Our great High Priest
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. Hebrews 4:14 NLT
From the text, the writer of Hebrews is providing an encouragement to the readers by telling them the high priestly ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He predicated this role by mentioning Jesus’ ascension to heaven, “we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God.” The disciples had this wonderful experience when they saw Jesus ascending to heaven. “‘Men of Galilee,” they said, ‘why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!’” (Acts 1:11). When this high priestly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ is properly understood, this will provide Christians encouragement that will strengthen them facing times of crisis. The image of His ascension points to the fact that Jesus has fulfilled God’s promise of redemption by shedding His blood at the cross. The high priests in the Old Testament will go to the holy of holies to offer sacrifice by sprinkling the blood of the lamb on the mercy-seat symbolizing atonement for the sins of the people. He does this once a year to what is referred to as the Day of Atonement. But the Levitical high priest needs to offer first sacrifice for himself to atone for his sin before he offers on behalf of the people. This is in contrast to what Jesus did, our great high priest, sacrificing His blood once and for all and His sacrifice was perfect. “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:18-19). With this in mind, the writer of Hebrews now calls us to “hold firmly to what we believe.” This confession we have is what will sustain us and will help us get through the hard times. Let us declare publicly that Jesus is our High Priest. He was sent so that He will procure the salvation that we need. Embrace and declare our belief that Jesus Christ our High Priest is our Lord and Savior.