Jesus is Greater than the Priests
Priests have an interesting job, especially in the context of the ancient Hebrew people and the book of Hebrews. These people who were priests were what the Scripture calls “intercessors”. Priests, by biblical definition, go to God on the people’s behalf, and come to the people on God’s behalf, proclaiming God’s Word and sharing with the people what God says.
Priests stand in the gap.
There were many priests who did their job faithfully. They offered prayers and sacrifices. They led people in worship. They did a lot of church work.
But the one who can ultimately stand in the gap for us in Jesus.
Scripture and orthodox Christianity teaches us this. Jesus was fully God and fully human.
The Bible is very clear that Jesus was a human being. A flesh and blood human being. Like you and me, he lived and breathed, ate and slept. He got hungry and tired. He got discouraged and frustrated. He felt lonely and rejected. He faced temptation just like we did. Yet, the Scripture says, he did not sin.
He is also fully God. Sinless. Holy. With all of the power of the Godhead in his hand. And right now the resurrected Jesus sits at the right hand of God. And he is able to intercede for us, to stand with us. Christ is the one who knows what we go through.
The preacher says that when he was on earth that he was advocating for us. Praying for us. Interceding for us with the Father.
The preacher, the author of the book of Hebrews, says that he is doing the same thing for those who place their faith in him right now.
Our sin had created a gap between us and God. There was nothing we could do to bridge that gap. So Jesus came. As God in the flesh. Fully human and fully God Jesus lived a sinless life. Jesus died. And Jesus rose again in victory. In doing so he paid the price for my sin and your sin, and made a way for us to be in relationship with God if we will only place our faith in him.
The preacher also says that we can approach the throne of God with boldness in prayer. He says that because Jesus can be our intercessor, we can have the openness and courage to come to him with all our needs, and all our heartache, and everything that we are.
He is able to be the perfect intercessor because he is fully God and fully man, this is true.
Even more though, he is our sacrifice.
That is why we come to this table, with thanksgiving. Jesus saw what we needed before we even knew we need it ourselves. He laid down his life for us so that through his sacrifice he could break down the wall that separated us from God. He paid the price. He brought us from darkness into light.
We are nothing without our high priest, Jesus. But with Jesus, we have everything.
And so we come to this table. With somber recognition of his suffering, but also with great thankfulness.
Because when we say Jesus is greater than the priests, we know that Jesus is greater because he has overcome sin and death through the power of his blood.
Thanks be to God.