I’ll admit at first, I thought it was a little strange to hear Jesus referred to as a high priest. For me, the term conjures up an image from something like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I don’t think I’ve ever met a high priest, except for some Mormon I sat next to on a plane one time (I think he told me he was a high priest, but then again it was pretty late at night) and it would be easy to dismiss the concept, except that biblically speaking it is like vitally important.
The writer of Hebrews in particular seems stuck on it.
“Therefore holy brothers you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of your confession…”
“After being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek…”
“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hnd of the throne of majesty in heaven…”
There are lots of great terms to describe the work of Jesus on our behalf…redeemer, King, teacher, you name it; but we’re not going to fully appreciate what He does for us unless we begin to understand what it means that He is our high priest.
Fortunately, the writer of Hebrews gets specific.
Check out chapter 5, verses 1-3.
1.) chosen by God
2.) who acts on behalf of the people
3.) to offer gifts and sacrifices for their sins
4.) and minister to those in need
At the risk of over-simplification, the High Priest was someone especially chosen to represent men to God, to offer sacrifices on their behalf. And so when we say that one of the reasons Jesus became man was to become our high priest, we are saying one of the reasons Jesus became man was so that He might represent us to God. Quote, to “come before God, to fulfill the law and offer himself up to him a sacrifice of reconciliation for our sins and by his intercession to continue to apply the purchase of his blood for whom He shed it.”
I guess if you think of yourself as someone really important that won’t mean much to you, but if you think of yourself as weak what a great comfort this thought will be to you.
You never come to God the Father alone as a Christian, you come through Jesus Christ. He is the one who offered the sacrifice on your behalf, and He is the one who ministers right now on your behalf. We can be confident that God knows and cares about our needs because Jesus is our high priest.