For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3 Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
We continue in the Book of Hebrews to know that Jesus is the Superior One. Superior to angels, prophets, Moses, and now the priesthood of the Old Testament including Aaron, the high priest. Can you imagine what shock and righteous indignation some of the Jews was experiencing that Jesus would be declared to be greater than Moses, Aaron and the Old Covenant? First, Moses and now you want us to believe that Jesus is greater than the Levitical Priesthood and Aaron?
In the Old Testament, it was the role of the high priest to represent God before man and man before God. For many of the Jews Hebrews 4:14, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” needed a little more explanation.
As I have stated before, I am no theologian or Christian apologetist but I have read that the Levitical priesthood had 24 different ranks of priests. The writer of Hebrews will use Hebrews 5:1 through 10:39 to give that explanation so the Jews [and us] will receive the Truth of Jesus being the Holy, Righteous, Pure and Prefect Mediator between God and man. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6a).”
The Holy Spirit begins with helping us to understand that the Old Testament priest were men who although chosen and called by God were sinners in need of mediation themselves. The priests had to make sacrifice for their own sin before they could offer sacrifices on the behalf of the people.
I believe these Scriptures to be so very important for us…we take so much for granted including the access we enjoy to God. Just pause and give it thought…just suppose you were not able to call out to the Father right now and have the blessed assurance that He heard your cry, that you had to take your cause to another man who would take it to the Lord for you after he makes sacrtifice for his own sin…how alarming that would be!
Our access to the Father was paid for by the blood of Jesus and may the Lord forgive us for taking His amazing grace and gift for granted, for not spending time to meditate upon the perfect sacrifice given by our Loving High Priest, for not bowing before the Living God with a heart overflowing with love and thanks, for choosing gods of our own making instead of the One True and Living God who has chosen us and paid our sin debt so we could enter in the Presence of the Holy God!
Isn’t it amazing grace that Jesus would be both the sacrifice and the Mediator!?! Oh, what a Savior!