Summary: The significance of God’s sovereign plan of salvation as revealed in the Old Testament, which is fulfilled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. In this lesson, we will learn who Jesus is, as a Perfect Mediator who became the Great High Priest.
Read: HEBREWS 4:14-16 (English Standard Version)
Today, we are now on our 2nd week of our series Past Perfect. Last week, we tackled about Jesus as the Perfect Redeemer. He was the promised Passover Lamb in the Old Testament. And the today, we’ll be talking about Jesus as the High Priest, meaning He is the Perfect Mediator between God and man. A mediator is the representative between two parties. A mediator negotiates for both parties until a resolution is reached. Jesus’ blood was the means to bring mankind and God together. Up until this time, mankind was held hostage under the accusation of death because of sin. At the right time, Jesus was born as a man, to die as a ransom for us. The cost was his blood, the result was redemption from all of the sins committed under the first covenant. If sins have been paid for, then there is no longer the threat of death.
How can a sinful man face the Holy God? And the answer is a Consecrated Priest. In Leviticus 16:32-34 says “32 And the priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement, wearing the holy linen garments. 33 He shall make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 And this shall be a statute for ever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” And Moses did as the Lord commanded him.” Also in Hebrews 5:1, says that “1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.” The role of the high priest is to mediate.
According to Miriam Webster Dictionary, priest was defined as “one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God.” In the Old Testament, people of Israel offers the blood of an animal which was without blemish and spotless, as their sacrificial offering for their sins. The High Priest was the one who has an access into the presence of God, and was the only one who can enter the most holy place where they bring the blood offering. In this lesson, we will talk about the three characteristics of Christ as the Great High Priest and a Perfect Mediator which was mentioned in Hebrews 4:14-16.
I. Christ as SUPERIOR (Hebrews 4:14)
Now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. He is our personal advocate and the best defense attorney in the universe. Because this is a past event we hold firmly and confidently to this profession of faith in Christ, knowing that He lives to guarantee our lives as well. Grace and mercy abound as we are reminded that Jesus has ascended into heaven and it currently making intercession for us and on our behalf, and this is the depth of God’s love towards us.
The ancient Jews depended on their high priest. In the New Testament, Christ was superior in His Personality because He was the man who represented man to God. He was the man who interceded for humanity before the Lord. He was the man who offered the blood sacrifices that atoned for sins of the world. The high priest was an important part of our lives, their worship and our relationship with God. He was also superior in His performance because He passed through the gate into the courtyard of the tabernacle. He passed through the door into the holy place. Then, he passed by the veil into the Holy of Holies. And lastly, He was superior in His people because His people “hold fast” to their “profession”. The phrases “hold fast” means, “to seize or take hold of”. Those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ will persevere in their commitment to Him. We all fail Him from time to time, but true believers do not walk away from Him.
II. Christ as SYMPATHETIC (Hebrews 4:15)
The only reason we can approach God with confidence is Jesus, our excellent High Priest. High priests in the Old Testament represent the people before God. We come before God not on the basis of our own rights but because Jesus paved the way for us to be restored back into relationship with God by His finished work on the cross. How did Jesus become sympathetic towards humanity? By becoming human, when God became man, God broadened His experience here on earth. He knows our current situation and He wants us to be rescued from it.