This is the first of a series of articles about Jesus and His role in our lives as our high priest. This article is going to address Christ’s role as mediator toward us and God. This will help set the stage as we learn about His role as high priest going forward.
In the Old Testament when God saved the Jewish people from slavery to the Egyptians, He told Moses how the people should worship Him. This worship involved sacrifices, holidays, washings, rituals, and work in God’s holy tabernacle. God declared that only a certain group of people could perform the most holy functions in the tabernacle area.
God called this special group of people who could work in the tabernacle the priests. The priestly function, above anything else, was to act as a go-between, also called a mediator. They represented the people before God, and they represented God before the people.
There was one priest that was above the rest. God called him the high priest. The high priest had all the normal duties of the regular priests but were also responsible for some unique functions. If the regular priests functioned as mediators, the high priest was the true and greatest mediator.
What do we learn from the fact that God established the priests? After all, when God sent Moses to Pharoah to tell him to let the children of Israel go, it was so they could serve the Lord in the wilderness (Exodus 7:16). When they enter the wilderness, they’re told only one small group of them is allowed to do the normal worship of God. Why?
We learn that we need a mediator. God didn’t arbitrarily give us a go-between because He didn’t want to deal with us anymore. This isn’t God’s way of getting a secretary that tells us His schedule is always booked. We must have someone to help us get to God.
Since the very garden of Eden when the world, the cosmos, was plunged into the effects of sin, we were separated from God’s presence. And the reason for this separation is very clear: sin. God is holy, set apart from sin. If we sinners wish to come to Him, we need a go-between. We need help.
Shadows of the true
A lot of what we’ll discuss about Jesus as our high priest comes from the book of Hebrews. The author of Hebrews explains in detail how Jesus has become our high priest. God has declared that Jesus has fulfilled the requirements of the Old Testament system of laws for worship. He also declared that those laws and systems were a shadow, a type, of the true worship of God.
Hebrews 9:24 “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” [bold added] What we learn is that God wants to learn about how He created the role of the priests to teach us about how Jesus works for us today as our high priest.
A true Mediator
The first thing we see is that Jesus is our mediator.
1 Timothy 2:5“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” [bold added]
Hebrews 8:6 “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” [bold added]
Hebrews 9:15 “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” [bold added]
Jesus Christ serves us by being our go-between before God. He also represents God to us.
Luke 14:7 “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”
Jesus has made the way clear for us to approach God. In His duty as high priest, we have direct access to God’s holy throne, and we have access to His word.