Links Daily Devotional

More Than a Great High Priest

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:11-14, ESV)

Just like learning a new shot in golf, many passages in Scripture require more than on go-around before they sink in. Today’s beautiful passages is like this because we need to climb into the sandals of a First Century Jew in order for its meaning to come to life. When we do that, we catch much more of what the Old Testament was preparing and predicting in its previews of the Messiah.

God loved you so very much that he would slaughter his perfect, spotless Son on the wooden cross so that you and I might walk free.What was the role of the high priest in the Old Testament? Leviticus helps answer this for us (read Leviticus 16 if you’re able). However, for a quick definition, all you have to do is flip back a few pages to Hebrews 5:1: “For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.” The high priests right into Jesus’ time were mediators between God and man. Aaron was the first appointed high priest in Scripture; his chief responsibility was to make atonement sacrifices for the sins of the Israelites. Every high priest who followed him did the same.

All this changed with the work of the Messiah, who was Jesus. After his death and resurrection, a high priest like Aaron is no longer needed. The work of atonement was completely and utterly fulfilled in Christ alone. This is huge! Jesus is now fully responsible for atoning for the sins of his people. It is one of his main jobs to pay the penalty of sin by the shedding of blood.

But, this is where the role of the One True High Priest goes even further (and where the early church Jews would have been astonished and amazed). Jesus is not only our Great High Priest who makes atonement for our sins; he is the atonement of our sins. Jesus is not only the better Aaron but also the better lamb, goat, or calf.

The High Priest, Christ our Savior, shed his very own blood on behalf of his people. No longer is the blood of animals necessary to take away the sins of God’s people; the very blood of his Son, Jesus, is the only method powerful enough to forgive and atone for sins.

Brothers and sisters, this is good news. God loved you so very much that he would slaughter his perfect, spotless Son on the wooden cross so that you and I might walk free. This is the grace and love we talk about. If you are in Christ, then your sins are completely forgiven. Jesus paid that price for you! Fully!

The High Priest himself became the sacrificial lamb on our behalf. What love! How beautiful! Oh, I pray this will never leave the forefront of our minds. Be encouraged this very day of our hope and salvation in our Great High Priest, our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Rosson Anderson
March 2, 2016
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