The Highest Priest
This post was written by Mel Lawrenz
Day 9 of Knowing Him: An Easter Devotional (view all days)
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant…. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 9:14-15; 10:11-14)
For centuries the Hebrew people watched their priests performing the rituals of the tabernacle and then the temple. The word priest means “one who stands,” and these were indeed people who stood before the people on behalf of God, helping the people bring their sacrifices in worship. The high priest did such special things as going into the most holy place of the temple and offering the most intimate prayers on behalf of the people.
With Jesus all that changed. He came and took the role of the highest priest, the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim.2:5). He came and told us that the lessons learned from the temple and the priests and the animal sacrifices–lessons about our sin and the terrible judgment pronounced on sin and the possibility of substitute sacrifices–had been learned, and that he had come to be the fulfillment
Jesus is the great high priest. He also is the sacrifice. He came to be “the mediator of a new covenant” (Heb. 9:15). He is the “ransom” (“redemption”).
But Jesus is quite different from all of the earlier high priests. “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties,” but these sacrifices “can never take away sins.” What those priests did was to provide a picture of and a teaching about forgiveness. Jesus actually accomplished it. He was both God and man, and thus stood before us linking heaven and earth. His death was the ultimate sacrifice, and indeed the only sacrifice that truly mattered.
Risen from the dead, and returned to the Father, he now continues to be the link between God and man. He doesn’t “stand” anymore, now he sits at the throne of God.
Ponder This: What is the uppermost concern in your life today that you would like to be brought by the great high priest to the throne of God?
[This daily devotional will appear through Easter. You may receive via email.]
This entry was posted on Monday, March 26th, 2012 at 2:00 am and is filed under Easter Devotional.
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