“where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever…” (Heb
This passage certainly would have had more meaning to the first century Jews who had become Christians than to most of us today. We who are 21st century Gentiles don’t really comprehend in it fullness the role of the Old Testament Jewish priest. We don’t recognize or utilize priests in the Christian Church today.
The high priest, among many other duties, would once a year go behind that curtain that separated mankind from the presence of God. On Yom Kippur he alone entered the Holy of Holies, to make atonement for his house and for the people (Lev. 16). He alone could offer the sacrifices for the sins of the priests, or of the people, or of himself.
He would enter the holy of holies to burn incense and sprinkle sacrificial animal blood to expiate his own sins and those of the people of Israel. Of course, if God chose accept this offering and sacrifice then the judgment of God’s people would be rolled back another year.
Jesus Christ was appointed as our high priest. He went behind the curtain into the very presence of God and offered a blood sacrifice to God on our behalf. What made this different was the fact that the blood that was offered to appease God was His very own blood which testified to his sacrificial death.
Thanks be unto God for accepting this blood, this sacrifice! Not only did God accept it then, he continues to accept this sacrifice, and he will forever. This becomes our rock-solid hope the writer of Hebrews tell us (Chapter 6) – it is an anchor for our soul! The contrast between Aaron and Melchizedek is that Christ is a priest forever, never loosing his viability as my high priest before God!
I need to constantly be reminded of this truth in order not to grow dull in my patient waiting upon the return of Christ to fully redeem us. What great sin of mine to take this for granted.