Thursday Hebrews: Jesus – Once for All (v. 7:26-28)

[26] For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. [27] He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. [28] For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.  (Hebrews 7:26-28 ESV)

The writer of Hebrews has spent a lot of time talking about priests and what they do and why one type is better than another.  As we have rolled through this discussion week after week, we may have needed to remind ourselves regularly as to why this is such a big deal.   To help summarize, here’s what was written a couple of weeks ago in our study:

But for the early audience of this letter, likely a congregation filled with Hebrew people, that statement may have caused confusion. For you see, they were used to the customs and traditions of the Levitical priesthood. So for these people who were relatively new to the Christian faith – and who were being pulled away from centuries of customs and traditions – it was a very big deal for this change in priesthoods to be explained correctly.

But you know what gives an even better explanation?  The Scriptures themselves.  And as we finish up chapter seven, the last paragraph of this chapter gives a great summary of our need for a High Priest and why this High Priest is better than any other version.

[26] For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. – Be careful with the word “fitting.”  This doesn’t mean we deserved such a wonderful high priest like “it was fitting that I had a cake for my birthday.”  Perhaps a better way to understand “fitting” is to think if it like “being necessary.”  For example: “It was fitting that Joe went to jail after the crime he committed.”  Jesus was and is “innocent, unstained, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens.”  This speaks to His deity.  This reminds us that He isn’t like us, even though He is fully man and came to Earth to save us.  This was His status before He descended to us, it was His status while He was with us, and it’s His status now.  This is “fitting” for us because these are the qualifications and characteristics of Someone who can save us to the uttermost.

[27] He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. – If you want to point out THE difference between Jesus as a priest versus others, this is it.  Any other priest – no matter the religion, will have to make a sacrifice for his own sins and then for those of the people…and this will need to be done repeatedly.  Jesus did this once for all.  He came and lived for us once.  He came and died for us once.  He was resurrected for us once.  Jesus did His duty perfectly.  And because of His perfection and because of His victory over death, there is no need to do it all again and again and again.

[28] For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. – In any job we do or in any way we serve, we do so in our weakness.  This is the way the Levitical priests were called to serve and how they served: “in their weakness.”  But by God’s oath, He appoints a priest in a different way and He appoints a different type of priest.  By His word, He made Jesus our High Priest.  He serves continually because He lives forever.  He saves to the uttermost because He is perfect and holy and all-powerful.

Jesus’ work was done once for all and was done to the uttermost.  This work as High Priest is done continually and will be done forever.

Amen and amen.

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