“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Because He successfully completed the rigors of His earthly ministry as God’s apostle (Hebrews 3:1), Jesus returned to heaven for His high priestly ministry. He was received in heaven as a great conqueror (Daniel 7:13-14) and began serving as our GREAT high priest upon His heavenly coronation.
These three verses contain five distinctive facts which adequately undergird the truth that Jesus is our GREAT high priest.
He is GREAT because of the location of His ministry. He has passed through the created heavens and ministers in the presence of God in heaven’s Holy of Holies.
He is GREAT because of His deity. He is the Son of God. His conception in the womb of a virgin initiated it (Luke 1:31-35). His miracles demonstrated it (John 20:30-31). His resurrection declared it (Romans 1:4).
He is GREAT because of His sinless humanity. He completely identified with humanity to the point that He was tempted in every way we are, but He did not sin.
He is GREAT because of His sympathy. Living as a human on this planet is an experience Jesus has in common with us. He is not ignorant or impervious to the challenges and trials every human has.
He is GREAT because of His extraordinary access to God. Because of Jesus, humans can come to God’s throne of grace and receive mercy and help during their weakest, most vulnerable moments.
We have a GREAT high priest.