Considering the Names of Jesus: High Priest

By Nick Laninga

                       WE HAVE SUCH A HIGH PRIEST!

From the beginning of history man wanted or looked for a priest, a mediator to God. The Patriarch Job exclaimed, “There is no umpire between us who might lay his hand upon us both.” { Job 9:33 } This universal desire resulted in many cultures in a system or order of priests who men hoped would be able to mediate with God on their behalf. Priesthood reached its height in Judaism but it failed tragically and failed those who put their hope to it. It is only in Christ, the ideal High Priest, that this deep and hidden yearning of the human heart finds complete fulfillment.

Hebrews 5:12 sets out the necessary qualifications for a Jewish high Priest–{note the great essentials.} Fellowship with man. Linked by a tie of common humanity. Taken from among men. “We read, in no other way would he be able to have compassion” on those he was able to represent. Look at the words “deal gently with”—this expresses a gentle feeling toward the ignorant –not too lenient nor too severe. The essence of sympathy and compassion that is the true priesthood. However merely human qualities are not enough nor would they suffice. The authority had to be from God. “Appointed” He cannot be self-appointed. Hebrews 5:4 “No man takes this honor unto himself” His is a divine appointment. Does Christ satisfy the requirements? Yes He does. In order to help us He had to become part of our race, made in all things like unto His brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high Priest in things pertaining to God. Hebrews 2:17. He came not as king but as a workingman, in poverty and with cares, he knew popularity and rejection. He was taken from among men. God said, thou art my son, Hebrews 5:5, not self elected, but by God appointed.

Christ was morally and spiritually qualified who “ever liveth to make intercession for us. Hebrews 7:25-26. He conquered temptation and emerged sinless, exalted to God’s right hand.

As high Priest he is able to aid us in our weakness, in our human need not out mere pity, but in costly propitiation for our sins. Christ also sympathizes in our weakness, tempted yet without sin. NOTE he never sympathizes or condones with our sin, only with our weakness. He always condemns sin which incurs judgment. As our Advocate He keeps open the way of restoration of lost fellowship upon our repentance and confession.

Christ as priest has borne the penalty and judgment of our sins. He sympathizes with our weakness enters into our experiences tempted yet without sin. Christ is able to save those who come to God as He lives to make intercession for them.

Our high Priest is able to save us completely, there is no sin from which He cannot deliver. Jesus the same yesterday, today, forever. LOOK at Peter our omniscient Lord said—Simon, Simon. Satan hath desired to have you—but I have prayed for thee and so it is for us. Jesus claims justice for us because of His sacrifice on Calvary. God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. I John 1:9. Christ receives and presents our prayers to God.

Five bleeding wounds He bears, received on Calvary. They pour effectual prayers, they strongly plead for me. FORGIVE HIM, O FORGIVE THEY CRY. Nor let the ransomed sinner die.  Charles Wesley

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Christ Comes to Us to Be Our High Priest

“For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 2: 17-18

Priest: one who represents the people to God.  Often assumed to be a “better” person, held on a pedestal,  unapproachable, aloof.  Only later do we find they too, are sinners, broken , fallible, sometimes cold, hard, and insensitive.

Scripture tells us that Jesus IS our High Priest.  No assumptions here.  As God, Jesus is perfectly  Holy and Righteous, and able to represent His people to God the Father  face to face.

However, the God / Man Jesus came to earth as a helpless human baby.  Like us He lived and walked a human life.  He endured hunger (Lk 4:2), tiredness (Mt 8:24),  thirst (Jn 19:28), grief (Jn11:35), rejection (Jn 6:60), persecution (Mt 2:13), both mental and physical abuse (Jn 19:1-3),and temptation (Lk 4:1-13 & Heb 4:15) to become “like us in every way”, yet, without sin (Heb 4:15).

As our sinless High Priest, Jesus represents us before God, with tender love, care and understanding.   As God, HE Knows exactly how to approach His Father as our representative.  As one who has “been there”, HE Knows exactly what we need:  Forgiveness,  increased faith, healing, comfort, acceptance, understanding, boldness, insight and trust.

Trust in Him! and in the promises He has made:  “It is finished!” (Jn 19:30).  We have access to God directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus, who is EMMANUEL: God with us!
~Pam Herbert