Under the old covenant, the High Priest was the only man who could represent his people to God. But this high priest himself was a sinner and he had to confess his own sins and the sins of the people, sacrificing the animals every year to receive temporary atonement. This priesthood was called the Aaronic priesthood instituted with Aaron. But it was a temporary priesthood because the law could not forgive anyone their sins or make anyone righteous:
Hebrews 7 “18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”
Hebrews 10 “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
The High priests of the old covenant were sinners themselves and they died. So then the sacrifices had to be repeated as long as the high priests died due to their own sins. But they never received total forgiveness by this imperfect priesthood- and that’s why they repeated the sacrifices annually.
But Jesus Christ is the True High Priest who came to make a BETTER and NEW COVENANT:
Hebrews 7 “He became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. 23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.“
Jesus Christ did not sin and therefore He died for our sins. He took our sins in His body and then He was raised from the dead to live FOREVER and therefore He saves everyone who believes in Him. Our forgiveness is permanent because Jesus lives forever!
It is ALL about the Priesthood! Our salvation is completely dependent on the priesthood! Under the Law, their sins could not be forgiven because their High Priest himself was a sinner who had to repeatedly offer animal sacrifices. They had to repeat them every year because their sins were never taken away with each sacrifice. The sacrifices were actually a reminder of their sins!
But Jesus Christ is the perfect High Priest, the Son of God who died and then rose from the dead and entered heaven to sit at God’s right hand AFTER purifying of us all sin. Therefore His death has forgiven us of ALL sin. There is no more sin to be forgiven and that’s why Jesus will not die again!
Hebrews 1 “3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
Hebrews 10 ” 8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.“
Hebrews 10 “11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.“
Under the old covenant, the priests had to constantly offer sacrifices, doing their work for 1500 years because their sins were not forgiven – they had to “stand” doing their work year after year because the work was never finished – sins were not forgiven!
But Jesus Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross was the PERFECT sacrifice that has forgiven all our sin and made us perfect once for all – that is why He SAT DOWN because there is no more work for Him to do – He has made us PERFECT forever!
There is no more sin to be forgiven!
Hebrews 10 ” “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” 18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”
In this New Covenant, God promises to never judge our sins because it was all judged on the cross! There is no more sacrifice because we are perfectly forgiven forever!
We can now come to God our Father as believers in Christ, without fear but be empowered to love one another in faith.
Hebrews 10 ““19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Jesus will come again to judge the world, but for the believer we expect salvation!
Hebrews 9 ” 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
God will not judge the believer because He has judged our sins on the cross so that He has made us righteous in Christ!!
2nd Corinthians 5 “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
We have been forgiven all sins because the law no longer condemns us – it was nailed to the cross! We were dead in sin but He made us alive forgiving us ALL sin!
Colossians 1 “13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
Romans 8 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”
Romans 4 “God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
It is so simple – Jesus Christ is our High Priest and representative before God.
He died for all our sins. We died with Him on the cross.
He rose from the dead in righteousness. We were made righteous in His resurrection!
We are righteous and forgiven because Jesus died and rose from the dead! Not due to what we did but only because Jesus FINISHED the work!
Adam’s sin brought death – he was the high priest of the old creation.
But Christ’s death forgave our sins – He is the high priest of the new creation!
By Christ’s resurrection, God shows we are righteous – His obedience made us righteous!
Romans 5 ” 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand”
We died with Christ on the cross and He was resurrected to live in us! It is all Jesus and not us! It is all His love for us and not our works! We died on the cross and it is now Jesus who lives in us! This means that we are not sinners but we are righteous forever! As Jesus is righteous, so are we! Our flesh died on the cross and it is Jesus who is our true identity! We are in Christ and not in our sins!
Galatians 2 ” 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Ephesians 2 “4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’
It is all about what Jesus did for us! We did nothing! He did everything!
We were dead in sin but He died with us and He made us alive and seated us with Him in heavenly places. We are seated and represented by our High Priest Jesus in heaven! God sees us perfect and righteous because we are in Christ and represented only by Him! God does not see us sinners because Jesus removed our sins but He sees us righteous because we are in Christ forever!
Even the good works in a believer are done by Jesus living in us through the Holy Spirit who enables us to love one another by faith in Christ!
Hebrews 10 “15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
Jesus is our great High Priest who has given us eternal redemption and salvation because He has taken our sins away! We have a perfect and immortal High Priest who represents us before God our Father!
Hebrews 9 “11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption“
25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.“
Jesus took away our sin and made us eternally righteous!
Daniel 9:24 “to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness,”
Under the Old Covenant, the priests were born of men and died. But Jesus is the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek FOREVER.
Hebrews 5 ” 5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” 6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Hebrews 7 “First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever……26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”
Melchizedek means king of righteousness and peace.
Jesus is our High Priest who died for us to give us His righteousness and great peace in knowing that our sins are forgiven.
Jesus DID EVERYTHING!
– Jesus is the Son of God who came as a man and He never sinned. He was 100% perfect.
– Jesus died on the cross for our sins, forgiving all of our sins!
– He was buried in the tomb for 3 days. Our sins were buried deep in the tomb/grave!
– He was raised from the dead to make us righteous!
What exactly can we DO to save ourselves? Nothing.
– We can never live a 100% sinless life.
– We cannot die for anyone’s sins
– We can never raise ourselves from the dead.
What did Jesus do? EVERYTHING.
That’s why He said it is FINISHED!
So what can we do? SIMPLY BELIEVE!
We are saved by grace simply through believing in Jesus Christ, not in works that any man may boast.
After we are saved, we are free to do good works ordained by God, without fear or condemnation or pressure but with great joy!