Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
Here a further contrast is drawn between Jesus, our great High Priest, and all the other priests of the Levitical order.
As we have seen:
- Their impermanence is contrasted with His permanence; and in today’s passage we note
- Their imperfection contrasted with His perfection.
Those Old Testament priests had to first offer sacrifices for their own sins before sacrificing on behalf of the people. But Jesus was both Priest and Victim. He offered the one final sacrifice of His perfect life for us all,
‘There was no other good enough, to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gates of heaven, and let us in.’
While we needed a Priest to be like us in our humanity, we also needed Him to be unlike us with respect to sin:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15,16)
Jesus is the ”high priest who truly meets our need”, and the fact that He is ”exalted above the heavens” is the supreme attestation that the Father in heaven is pleased with Him and His work. He has raised Him to His own Right Hand. This is the divine seal of approval on God’s Son.
So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, he doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect.‘ ‘The Message’.
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