Jeremiah 48-49 Hebrews 7
“Jesus is the kind of high priest we need. He is holy, sinless, pure, not influenced by sinners, and he is raised above the heavens. He is not like the other priests who had to offer sacrifices every day, first for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people. Christ offered his sacrifice only once and for all time when he offered himself.” (Hebrews 7:26-27 NCV)
In the argument that Jesus was the Eternal High Priest, the author of Hebrews had to overcome a valid objection. Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, not Levi which had been given the priesthood by God. The argument was clear: if Abraham could recognize Melchizedek’s priesthood before Levi was born, then there’s another priestly order and Jesus is part of that priestly order by virtue of his pure, holy, and sinless life. As such, He offered Himself as the sacrifice for sins which only needed to be done once. He still lives as our eternal price because of the Resurrection.
Why is the fact that Jesus is our Great High Priest important? Why do we emphasize that He paid for our sins once for all time when He died on the cross? Let me use a mundane example: You go to a restaurant and eat a nice meal. When you ask your waitress for the check, she tells you that someone paid for your meal and she hopes you enjoyed it. Would you argue? Would you call the manager and tell them that you still wanted to pay? Probably not. You would accept the gift joyfully. Jesus paid the price for all our sins on the cross. We hear that and rejoice. And then we try to find a way to pay for them ourselves by confession, acts of penance, or good works. We don’t need to pay again. The price was paid at the cross. In the restaurant example, we may decide to pay for someone else’s meal as an act of gratitude. That’s happened in coffee shops when the person pays for the coffee of the person behind them in line at the drive-thru. As Christians, we can’t pay the price for sins of other people, but we can point them to our Great High Priest who has paid that price and offers them forgiveness.
Lord, thank You for paying the penalty for my sins once and for all. Let me show my gratitude by showing others they way to experience Your love and grace.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.