Great High Priest
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.
Now many have become Levitical priests, since they are prevented by death from remaining in office. 24 But because he remains forever, he holds his priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them. 26 For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all time when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus— 20 he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh)— 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.
My Intercessor Lives
Years ago, I learned in Sunday School that an Apostle was one who is sent by God to tell others about God sending His Son, Jesus, to us. My teacher had described it this way: “An apostle is one who has stood before God, facing Him, hearing from Him, and now stands before Him, with his back to Him, and now faces you, and tells you what God has said to tell you.” She said “a priest is one who has heard of your need for God, and now stands with you, facing God, and speaks to God for you.” That had seemed logical when I was a teenager, but now it seemed to lack… something. It was too formulaic. It was lackluster. It lacked… life.
I had read of many priests in the Bible. There had been priests even in Old Testament times, and High Priests, serving as God had organized services and sacrifices in the tabernacles and Temples. I had read about the responsibilities of the High Priests who were to examine themselves for sin and to be cleansed before entering the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of the sacrificial lamb on the altar, the mercy seat, called the Ark of the Covenant.
I consider Job, who was a “man who feared God and walked uprightly before Him” and who, when afflicted, mourned, “Oh, if there were only a mediator between God and man, so that a man could talk with him face to face!” Job was yearning for a priest.
I consider Jesus as my High Priest, who had made intercession for me on the night of his arrest, as He said, “Father, I pray not only for these (the disciples) alone, but for all those that will believe on Me through their word…” (John 17:20-23) and continues to make intercession for me: “Wherefore He is able to save to the uttermost who come to God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25).
No longer formulaic! No longer lackluster! But a life-giving spring! My Intercessor lives! My High Priest lives! He is gracious to me!
Prayer & Reflection:
Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to make us right with you again. He has made relationship with you possible, and still makes intercession for us. We praise you for Christ, our Mediator, settling our sin debt once and for all.