Summary: Jesus our High Priest
October 14, 2012
Fear to follow the example of the Israelites who disobeyed God in the desert because His word is alive and powerful and dangerously sharp. Everything in creation will be laid bare before Him when it’s time to settle accounts, so cling to Jesus, our “great high priest” and “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Now, how do we know this is true? Let’s contrast Jesus with the priests of the Old Testament:
For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
What can a sinner do with his guilt? There’s no way he can even stand before God let alone make a case for his innocence. And so, God established a system whereby someone can intercede: these men are called priests, and (1) they are taken from among men, (2) they are ordained by God for men, and (3) they offer gifts and sacrifices.
The priests come from men—they’re of the same stock as their brethren, and it’s easy to see the comparison to Christ. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us: “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Heb. 2:16).
These priests are ordained—that is, they are appointed to this position by God. A man couldn’t just walk into the most holy place, and he couldn’t pretend to be a priest. Read II Chronicles 26:16-21: “But when [Uzziah] was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. 17And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men: 18And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God. 19Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. 20And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. 21And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.”
They offer gifts and sacrifices for sins—they did something no one else on earth could do. But we have to take note of their frailty:
2Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.