May 5. High Priesthood of Christ Summarized

Heb. 8:1-13

At this point in his letter, the writer to the Hebrews summarized the High Priesthood of Christ. He depicted the tabernacle and the temple as earthly types of the true tabernacle, God’s spiritual kingdom erected by God and not by man.

It consisted of the outer court with the altar of burnt offering and a bronze laver; the holy place with the table of showbread, the golden lamp stand and the altar of incense and the Most Holy containing the Ark of the Covenant.

The outer court may be described as the world and as one passes by the altar of Christ’s sacrifice and is washed in baptism at the laver, he enters the holy place, the church. Inside the holy place, the lamp stand gives the light of God’s word, the Bible; one partakes of the showbread as the body of Christ and offers up his prayers at the altar of incense.

Christ has entered the Most Holy, heaven and is seated at the right hand of God carrying out His ministry of mediating a better covenant between God and man. At the judgment, faithful Christians will also enter the Most Holy to be with God forever.

The writer continued his explanation of the superiority of Christ to Moses by quoting a prophecy of Jeremiah which promised a new and better covenant to come. He stated, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.” The old covenant is obsolete and is superseded by the new.

Under the old covenant, man’s sins were remembered each year, but one of the promises of the new covenant allows complete forgiveness to those who obey.