Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant

Hebrews 8:1–13

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.     A “priest” is one who stands between people and God. Aaron, the brother of Moses, a Levite, was the first high priest appointed by God. The Law demanded that the high priest make a sacrifice, the shedding of blood, of an animal to atone for his own sin and then and only then could he make an atoning sacrifice for the people of Israel.

2.     The descendants of Aaron, and it is recorded that there were 83 of theses between the days of Aaron and the last high priest in 70 CE, which is the date of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

3.   In Jesus we have a high priest who is “seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven.” (“Majesty” is an indirect Semetic term for God.)

4.   Jesus alone, who as deity, is in the Holy of Holies in heaven, ever interceding for us.

5.   His sacrifice stands for all time and is the basis of a new covenant since the old covenant had been broken as it depended upon a priesthood that was not without sin.

6.   Indeed, a new covenant would be made and Jeremiah the prophet spoke of it in chapter 31 of his prophecy, verses 31–34, which the writer of Hebrews quotes.

7.   Even in Jeremiah’s day, the 6th century BCE, the old covenant was treated as obsolete, but he looks ahead to the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus the Messiah, which would never be obsolete.  

8.   John the Apostle summarized this great and eternal truth when he quoted Jesus as saying, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

      (John 14:6)

9.   We then have no need of any sort of human priest, or institution, to stand between us and the Father.

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