“Now there have been many of those priests,
since death prevented them from continuing in office;
but because Jesus lives for ever,
he has a permanent priesthood”
High Priest is one of Jesus many titles and descriptions of His ministry.
The Levitical priests of Israel were appointed in terms of the Law. Their appointment was temporary as they would in due course die. One would be selected as the high priest. He would enter the Most Holy Place once a year on the Day of Atonement to place the blood of the sacrifice on the Ark of the Covenant as God had prescribed.
In addition, and because of the sinful character of both priests and people, there were a number of sacrifices prescribed by the Law. Some of these had to be repeated daily. They were temporary expedients because of the ongoing sin. But they were also a continual reminder that only the sacrifice of blood could deal with sin, and this would involve more than just the death of an animal.
“But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:3-4)
Jesus was appointed apart from the Law. He lives forever and so His appointment is permanent and eternal.
Like the Levitical priests He was ordained to offer a sacrifice to God – to satisfy the provisions of the Law. However, where their sacrifices had to be repeated daily because of their own ongoing sinfulness, His sacrifice of Himself for our sins was a one, perfect and sufficient sacrifice. It gained eternal redemption and salvation for those who put their faith and trust in Him.
“He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:25-26)
Jesus is the fulfilment of the priesthood in every way. His life was sinless, His sacrificial death complete and His intercession on our behalf eternal. He is forever in the Holy Presence of God Himself.
Thank You Lord Jesus for being both our sacrifice and our high priest – holding us before the Lord God Almighty and enabling us to come into His presence. Amen.