A Moral and Logical Necessity

For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore, it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle…” (Hebrews 8:3-5).

Given God’s expectation of every priest (see yesterday’s blog), it is a moral and logical necessity for Jesus to have something to offer.

Because He lived and died under the Law of Moses (Galatians 4:4), He could not acceptably offer any gift or sacrifice at the temple in Jerusalem; He would have sinned. As a member of the royal tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:13-14), Jesus would have been guilty of presumption had He—like Uzziah had (2 Chronicles 26:16-23)—attempted to serve as a Levitical priest.

Two significant truths arise out of the High Priesthood of Christ and God’s expectations of His priests:

Morally-speaking, for Jesus to function as a High Priest, there had to be a change of covenants. What had been legislated through Moses was not negotiable with God. He is no respecter of persons, not even when the person under consideration is His own Son! Therefore, for Jesus to not be an immoral High Priest, the covenant with “the copy and shadow of heavenly things” had to be removed.

Logically-speaking, the superiority of Jesus to the Old Testament’s High Priests would provide a valid rationale for Him to serve in a sanctuary which is superior to the physical ones constructed at Mount Sinai and Jerusalem. An “excellent ministry” wherein He is the “Mediator of a better covenant which was established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6) logically necessitates a better sanctuary. Therefore, Jesus serves as High Priest in “the true (i.e., the real, eternal) tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Hebrews 8:2).

Most assuredly, “it is necessary”!

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Author: jchowning

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