Today’s Reading: Hebrews 7
As we consider the baby in a manger, let us also consider the man Jesus became. As we remember the role he played as our Savior, let us take note of the role he plays today as our High Priest.
JESUS IS OUR HIGH PRIEST
I must admit I don’t think of that description or role very often. I think of him as my Savior and my Lord, my Creator and my Provider. Yet, how wonderful this morning to just stop and soak in how Jesus has become the source of eternal salvation for all those who believe and obey him – that He goes to His Father on my behalf. Yes, Jesus is my High Priest!
What is a high priest?
Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as theirs. – Hebrews 5:1-3
How does a person become a high priest?
And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be CALLED BY GOD for this work, just as Aaron was. This is why Christ did not honor himself by assuming he could become High Priest. No, HE WAS CHOSEN BY GOD, who said to him,
“You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” – Hebrews 5:4-5
Why is Jesus the perfect high priest for us?
While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. – Hebrews 5:7-8
JESUS IS OUR SOURCE OF ETERNAL SALVATION
Through His birth, He came to understand our weaknesses for He faced the same testing we do, yet He did not sin (4:15). Through His blood, we are offered the elimination of our sins. Through His resurrection, we have hope that we can overcome the death we deserve and spend eternity in Heaven.
In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. – Hebrews 5:9-10
JESUS GIVES US HOPE AS HE LEADS US THROUGH THE CURTAIN INTO GOD’S INNER SANCTUARY
In the ancient Temple, there was a curtain that hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place – the inner sanctuary that only the high priest could enter once a year to atone for the sins of the entire nation. No one else could step inside or even glimpse into this inner sanctuary. Because of Jesus, who is always in God’s presence, we can follow Him and enter into God’s presence.
Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST in the order of Melchizedek. – Hebrews 6:18b-20
JESUS IS ABLE TO SAVE THOSE WHO COME TO GOD THROUGH HIM, INTERCEDING ON OUR BEHALF
There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made THE PERFECT HIGH PRIEST forever. – Hebrews 7:23-28
Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, thank you for being my High Priest. Thank you for becoming the sacrifice for my sins and then stepping before me to present me to Your Father. Lord, thank you for dying for me and for interceding for me. To you be all praise and glory forever, Amen!