Hebrews 8:1–6 (NKJV)

A new priestly order has been established through Christ. He is a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. He has no beginning or end, no father or mother, and offers sacrifices before and after the establishment of the law. Jesus has made a way for each of us through His own blood sacrifice, therefore abolishing the need for the sacrifice of bulls and goats. This passage explains His priesthood even more fully.

1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

Hebrews 8:1-2

The main point of the new order is that Jesus’ priesthood is not of the earth, but of the heavens. Man did what he could, incomplete and temporary, but Jesus’ work is eternal and complete. The high priest on earth could only go into God’s presence once a year to offer the atonement for mankind’s sins. Christ dwells at the right hand of God, offering intercession always. He is the Minister of the sanctuary and true tabernacle of God, erected by the Lord and not men. What man could do in an earthly temple, Jesus does in a heavenly tabernacle, above and beyond anything we could imagine. Jesus’ blood is on the altar, and our sins may be forgiven because of His great priesthood.

3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Hebrews 8:3-6

Everything Jesus does in the heavens is better than what man could do on earth. This seems like a simplistic statement: of course Jesus’ work is better! He is God. But the comparison is the issue, here. High priests on earth are appointed. Their job is to offer gifts and sacrifices to God. What does Jesus have to offer? He offers His own sacrifice. He would not be a priest on earth, for He did not belong to the tribe of Levi. He would not have offered gifts in the earthly temple, because of His lineage. Moses was given the earthly model of the sacrificial system, and it sufficed for the time it was meant. However, Jesus became the Mediator of a better covenant, “which was established on better promises. Man could not provide eternal forgiveness or grace. His offer of forgiveness was for the moment and for the sin directly before him. Jesus, however, provided a blood sacrifice that would be sufficient for all sins that man or woman would ever commit. Although Jesus would not have been a priest on earth, He supersedes the earthly priesthood and provides a much better way!

While every individual should constantly call upon God for forgiveness of daily sins, Jesus does not need to be crucified again and again every time someone sins in order for their forgiveness to be afforded. No, Jesus’ sacrifice is efficacious for eternity. We must simply believe in this better promise of a better covenant brought about by Jesus’ more excellent ministry. With man as a mediator, sinners can get by one day at a time on the sacrifice for that day. With Jesus as the Mediator, man can know that sins are forgiven because Jesus made atonement once for all on Calvary. He is the Great High Priest, the Spotless Sacrifice, the Mediator of the Great New Covenant of Grace!

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