Jesus The Great High Priest
Updated: Mar 19
Part 7, Maintaining The Course of Your Faith, Hebrews 4:14-16
In Hebrews 4:14, Jesus is called the great high priest because He is, distinct, unique and infinitely greater than any other priest. He is the great high priest because there is no other priest who could invite us to God’s throne of grace and at the same guarantee that we will obtain complete forgiveness and grace to sustain our faith in time of our needs. There are several more distinctives or uniqueness of Jesus’ high priesthood that I want to share with you this morning.
1. His priesthood is greater than the Old Covenant priesthood.
“14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
• Aaron was the first High Priest of Israel.
• But Aaron sinned and failed God several times.
• In comparison, Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, from which, the promised Messiah would come.
• Jesus is greater than Aaron because He has not sinned and had never failed God.
2. His offering completed the Old Testament requirement.
“14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest...”
• The old testament sacrificial offerings were temporary coverings for sins.
• The old covenant priest’ sacrificial offerings were never ending.
• In comparison, Jesus offered himself, and not animals.
• Jesus’ atoning sacrifice is final and completed God’s requirement for the forgiveness of sins.
3. He forever intercedes for us in His exalted position.
“14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven.”
• Jesus entered the heavenly sanctuary to forever intercede for His people.
• Jesus ascended to heaven in His glorified body unlike the high priests of the old covenant.
• Jesus sits at the right hand of God, (Heb.1:3) unlike the Old Testament priests who could not even sit inside the Holy of Holies of the earthly sanctuary.
4. He can sympathize with the weak.
“15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. “16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
• Jesus is concerned about us. He is concerned when we are in trouble. He is concerned when we are tempted to turn away from Him.
• He can ease our sufferings. He can provide what we need. He can answer our longings.
• He can feel what we feel if these feelings are not sinful. He can rejoice with you and mourn with you. He is fully human in every way except sin.
• So, when you read from the Bible that Jesus can sympathize with us, it means, as the exalted High Priest, Jesus is forever concerned about the welfare of your faith.