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Hebrews 8:1-5

(Summary Regarding the Great High Priest)

The purpose of a priest is to reconcile unworthy men to the holy God. In the previous chapters we were given reasons why the priesthood of Jesus Christ is infinitely superior to the priesthood which was under the Mosaic covenant. God now summarizes the greatness of Jesus Christ, the High Priest:

1. Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on 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 pitched, and not man.

Jesus Christ is God who was manifested in the flesh and who is currently sitting at the right hand of God the Father. Because of this, he is the perfect reconciler: he can have compassion upon us because he experienced what we experience, and he has instant and continual access to the Father. Just as the earthly high priests provided a picture of the heavenly High Priest, so the earthly tabernacle was merely a picture of the true tabernacle.

3. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.

4. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

The Levitical priesthood provides a picture of the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Worldly sacrifices and gifts were offered by the earthly priests, Christ gave himself as a gift and offered himself as a sacrifice. There is both a comparison and a contrast here.

5. Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

The Levitical priesthood and the tabernacle had no power in themselves to reconcile man to God but were designed by God to be examples and shadows of that which can reconcile us to God.

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