Summary: Jesus Christ has become our eternal High Priest. And I think there are three things that these verses tell us about our High Priest that should come as an encouragement to us.
From the time of the fall of Adam man has needed a mediator… someone who would span the gap that now separated him from God. Man is sinful. God is holy. And because of His holiness God will have no fellowship or connection with sin. Before the fall God and man had close fellowship with each other. Each day God would come and walk in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. There was a friendship between God and man; a companionship. Man was sinless, he was pure. There was nothing to hinder him from approaching the presence of God. There was nothing to impede upon his communion with God.
But when Adam ate of the forbidden fruit the sinful nature took its place in the heart of man and forever drove a wedge between him and his Creator. No more could man feel free to enter into God’s presence. No more could God have that intimate fellowship with His creation. There was a wall of separation between God and man.
But God did not leave man hopeless. He was not satisfied to leave no way for that wall to be spanned. No, but He initiated a way for Him and man to still have a connection. Very early in Scripture we see God establishing a priesthood. He ordained men who would act as mediators between God and man.
The first of these individuals that we see in the Bible is a king by the name of Melchizedek. We find him in Genesis 14 where he is called “the priest of God Most High.” We see the system officially instituted in Exodus 28:1 where God tells Moses to take Aaron, Moses’ brother, and his sons with him, that they would minister in the office of priesthood. These would be the ones who would act as intermediary. They would be man’s representative to God and God’s representative to man.
God laid out every specific detail needed to make these men acceptable to Him and suitable to enter into His presence. From the minute details of the necessary uniform to the sacred rituals that were to take place God’s plan was made clear. They had to be pure. They had to be consecrated. They were the ones who entered into God’s presence on behalf of the people of Israel. And His holiness would not tolerate anything unclean.
Down through the ages God’s system was in place. The descendants of Aaron were ordained as the mediators between God and man. They were the ones who offered sacrifices to God in order to atone for sin. They were the ones who pointed man towards God. But this was only a temporary fix. This was only a system that God used to make the way for His true plan.
What was His plan? What was his permanent fix? To make a way for that wall of separation to be permanently removed; to make a way for man to enter into His presence freely again. And how was He going to do this? By sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to our world to live and die as a man. What good would that do? Well, I think I can explain. Why don’t we look at our text this morning? There are a couple of verses I want us to think about this morning that tell us about God’s permanent plan for a Mediator.
Heb. 4:14-16… 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. 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. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
This morning, there is no need for us to go to a priest and ask him to enter God’s presence on our behalf. We don’t need another person to act as our representative to a holy God. Why? Because Jesus Christ has become our eternal High Priest. He has become our eternal Mediator. He is the One who now bridges the gap between God and fallen man. And I think there are three things that these verses tell us about our High Priest that should come as an encouragement to us. And I want to share those things with you this morning.
I. He’s A Sympathetic High Priest
First of all, our High Priest is a sympathetic High Priest. You know, when election season comes around and it’s time to vote for the ones who will represent our fair state in Washington, D.C., I think we will probably end up voting for someone who lives in Tennessee, won’t we? I mean, it’s very doubtful that we’ll elect someone who lives in New York and has never been a resident here to be a Senator or Congressman for us, right?