministry, and 2,000 years of intercession. In that, Jesus is our pattern. We are called to the same ministry: to prayer, to the offering of ourselves, and to a ministry of ongoing intercession. Just to state this so that we base it on Scripture, turn to Hebrews 13 verse 15 Hebrews 13:15. Therefore by Him [Jesus] let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God; that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. For with such sacrifices [the next verse says] God is well pleased. Our sacrificial offerings, are praise and thanksgiving. But we’re also called upon to make the same sacrifice that Jesus made: the sacrifice of our own body.