Jesus, Our High Priest – Article 3

His Ministry

This is third in a series of article about Jesus and His role in our lives as our high priest. This article is going to address how Jesus ministers to us and God.

As we’ve discussed in previous articles, the main function of a priest is a go-between, a mediator. We often look at how Jesus ministers to us, but He also ministers for us. In His role as mediator, He ministers to us and also to His Father.

Priestly ministry to people

All the way back in Genesis 14, we see the very first person called a priest in the Bible: Melchizedek. This priest came to Abraham (called Abram at the time) after he had won a battle to rescue his nephew.

Genesis 14:18-20 “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

We see Melchizedek ministered to Abraham in three ways:

  1. He provided for his needs (“…brought forth bread and wine…”).
  2. He blessed him (“And he blessed him…”).
  3. He led him in worship to God (“And blessed be the most high God…”).

This is the main ministry in the scripture of all priests toward the people. They are called to show God’s gracious character to people in need, to bless them as God wished to bless them, and lead them in worshipping God who delivers them.

Jesus’s ministry to us

When Jesus ministers to us, this is His exact ministry.

First, He is compassionate, meeting our needs. He called us to pray for our daily bread. While on earth, He healed the sick and provided for the poor. We’ve already looked at His empathetic role, which aligns very well with this piece of His ministry. This takes His empathetic role a step further, ministering to us based on His ability to understand and feel our needs and weaknesses.

Second, He blesses us:

Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

His blessings are in the name of His Father. God desires to give us good things. Again, this aligns well with His empathetic role and takes it into action. This is a prayer of protection, of an open way for God’s good things to flow to us. It’s a prayer for our happiness and joy in God and all His good will toward us. This refers to His role of interceder and advocate, which we’ll discuss in a future article.

Third, he leads us to worship God. In fact, we could not come to God without His death on the cross to pay for our sin. It is His life, death, and resurrection which most vividly communicate to us His Father’s grace and love. Because of this, Jesus leads us in worship to the God who delivers us.

Priestly ministry to God

The priest’s role did not just stop at ministering to people. In the law of Moses, God provided clear and specific instructions on how His people were to worship Him. Much of this worship required sacrifices that the people would bring, but some of it was done in the tabernacle where only the priests could go. In the tabernacle, the priests would attend the various articles such as the candlestick, the table of shewbread, and the altar of incense.

Even still, one task was reserved specifically for the high priest. He would minister on the day of atonement by entering the holy of holies once a year and sprinkling the blood of a lamb on the ark of the covenant.

What we see is that God called His people to minister to Him in specific ways, but then prohibited some of them from doing so. Why?

Jesus’s ministry to God

We saw in our first article in this series how the tabernacle and its way of worship were shadows of the true things. The priest and high priests of the Old Testament system were pictures, types of the true priests and high priest to come.

Hebrews 8:1-2 “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”

Jesus is God’s high priest. We are like both the people and the priests of the Old Testament. There are some things that God allows us to do in serving Him, but some things we can’t do at all. Jesus ministers for us.

Just like the people couldn’t go into the tabernacle and relied on the priests to serve God, so we are unable to complete the righteousness that God has called us to do. We can’t do enough good to fulfill God’s righteous requirements. In our place, Jesus completed God’s work. He satisfies God’s righteous requirements. It’s His ministry toward God, not our works or failures, by which God is satisfied.

The Bible also calls those of us who have trusted in Jesus a “royal priesthood.” We are now able to serve God in ways we couldn’t before He saved us. But even now, we can’t atone for our own sins. Thank God for Jesus, our high priest and intercessor, who has already entered the holy of holies in heaven and paid for our sins! He went where we could not and paid what we could never pay! Even today He intercedes before His Father to continually allow His once-for-all sacrifice to leave the way to God open and clear for all who come to Jesus.

Pictured rightly

Jesus’s ministry is just like His role as mediator: it works toward us and God.

To us, Jesus meets our needs from His compassion, blesses us, and leads us to worship God.

To God, Jesus fulfills the requirements of righteous service and has paid for our sins.

There is no work needed, no more price to pay, to appease God’s will. Jesus did the work. Jesus paid the price. He cares for us, blesses us, and leads us.

Praise God for Jesus, our ministering high priest!

<– Previous – Article 2 – Jesus, Our High Priest – His Empathy


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