I AM not like any other religion
Every religion seems to have priests, prophets and clergymen who claim to have the
answers to life’s problems. I guess the thing I like most about Jesus Christ is that He was not just a human. He is God who became a man to live in our shoes. He knows all which we are going through. He came to fulfill all of God’s righteous laws and then he offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for us sinful people. As God, he is The King, as The Word of God in flesh he is the greatest prophet of all who the has words of life, as The sinless Son of God he is our high priest; but also as the spotless Lamb of God, he is our acceptable sacrifice.
Jesus the Great High Priest
4: 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
5 Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
“You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” 6 And he says in another place,
“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who provides salvation for man. I AM the Great High Priest as well as the sacrifice; I AM the mediator between my Father and you.
I AM the loving, compassionate, just and Holy God who knows that you need my help. I see your plight with sin, your neediness and know all about your struggles. This is why I became one of you to be able to sympathize with your condition, to pay the ransom and provide a cure. I AM the one who loves you so much that I made arrangements to save you from your sin. I AM the Great High Priest who can adequately mediate between you and the Perfect holiness of the Father. I AM also the sacrifice. I alone have brought my own blood and placed it on the mercy seat as the perfect sacrifice. Now there is no more sacrifice for sin. No more penitence. No payments. No flagellations.
Trust in my finished work on the cross in your stead
Now you don’t need a human priest to come to me for you as in past ages. There are no agents (Mary, priest, Mohammad, prophet, Buddha, Ancestor, or Spirits) other than Jesus Christ through whom you can approach my heaven for mercy and help. I have made a way through the veil in the Temple so that you can come straight to the throne of God. My salvation is free to all who would humbly come and admit that they need me to save them from their sinful state. There is nothing more that you can do to satisfy me. Only believe my testimony and let me save you. No works, no prayers, no payment, no promise of commitment, only trust in my finished work on the cross in your stead. That is why I said “it is finished”. I did all the work for you to give you a right standing before the Father in me, only afterwards from then on, I will be the one to change you to be like me in daily practice and that by faith as well.
The Law cannot save
We must remember that the Law was perfect to show man what God is like. It was also given to show how sinful man was in comparison. The Law cannot save. It was made to bring us to a point of understanding our neediness of God’s mercy and forgiveness. Without such knowledge we will never come to God for help. Thus the whole sacrificial system was God’s way of bringing man back into fellowship with himself provided that they humble themselves and obey and follow the process which God ordained to come to him through the temple system.
Here in Hebrews we see that the entire Judaic Temple system was a precursor to Christ fulfilling the Old Testament Law, and coming as the great high priest bringing not the blood of animals but his own perfect blood to once and for all satisfy God’s righteous requirement on the behalf of anyone who would trust him for it. We will speak extensively on this in Ch 9.
was a priest who some believe was a theophany, or an appearance of the preincarnate Christ. This priest had not earthly heritage as we will see in Chapter 7 later, and is greater than the human lineage of the Aaronic priesthood. Only God can make Priests and especially in this order. Christ being in this order is better than any other mere human priest, prophet or king.
God tore the veil from top to bottom
The high priest in the Old Testament and the Gospels had the authority to enter the Holy of Holies through the veil but no mere high priest had the authority to tear the veil in the Temple. But because of Christ’s death, God tore the veil from top to bottom which separated us from him. Top to bottom; the significance is that He is showing everyone that there is now no more sacrifice needed to remove sin. However, the Jews sewed it right back up to keep their human position intact. Talk about a conspiracy theory.
No mere human could rise from the dead which shows everyone that God the Father accepted his sacrifice as sufficient. Now Jesus sits at the right hand of his Father, having finished the work of salvation. Jesus is our righteousness before a holy God. He acts as our advocate before the Father to answer all of the devil’s accusations against us. He exchanged our sinfulness and gave us His own righteousness and separated our sins from us as far as the east is from the west; no mere human or even religious priest could do that. He bought and paid the price for us so that all we can do is thank him and believe his testimony as written in his word.
We must fail
Bottom line: We must fail and know that we cannot please God in our own power. Eph 2:8,9 Titus 3:5 are perfect for you who think otherwise. Rom ch 7 tells us that in the flesh we do not have the wherewithal to even want to do good. God saves us when we admit we cannot save ourselves. He will bring situation after situation in our lives to bring us to that realization. And once we come to the place of trusting in his finished work on the cross; God overwhelms us with his mercy, grace and forgiveness; saving us and welcoming us into his family.
More to come,