Our Better High Priest

Hebrews 4:14-5:10

Jesus, the perfect intercessor

  • As a man, Jesus understands our temptations.
  • As God, Jesus knows our every need.
  • As our High Priest, He offered Himself to God as a sacrifice.

Why should we “hold fast our profession”?

  • We have a High Priest in Heaven (4).
  • Our High Priest understands and empathizes with our needs and struggles (15).

On what basis can we “come boldly unto the throne of grace”?

  • Jesus can “be touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (15).
  • Jesus was “tempted like as we are” (15).

Until Jesus came in the flesh, both His comforts and His commands to His people could have been rejected as disconnected and idealistic. Until Jesus felt the power of the devil personally, His promises of victory could have been dismissed as hollow. But He came as a bonafide man!

He can be “touched with the feeling of our infirmities…[and] was in all points tempted like as we” (Hebrews 4:15). The temptings He suffered make Him better “able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). We serve the only God “Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way…” (Hebrews 5:2).

Furthermore, I infer from Hebrews 2:17 that His incarnation makes Him the “merciful and faithful high priest” we could not have had otherwise.

Jesus understands (me as well as my problems) because He is Creator. He also understands because He was once human. So…He really does understand!

For Christ is...entered...into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us (Hebrews 9:24)

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16).

Did Jesus have to give up some of His deity to humanize Himself? Not at all! However, He did willingly restrict the expression of some aspects of His deity in order that He might inhabit a normal human body. For example, though God neither slumbers nor sleeps, Jesus in the flesh slept. That does not disprove His deity, but rather, it illustrates one way in which He limited Himself that He might be fully human.

Now, get this: Jesus was as human as you! Even the devil recognized that; otherwise, he would not have bothered tempting the Lord. Jesus willingly clothed Himself with a body so human the devil could appeal to His senses. Imagine! Never before in eternity or in time had the devil had an opportunity of this magnitude: he could appeal to God through His own flesh. That to me constitutes just one proof of Jesus’ love for me. Jesus deliberately took a weak human body so that He might experience fully the temptations the devil metes out to me. But not just that, Jesus set about to prove the possibility of defeating Satan in his own territory.

Jesus won! That means we can win also! Jesus was victorious over the devil; therefore, we can obtain His mercy and grace to do the same!

Adapted from Jesus, Our Great High Priest

Some ways in which Jesus’ priesthood differs from the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7)

  • backed by the power of an endless life (16)
  • everlasting (17)
  • makes perfect (19)
  • gives better hope and better intimacy with God (19)
  • unchangeable (24)
  • saves totally, thoroughly, and completely (25)
  • offers continual intercession for us (25)
  • absolutely pure and holy (26)
  • one single sacrifice (27)
  • no need to sacrifice for Himself (27)
  • sacrificed Himself (27)
  • no infirmity in Jesus (28)
  • consecrated for eternity (28)

Additional Reading

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