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Reference Difference Levitical High Priests Jesus the High Priest
7:23-24 quantity many priests only one priest
7:23-24; 9:12 duration temporary permanent, eternal
7:27; 9:12 frequency sacrificed daily sacrificed once for all
7:26-27 quality sinful sinners holy, innocent, unstained
7:26-27 focus offered sacrifices also for themselves offered sacrifices only for others
7:27; 9:11-14 object offered sacrificial animals offered up himself
9:11-12 sphere entered a man-made tent entered a greater and more perfect tent
9:11-12 means entered by means of the blood of goats and calves entered by means of his own blood

Hebrews 7:23-26

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

Hebrews 9:11-12

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

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11 thoughts on “Differences Between Jesus and the Levitical High Priests”

  1. Chad Gibbons says:

    Don’t forget Hebrews 4 and 5.

    The levitical priesthood was Aaronic, Jesus’ was Melchizidechian.
    The levitical priesthood was appointed by the people, Jesus’ was by God.
    The levitical priests had to offer their own sacrifices for themselves, Jesus was pure and didn’t need to.
    The levitical priest didn’t sympathize with our weaknesses, but Jesus does. (compare the treatment Judas received from the priests when trying to give back the 30 pieces of silver).

  2. Phil says:

    I love charts like this! Thank you for posting.

  3. Jim Thompson says:

    This is great!! Thanks, brother.


  4. Corey says:

    This one is somewhat related to frequency, but how about difference of “Posture”: Levitical Priests stand, Christ sat down.

    Heb. 10:11-12

    Thanks for the chart.

  5. James Hogan says:

    Corey, those couple verses are some of my favorites from Hebrews – I was going to post about Jesus sitting vs. standing, but I see you beat me to it. “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” Oh lovely words!!

  6. todd robinson says:

    Any thoughts on the related prophecy in Jeremiah which Dispensationalists often wish to quote to me?

    “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day, and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers. ‘As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.'” (Jer 33:20-22)

  7. Mike Gantt says:

    Love the chart. It shows how the OT and NT interact with each other.

    The addition from Corey and James was icing on the cake! And excellent icing at that.

    There is so much more to learn about our Savior right in the Scriptures!

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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