In part one of this series, we learned that this biblical book’s author was anonymous (though the apostle Paul or his associates Barnabas or Apollo have been suggested). The author wrote this epistle to a group of Jewish Christians who were wobbling in their faith, because Christ had not returned since His ascension sixty years prior. In this epistle, the author is inspired by the Holy Spirit to reveal to them just how vital the Son of God is to their salvation by teaching them in great detail who Christ is, what He’s done, and about the promise of what He’s still going to do.
Jesus and Moses:
The author contrasts Jesus with Moses – the greatest biblical prophet in the eyes of the Jews: …consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confessed [as ours when we embraced the Christian faith]. [See how] faithful He was to Him Who appointed Him [Apostle and High Priest], as Moses was also faithful to the whole house [of God].
Yet Jesus has been considered worthy of much greater honor and glory than Moses just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house [itself]. Heb. 3:1 – 3. AMP
And Moses certainly was faithful in the administration of all God’s house [but it was only] as a ministering servant. [In his entire ministry he was but] a testimony to the things which were to be spoken [the revelations to be given afterward in Christ.]
But Christ (the Messiah) was faithful over His [own Father’s] house as a Son and a master of it. And it is we who are [now members] of this house, if we hold fast and firm to the end of our joyful and exultant confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ]. Heb. 3:5, 6. AMP
So, the offices of apostle and high priest are combined in Christ as opposed to Moses, who was the apostle, but his brother Aaron was the high priest. Jesus, the apostle, pleads God’s case to us, and Jesus the high priest, pleads our case to God.
We see too that Moses served the house of God (the tabernacle in his time), whereas Jesus personifies the Spiritual house of God. As part of his servitude, one of Moses’ purposes on earth was to preach about the greater importance of the coming of Christ: The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst. Him you shall hear… Dt. 18:15 NKJV
Next, the author pleads with his audience to exercise endurance in maintaining their faith in Jesus:
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion in the day of trial in the wilderness where your fathers put Me to the test…They shall not enter my rest.” Heb. 3:7 – 9 & 11. NKJV
Let us be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Heb. 4:11 – 13. NKJV
The author was referring to the behavior of the Jews who were traveling with Moses in the exodus from Egypt to the ‘promised land.’ The Holy Spirit is telling us that the Jews who rebelled against Moses (i.e. had no faith in God) did not get to enter into God’s ‘rest.’ (Heaven)
Thus, all followers of Christ are being called to persist in faithful obedience to the word of God and to hold tight to God’s promises (accomplished through Jesus) for their future.
Jesus the Most High Priest:
Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him]. Heb. 4:14 AMP
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. 4:15, 16. NKJV
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Heb. 6:19, 20. ESV
While on earth, Jesus was tempted by every form of unrighteousness Satan had to offer; yet He, and only He, out of all of history, remained sinless. Therefore, He can both empathize with the suffering that you endure when you are tempted to sin, and show you the way to resist those temptations.
The author goes on to use the architecture of the temple of Solomon (something the Jews would be well versed in), to illustrate to them how Christ, through His death and resurrection, covers those who follow Him with righteousness – so that they may gain entrance into the ‘Holy of Holies,’ i.e. into the presence of God Himself:
In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all who obey Him the source of salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Heb. 5:7 – 10. NASB
God appointed Jesus to be the High Priest over His children. Recall that Melchizedek was the high priest and king over Salem during the time that God helped Abraham deliver his nephew Lot and his family from captivity. (Gen. ch. 14)
Jesus’ heavenly office is like Melchizedek’s in that He too holds the office of both King and High Priest. However, God tells us that Christ’s priesthood far surpasses any who have ever worn that mantle:
…our Lord sprang from the tribe of Judah, and Moses mentioned nothing about priests in connection with that tribe. And this becomes plainly evident when another Priest arises Who bears the likeness of Melchizedek, Who has been constituted a Priest, not on the basis of a bodily legal requirement [an externally imposed command concerning His physical ancestry], but on the basis of the power of an endless and indestructible Life. Heb. 7:14 – 16. AMP
So, Jesus did not inherit His priesthood due to any Levitical type of lineage. He was set apart from the history of the office of the priest to be set above and superior to the earthly station; and Jesus’ priesthood is eternal. How does that help us?
For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. Heb. 7:18, 19. ESV
This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. Heb. 7:22 ESV
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Heb. 7:25 NKJV
…Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Heb. 8:6, 7. ESV
When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Heb. 8:13 NASB
God evolved the Mosaic Law into His eternal salvation model – the gospel of Christ, which brings with it a much greater significance and authority:
…Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Heb. 9:11 – 15. NKJV
For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us… Heb. 9:24 NKJV
…at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Heb. 9:26 NASB
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sins, but to save those eagerly waiting for him. Heb. 9:27, 28. ESV
…it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Heb. 10:4 NKJV
And in accordance with this will [of God], we have been made holy (consecrated and sanctified) through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (the anointed One). Heb. 10:10 AMP
…this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God… Heb. 10:12 NKJV
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Heb. 10:14 NKJV
Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Heb. 10:18 NASB
Jesus went into the heavenly Most Holy Place, i.e. the throne room of God, for you. He rendered His own blood from His only and last sacrifice to bring you to sanctification. (Did you notice those words in the second to the last scripture above which says ‘perfected forever’? That’s what Jesus has done for you.)
It was the moment that Christ decimated the power of sin for all time. If you want that sin power over you to be decimated, you only need to confess and repent, accept Christ as your Savior, and do your best to walk as He walked. And when you come up short, Jesus has got your back.
Did you notice too that at the end of time, if you are a follower of Jesus, He’s coming to save you and nothing will stand in His way? (John 10:28, 29.)
Talk about love…
Goodnight and God Bless.