While Jesus lived on earth, he respected the work of Israelís priests (Mark 1:44; Luke 17:14). He never entered the inner parts of the temple (Godís house in Jerusalem), which were only for the priests. He never tried to carry out the work of a priest there.
And there was no reason for him to act as a priest. There were already priests who offered peopleís gifts at the temple in Jerusalem. God does not do anything that is in vain or without a proper purpose. He did not appoint his Son, Jesus, to serve as a priest on this earth.
We did not need Jesus to act as our priest on earth. He is our priest in heaven, in the holiest place. It is there that he offered his own blood to God the Father (Hebrews 9:24). It is there that he prays for us (Hebrews 7:25). That is where we need our great chief priest to be. And that is where Jesus is (Hebrews 8:1).
The gifts that Israelís priests offered were animals, birds, and grain. The priests examined each gift carefully, to check that nothing was wrong with it. God deserves the best gifts that this world has to offer. Israelís priests were giving gifts from this world. But this world, and the things in it, cannot last always. Like the system of priests that offered its gifts, this world will have an end.
Now, God has appointed Jesus to be our priest in heaven. Because of Jesusí work as priest, God has established a new kind of relationship with his people (Hebrews 8:8). That relationship will never end. It will last always. And we can have that relationship because of the precious gift that Jesus offered to God the Father. That gift was his own blood (Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 13:20).
Next part: The tabernacle (Hebrews 8:5)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.