We evangelical Christians don’t get the idea of a high priest. We nominally nod when we think of Jesus as our high priest, but we don’t really get it. I still don’t think I get it very well.
Other Christian denominations may have a better understanding. Those with popes and bishops have a hierarchy someone closer to God than themselves.
The high priest was the only way to God for Israel. The high priest was the only one who could make the sin offering, who could enter the most holy place, and meet with God. Yet this high priest had to go through cleansing rituals to make sure he was clean before he could enter. There he would make intercession for Israel.
That is what is amazing about Jesus, our high priest. Jesus was clean, He didn’t need ceremonial cleansing. He is our high priest. He stands in the throne room of God and intercedes for us. He claims us and calls us cleansed by His sacrifice. His permanent sacrifice on the cross paid the penalty once for all. He ushers us into the presence of God. That idea floors me and awes me and leaves my heart burning.
Hebrews 4:16 says:
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Through our high priest, Jesus, we can approach God’s throne with confidence. We don’t have to be afraid, because our high priest made a way for us. Look at what we are supposed to come confidently to God’s throne for: mercy and grace to help us in our need.
How often in our need do we ask for mercy and grace? Most often we ask for health, money, or things. Instead God wants us to confidently ask for mercy and grace. I don’t often know what form God’s mercy and grace will take, but I do know that His mercy and grace are worth more than financial gain or health. His plan is deeper and better and His mercy and grace are more than enough to help us in our need.
Jesus, our high priest…may we be in awe of You now and always.
What aspect of Jesus leaves you in awe?