The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 25
Q. 25. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.
A priest. –A person appointed by the law of Moses, to offer sacrifices to God, and to pray to him in behalf of the people.
Offering up himself. –Giving up, or resigning, himself.
A sacrifice. –An offering for sin. In general, a sacrifice signifies some living creature slain, and offered up to God, to satisfy him for offences committed by those for whom it was offered.
To satisfy divine justice. –To make amends, or to answer to God, for the dishonor done to his infinite Majesty, by the sins of mankind.
To reconcile. –To join again in friendship those who have differed. To bring us back again to the favor of God.
Intercession. –One pleading, or praying for another.
We are taught, first, that Christ, as a priest, offered himself in sacrifice. –Heb. ix. 26. He appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
- That this sacrifice was only offered once. –Heb. ix. 28. Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.
- That it was offered to divine justice. –Eph. v. 2. Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet smelling savor.
- That the design of this sacrifice, was to reconcile us to God. –Heb. ii. 17. In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high-priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
- That Christ makes continual intercession for his people. –Heb. vii. 25. He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.