Christ Is Our High Priest
8 Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. 2 There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle,[a] the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.
3 And since every high priest is required to offer gifts and sacrifices, our High Priest must make an offering, too. 4 If he were here on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there already are priests who offer the gifts required by the law. 5 They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.”[b]
6 But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.
7 If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. 8 But when God found fault with the people, he said:
“The day is coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and Judah.
9 This covenant will not be like the one
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of the land of Egypt.
They did not remain faithful to my covenant,
so I turned my back on them, says the Lord.
10 But this is the new covenant I will make
with the people of Israel on that day,[c] says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 And they will not need to teach their neighbors,
nor will they need to teach their relatives,[d]
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
will know me already.
12 And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.”[e]
13 When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.
In this chapter, Paul gives the Hebrew believers more reasons why Christ is the better High Priest:
- Christ, our High Priest is sitting. No Levitical priest ever sat, because their work was never done. There were no chairs in the tabernacle or temple. Here, our Priest’s one-time sacrifice is complete, and Jesus is seated (vs. 1). Jesus’ earthly ministry is finished!
- Christ, our High Priest is at the right hand of the Father (vs. 1). No Old Testament priest ever saw God, let alone sat next to Him, as does Jesus.
- Christ is the minister of the “sanctuary and of the true tabernacle” (vss. 2-4). All the Levitical priests ministered in a God-ordered, but man-made tabernacle, and later a man-made temple. The tabernacle was not perfect, although created as God relayed its design to Moses.
- Christ’s ministry is a “more excellent ministry”, than any earthly priest ever had. The Old Testament priests were representative of all people. They mediated with God for all the people; however, not many had a direct audience with the priest. We as Christians, however, can have an audience with the perfect High Priest; no matter who we are.
Christ’s ministry is “better” because it comes with a “better covenant”; a better agreement between God and man. Although Paul sites the old covenant as faulted (vs. 7), it does not mean that God made a mistake with the old agreement. That agreement was good for that time, and met its purpose — to show man could not make a worthy sacrifice himself. The sacrifice had to be made by His perfect Son, Jesus!
Remember that you can have a personal audience with our High Priest Jesus, anytime, anywhere. Take time today to take advantage of that incredible privilege we have as His children to bring our prayers and praises to Him.
Thank you Lord for calling us your children. Thank you for being our High Priest and always there available to us. Lord use us today to shine your light in our circle of influence.