Jesus, our Great High Priest
(This was a difficult post to write. How do you summarize Jesus’ office as high priest when scripture speaks so clearly on the subject? How do you encapsulate something which encompasses so many aspects of His ministry? It was tempting to write “Read Hebrews. The end.” However, I hope you will be encouraged by these few words and that our hearts will be drawn to worship our Great High Priest.)
Like the priestly system instituted by the law, Jesus was the chosen representative of His people before God. To represent man, He took on the likeness of sinful flesh.
Earthly priests were required to make sacrifice for their own sins for they were fallen men. But unlike His predecessors, Jesus need not make atonement for His own sins for He had none.
Animals were slain day after day, year after year, but the sacrifice Jesus offered was not the blood of a blemish-free animal. He offered up Himself.
Only on one day of the year could the high priest enter the holy of holies. He would then withdraw from God’s presence, and the veil would fall, continuing to separate man from God. Our Great High Priest entered once for all, presented the Sacrifice that would end all sacrifices forever, and the veil was torn in two from top to bottom.
All the priests of old would eventually die. Jesus lives forever making intercession for us.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-24
“How deeply thankful should every Christian be for such a priest. The eternal Word became flesh. The Lord of glory stooped to become man. As the God-man, He mediates between the ineffably holy God and sinful creatures. The Saviour is none other than Immanuel (Matt. 1: 21, 23). In His humanity, He suffered, bled and died. But in His Divine-human person, He Himself quickened that humanity (John 2:19, 10:18). We profess not to understand the mystery, but by grace, we believe what the Scriptures record concerning Him. The “Life” that was given to Christ as the Mediator (unlike that of His humanity) was an indestructible one. Therefore, He is “a Priest forever”, and therefore, “He ever liveth to make intercession” (Heb. 7:25). Hallelujah!”
About the author: Persis is a sinner saved by the grace of God. She’s also a homeschooling mom and bit of a reformed nerd who lives in Virginia with her daughter, books, and bunnies. You can find her at Tried by Fire where she writes about theology, books, and life with snippets of humor added to the mix.
Hebrews 10:11-14, Luke 23:44-49
An Exposition of Hebrews, A.W. Pink, Baker Book House, pg. 389.
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
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You are most welcome to read a complementary series on The Names of God.