“For such a High Priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens, Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice—first for his own sins and then for the people’s—for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.”
Truly, He is one-of-a-kind and His Sacrifice is once-and-for-all.
Once a year. Twice within the Holy of Holies. That’s what the Aaronic High Priest did on the annual Day of Atonement, carrying a bowl of blood to sprinkle on and about the pure-gold Mercy Seat atop the gold-wrapped ark of the covenant. Around the hem of his garment were bells interspersed among sewn pomegranates. And, around his ankle was a rope by which the other priests could pull him out if he died because of God’s Holiness.
But, he did this year-after-year-after-year.
And, when one high priest would die, another one would be anointed and appointed.
Then, Jesus came and changed everything.
There’s no doubt He was “different.” That’s one reason the earthly high priest, Pharisees, scribes, Levites, etc., hated Him. He “spoke with authority” and they didn’t (Mt. 7:29). He operated within the “spirit of the Law” and they didn’t (II Cor. 3:6, 17). He truly loved the people and they didn’t (Mt. 10:36).
Yes, Jesus was “different.”
And, aren’t you glad He is? Glory!!
Although we can assume that most of the high priests were conscientious in their duties, they were still sinners just like us. No preacher, priest, missionary, Bible teacher, etc., who’s ever lived was/is/will be without sin. That’s why Jesus’ priestly qualifications are so impressive:
“Holy”—truly set apart for God’s use, sanctified, a “fit vessel” (II Tim. 2:21); “Harmless” (Grk. “akakos”—“innocent, unsuspecting, above reproach, unoffensive, etc.”)—the true Epitome and Example of what it means to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Mt. 10:16) and “meek-and-lowly in heart” (Mt. 5:5; 11:29); “Undefiled” (Grk. “amiantos”—“unsoiled, pure, unsullied, untainted, uncontaminated, etc.”)—the Perfect, Sinless Sacrifice, “Who knew no sin, but was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21); “Separate from sinners”—only with regards to His sinlessness and relationship to God the Father; truly “one-of-a-kind.”
That day at Calvary when His Blood sprinkled upon and around the base of the new Mercy Seat (the Cross), Jesus said “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). Soon thereafter the veil in the Temple would be torn in half from the top (God’s side) to the bottom (man’s side), revealing the Holy of Holies (Mt. 27:51). This signified that the way to God was now opened to “whosoever will” (Rom. 10:9-10, 13). And, it also set the stage for God’s Final High Priest to enter the Heavenly Holy of Holies, where He now intercedes for us (Heb. 7:24-25). Hallelujah!! Aren’t you glad ours is a “once-and-for-all” High Priest? Why not pause right now and thank Him?
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 17, 2011