Our Great High Priest
Today's Reading: Jeremiah 34-36; Hebrews 2
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:14-15
For the Jews, there was no higher office than that of the High Priest. The High Priest held a position of religious supremacy and honor. He was the one responsible for the cleansing of sins for the people on the Day of Atonement. On this holy day, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies. Through the acts passed down from Moses and Aaron (animal sacrifices, the sprinkling of blood, and prayers offered on behalf of the people), the High Priest would make atonement for their sins. In the book of Hebrews, we learn how Jesus Christ came to earth as the final High Priest. Not only was He the High Priest, but also He was also the Sacrifice. His death on the cross ended the need for the man-held position of High Priest, sacrifice and the Day of Atonement. Jesus took care of it all.
Not only was Jesus the High Priest, the Sacrifice and the Savior, but also He was still a person in flesh and blood. For us today, this point is so very important to grasp. Because Jesus was here on this earth in a human body, He understands everything we go through. Jesus experienced feelings, hurts, weaknesses and temptations, just as we do. He knows what it is to suffer, to hurt, to be rejected, ridiculed and mocked. Jesus got angry at the Pharisees, He cried over Lazarus and He showed great compassion to a prostitute. But, Jesus was God. He did not sin. He was the perfect, spotless Lamb—the ultimate and final Sacrifice. Why did Jesus go through all of this for us? Love. He loved us then. He loves us now. He has always loved us. He wants us to be with Him, now and forever. The only way to be with Jesus is to believe that He is the Son of God, the Son who came to earth as a Man, and who offered His life on our behalf as the final atonement for all sin.
Take time today to start reading the book of Hebrews. If parts of it seem hard to understand, pray for the Holy Spirit to open your minds to comprehend the Scriptures. Pray and meditate on those verses that stick out, or the ones that seem the hardest to grasp. If you will commit the time to the study of God's Word, you will grow closer to Jesus in more ways than you can imagine. You will see Him as One who understands you better than anyone else and who loves you more than anyone else can.
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