Hebrews 7:23-38

In the Old Testament, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest had to offer a sacrifice for himself and for the sins of his family before he could offer a sacrifice on behalf of the nation of Israel. His sins needed to be atoned for before he could atone for the sins of the people. The sacrificial system was set in place by God in order that He might dwell among them. How could a holy God live among a sinful people? Sacrifice.

The high priest would offer the sacrifice and take the blood into the Most Holy Place and sprinkle it upon the top of the Ark of the Covenant, the mercy seat. Without the covering of the blood, he would die.  God is just in that it is impossible for the purity of His holiness to be contaminated by the uncleanliness of sin. He is loving in that He made a way possible for man to even be able to enter His presence. It was not the actions of the high priest that gave him access to the presence of God behind the curtain, it was the blood.

The author of Hebrews has gone to great lengths to describe Jesus as our perfect High Priest. Just as a high priest was a mediator between man and God, so Jesus opened the way to God because He was the perfect High Priest.

Jesus is unlike other high priests in that He did not have to offer a sacrifice for Himself first. He is holy, blameless, pure, set apart, and exalted above the Heavens. The previous priests couldn’t save their own lives, let alone those who came to them. Jesus never had to offer a sacrifice on behalf of His own sin. He WAS the sacrifice.

There were two necessary things to perform a sacrifice unto the Lord: A priest and a sacrifice. Not only was Jesus our perfect High Priest, He was the perfect Sacrifice. He was both the High Priest and the Offering. He offered Himself. And when He offered Himself, He tore the curtain in front of the Most Holy Place as a symbol that through His sacrifice, through His blood, we all can now come into the Most Holy Place of the presence of God. If the high priest in Old Testament times needed to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice in the Most Holy Place before he could enter, how much more do we need the blood of Jesus to have God’s presence living and dwelling inside of us?

Jesus Is

This is why the author of Hebrews says Jesus is able to save COMPLETELY those who come to God through Him. Notice he says, “Those who come to God THROUGH Jesus.” We can only come to God through the work of the cross. There is no other way. If we try to know God through any other way but on the basis of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we will fail.

It would then serve us well to know Jesus better, to have a deeper understanding of who the Bible says He is, and to ask the Holy Spirit to give us a deeper revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. If Jesus alone is the One who can open the way back to God for men, it would behoove us to spend time getting to know Him.

Hebrews 7:26 paints a beautiful picture of Jesus.

He is:

1. Holy. To be holy is to have the greatest of all goodness. To be the standard of good.

2. Blameless. To be blameless is to be so cleansed of evil, there is nothing but good.

3. Pure. To be pure is to be stainless, free from any of the blemishes which might make it impossible for Him to draw near to God. The spotless One is fit to enter God’s presence.

4. Different from Sinners. Jesus underwent all man’s temptations, conquered them all and emerged without sin.

5. Exalted above the Heavens. In his humanity, Jesus was perfectly blameless, pure and holy. In His divinity, He was exalted to the right hand of God.

Men know not the gold which lies in the mine of Christ Jesus, or surely they would dig in it night and day. They have not yet discovered the pearl of great price, or they would have sold their all to buy the field wherein it lies. -Charles Spurgeon