“There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, His priesthood lasts forever. Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:23-25 NLT
“When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order. But when Christ came as High Priest of the good things that are now already here, He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”Hebrews 9:6-15 NIV
“For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But He has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:24-26 NIV
As I was worshiping the Lord this morning, and reflecting on His kindness towards me, I heard myself saying, thank You that I don’t have to wait an entire year to be forgiven but that You ever live to daily intercede for me. I stopped and repeated it. “He ever lives to be my Mediator between Abba and myself.” This is why we may boldly approach His Throne. Jesus makes us presentable and acceptable to the Father through His daily intercession.
Under the old covenant man’s sins was superficially covered by inferior blood, the blood of spotless animals, but the sins remained. It wasn’t washed away, their hearts weren’t changed, the broken fellowship between God and creation continued to exist because no permanent solution was found. Judgment and justice was swift.(Hebrews 10:28) Moses, though he spoke face to face with God, and Aaron the high priest, were merely a foreshadowing of Christ, and imperfect. As the mediator between Israel and God, they too had to be sprinkled with animal blood every year. (Lev 16) The high priest, Aaron also had to make atonement for his own sins. An imperfect but temporary solution to a permanent problem. Man’s sinfulness versus a Holy God.
Enter Jesus, hallelujah! Our Great High Priest and Mediator. He was the only One who could atone for our sins once and for all. What earthly priests, appointed by God, had to do every year, Jesus did once. His blood wasn’t sprinkled on us, His blood washed and cleansed us inside and out. He became God’s spotless Lamb. When He told Mary not to cling to Him after His resurrection, it wasn’t a brush off. (John 20:17) He hadn’t yet done what the earthly priest were required to do, with His blood. Under the old covenant, the high priest would bring the sin or atonement offering before the Lord. (Lev. 16) Jesus having offered Himself as the atonement for our sins, must now present His blood and Himself before His Father. Jesus completed what Aaron could not.
“Jesus said, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I Am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ ” John 20:17 NIV
Have you noticed a shift in the Words of Jesus? Throughout the gospels Jesus spoke a lot about “His Father,” now because of reconciliation, He tells Mary, to say “My Father and your Father, My God and your God.” (Hebrews 2:11-13) We’re now accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6 KJV
Now Leviticus 16 makes sense. John is the only gospel that mentions what took place when Mary saw the resurrected Christ. Jesus did what Aaron couldn’t do in the earthly replication of the holiest of all, He brought His own spotless sinless blood, and presented it before the Father as well as His body, the scapegoat, the body that took all our sins , sicknesses and diseases, past, present and future, presented Himself now glorified through what He suffered. Every animal was inspected before being accepted for use as atonement in Moses’ day. Jesus Christ was now ascended to the Father to be examined and declared Highly exalted, and given a Name above every other name ( Hebrews 1:4). Now Hebrews 9:24-26 makes perfect sense. As a matter of fact Hebrews 9 and Leviticus 16 and John 20 ties in beautifully. I hope you’ll take the time to read them.
Because Jesus ascended into heaven and placed His blood on the mercy seat as the once and for all sacrifice for sins, we can now touch Him and be with Him for all eternity. Now Hebrews 7:23-25 also makes perfect sense. All earthly priest have died and had to be replaced, but now there’s no need to replicate the heavenly tabernacle, or offer the blood of spotless animals. As the writer of Hebrews puts it; “For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another,” Hebrews 8:7 NIV and the writer continues;
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body you prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.” Hebrews 10:1-6 NIV
Jesus removed the reminder of sin by offering up His life, as a permanent solution and payment for the sin debt held against us. To those who receive Him, He ever lives to make intercession not sacrifices, for us.
“He is the kind of High Priest we need because He is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. Unlike those other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when He offered Himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins.” Hebrews 7:26-27 NLT
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit