Summary: The Veil of the Temple was torn in two as Jesus declared, "It is Finished." Through His provision, believers have access to the throne of grace, where Jesus ministers as our Great High Priest. He is our Mediator and Intercessor.
Jesus – our Great High Priest
Hebrews 4: 14-16
Life is constantly changing, a never ending series of “highs” and “lows.” At times we reach breath-taking mountaintops, where we enjoy the beauty of life and relax in the sunlight of God’s love. At other times we endure deep, lonesome valleys filled with heartache, pain, and despair. Sometimes we enjoy a tranquil sea, but often a storm comes without warning.
Change is a part of life. It is very likely some of you faced change in your lives this week. There may have been financial or physical hardships; there may have been spiritual struggles. Whatever the case, these days are sure to come, but they don’t have to be faced alone.
Hebrews has a central theme: Jesus, the Great High Priest. It offers a series of contrasts, in which Jesus is proven to better than other sources or means. We have a Mediator, an Intercessor who wants to help us in life’s journey. For those who know Him, Jesus is the constant in the many changes we face in life.
Let’s take a few moments to consider the attributes this passage reveals concerning our Lord as we think on: Jesus – Our Great High Priest.
I. The Priesthood of Christ (14) – Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Here we discover a couple of aspects of His priesthood. Consider:
A. His Nearness – Hebrews was written to Christian Jews. They had been raised under the Mosaic Law, following the ceremonies observed in the Tabernacle and Temple. The high priest held a position of authority and the people looked to him for direction. They depended on him to offer the sacrifice, obtaining atonement. Many wanted to return to Judaism.
Here we find a profound statement: we have a great high priest. They had no need to look to the Temple; Jesus is our Great High Priest. You and I have a Great High Priest. He is near to us, not a God far off, but a present help in times of need! Ours isn’t mere religion; we have a matchless Redeemer. Our faith isn’t based on ceremonies and religious practices, but the Person of Jesus Christ! He is our hope; He is our faith; He is our security; He is our salvation! We have a Great High Priest who is near to us right now!
B. His Nature – We also find much about His nature as our High Priest. Consider:
1. His Rank – Seeing then that we have a great high priest. There were many who served within the Temple. Each had a job to do, but all priests were not the same. Only the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies. However, even the high priest was just a man. He was limited in what he could accomplish. The sacrifice had to be made again and again.
We have a Great High Priest who possesses all authority. He is set apart from all the rest. Jesus was the Sacrifice and the Priest, all in one! A greater than Aaron and Eli now attends the mercy seat. He is Jesus the Son of God. He is the Man who died for sin, as well as God! I’m glad I am not depending on man’s ability for my forgiveness and help.
2. His Reign – Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. The high priest served for life. Many of them served for a number of years, but death eventually came and the next high priest was anointed. We have a Great High Priest who is eternal. He was crucified and buried, yet He lives forever more!
He is passed into the heavens. He is seated at the right hand of God. Heb.8:1-2 – Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;  A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. Jesus reigns as the Great High Priest from the Tabernacle in glory. I’m thankful for the leadership of my pastor, but I thank God for the High Priest that reigns in glory with the Father!
II. The Preeminence of Christ (15) – For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Our Great High Priest is holy, sinless, and perfect. He possesses the divine attributes of God; He is God. Now it would be impossible to discover all Christ is, but we do see two areas of perfection. Notice: