Daily vs. Once

For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever” (Hebrews 7:26-28).

Yom Kippur—the annual Day of Atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar—was the only time the Old Testament High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies (i.e., the place in the tabernacle/temple where the presence of God was). In preparation for this most solemn of occasions, the High Priest had to have spent the year offering up a daily animal sacrifice for his own sins and the sins of the people. Then, when the Day of Atonement arrived, he had to offer a sin offering for himself (Leviticus 16:6) before he could offer a sin offering for all the people (Leviticus 16:15). This was necessary, because he was not holy, harmless, and undefiled.

Not so with the New Testament’s High Priest. Because He was holy, harmless, and undefiled (see yesterday’s post), His work at Calvary—on the Universal Day of Atonement—only required the offering up of Himself as the Lamb of God once for all time. (In the Old Testament, it took two different goats—the sin offering [Leviticus 16:15-16] and the scapegoat [Leviticus 16:21-22]—to represent everything Christ did!)

Unlike the Old Testament High Priests who were imperfect and lacking in flawless spiritual strength, the Son—spoken to in the Father’s oath made in Psalm 110:4—by His perfect credentials and impeccable character has been made and will continue forever to be the new covenant’s only High Priest.

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Author: jchowning

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