Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 8

A simpler explanation of Jesusí work as priest

Hebrews 8:1-2

The author of Hebrews wanted his readers to remember what he had taught them. So he gave this simpler explanation.

We need a chief priest who is perfect in every way (Hebrews 7:26). And he must offer the perfect sacrifice, so that God will forgive our evil deeds (Hebrews 7:27). (A sacrifice means a gift that God considers valuable.) This has already happened, because Jesus Christ is our chief priest. And the sacrifice that he offered was his own death.

Jesus did not serve as priest in the temple (Godís house) that was on this earth. Instead, he serves at the holy place that is in heaven. That is the real house of God that God established. It is the place where he can live with his people. The author of Hebrews calls that place the Ďtentí. It will not remain in the same place always. In the future, it will come down onto the new earth. God will always live with his people there (Revelation 21:3).

When God the Father accepted Jesusí sacrifice, something astonishing happened. Jesus sat down. But no priest ever sat down in the holy rooms of the temple in Jerusalem. There were no chairs for the priests in the temple. Priests only ever entered to carry out a particular task. They remained in that building only while they did that task. Then they left at once.

Even the chief priest did not have a permanent place in Godís house on this earth. But it is different for Godís Son, our chief priest, in heaven. Psalm 110:4 appoints Jesus to be our priest. And in the same Psalm, God invites him to sit down (Psalm 110:1). He did that when his sacrifice was complete (Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 10:12). That shows that God the Father has accepted Jesusí sacrifice. Jesus sits on the right side of the Father. That is, he sits in the most important place in heaven.

Next part: What did Jesus offer? (Hebrews 8:3)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.