Hebrews 7: 20 – 28
Every once a year the entire Nation of Israel come before God as required by the Law to obtain mercy and for the atonement of their sins. This was done in the Temple by the High Priest representing the Nation. A ram without blemish (physical disabilities) was killed and the blood was poured into a basin (bowl in todays parlance) and the idea was for the High Priest to take the bowl of blood through the Outer court, through the Holy Place and finally he gets to the Holy of Holies where he then pours the blood on the mercy seat.
The moment the High Priest was sighted by the crowd gathered outside the Outer Court, it was taken as a sign that their sins were forgiven by God. This they observed once a year and the High Priest will not offer any sacrifice of atonement until the following year. The High priest was appointed by God and became the mediator between God and His people. So, to the Jews, the office of the High Priest was a highly revered position, and could not be taken for granted especially because there could only be one High Priest representing the entire nation at any given time.
There is a difference between the Priesthood of Jesus and that of the Old Testament in the person of Aaron. In the Old Testament, they had an ultimate disqualification for the office and that was DEATH. So Aaron died and the mantle of the office was moved on to Eleazar. None of the High Priests in the Old Testament could serve indefinitely; it was a temporal position for them but the Priesthood of Jesus was a permanent one. God made an OATH, emphasizing that the Priesthood of Jesus would be eternal and permanent.
The idea of this act in the Old Testament was to make Israel and her citizens become aware of what He (God) was going to do in the future. Just as they were represented by Aaron the High Priest, so also the World would one day be represented by Jesus who would be a better High Priest to those who will respond positively to the message of the Gospel. Jesus is therefore called the mediator of a better covenant, speaking better promises. The Jews by this exposition were reminded of the limitations of the Old Covenant and probably were left with the choice of moving on to the New Covenant as the writer of this great book made this presentation.
The High Priest was already a sinner who had to make some purification rites for himself first before he was able to present the people before God. Contrary to this, Jesus was Holy and blameless; He could not sin neither was Sin found in Him. Apostle Paul described Him as having no Sin and became Sin for US so that in accepting Him we can become the righteousness of God in Him. He was also described as having been sent by God in the likeness of Sinful flesh so that He might destroy Sin in its entirety. By this single act, Jesus is able to save ONCE AND FOREVER those who will come to God through Him, given the highest place in Heaven.
This was a call for the unbelieving Jews to make some adjustments because the office of the High Priest and a High Priest who would represent them before God as they celebrated the day of ATONEMENT was no more, plus the Temple at that time was already destroyed. There was no more Holiest of All; there was no more Mercy Seat. All they could do now was leave the chasing of the shadow because the real figure or object has appeared.
In conclusion, the office of the High Priest in the Old Testament was one that was ordained by God; elected and empowered by God and more so from a specific tribe – Levi. The High Priest was a man who stood before the people representing them before God as they clamored for their sins to be covered. The people wanted the mercy of God for that particular year and guess what God had no choice but to have mercy on them (everyone inclusive as long as you were a citizen of that Nation).
That singular act of the High Priest representing the people before God (which was temporal) in the Old Testament, is the same picture being painted here – that singular act of Jesus representing Christians before God (but this time, not on a temporal basis but on a permanent one). This is what the Bible calls INTERCESSION. Jesus became our INTERCESSOR before God – interceding on our behalf forever.
No man can take this place; no man can intercede for you. Your INTERCESSOR is Jesus; the one who took your place on the Cross. The only one who can intercede for you is the one who will swap his/her place for you. Only Jesus has and can do this. Hallelujah! The Spirit also helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groaning’s too deep for words. The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the Will of God.
“There is a theology that teaches that when a man believes in Jesus Christ he is pardoned up to a point, but in the future he may get into arrears again, and if he does not see to it he may again be accused, and summoned before the judgment-seat. THIS IS NOT OUR THEOLOGY. For when God once forgives, he forgives for ever; he never plays fast and loose, and he never brings to mind again that of which he hath said, “I will remember it no more.” O my brother, if thou art pardoned once thou art forgiven once for all, irreversible acquittals God bestows; “for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Immutability is stamped upon the patent of our pardon. Until God can change or lie, he never will bring to mind again the sin of that man whom he hath pardoned.” – C.H Spurgeon.
Keep it right here and be refreshed!