The priests ministered in an earthly tabernacle, set up by men and subject to destruction by men. But Christ ministers in an eternal tabernacle, which is secure.
Scripture: Hebrews 8:1-5
- These five verses of Hebrews 8 are transitional. They look back at Christ’s priesthood, and look ahead at the better covenant, Christ’s sacrificial death, and the true tabernacle.
- The main point is this: we have a High Priest who is seated at the right hand of God.
- Jesus is ascended; He is the High Priest of heaven.
- Because Jesus is our High Priest ascended to heaven, we have: 1) eternal redemption and purification from sin, 2) eternal security, and 3) eternal blessing.
- Exodus 28 describes Aaron’s priestly garments and duties. The names of the twelve tribes were engraved on the stones on his chest. Aaron bore the judgment against the twelve tribes. He was the representative of the people.
- Our names are engraved on Christ’s hands (Isaiah 49:16). Christ is our High Priest representative.
- Christ has borne our judgment; there is no condemnation against us (Romans 8:1, 34).
- Christ’s priestly ministry is eternal, permanent. His sacrifice was once-for-all.
- The Levitical priesthood was temporal. The priests had to make sacrifices regularly, and there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.
- But Christ is able to save to the uttermost, because He is a priest forever (Heb. 7:23-25).
- The priests ministered in an earthly tabernacle, set up by men and subject to destruction by men. But Christ ministers in an eternal tabernacle, which is secure.
- Our redemption is secure. Our lives are hidden in Christ with God (Col. 3; cf. Eph. 2).
- On Ascension Sunday, we acknowledge both Christ’s ascension and our own.
- We need to be reverent in our rejoicing and worship. We don’t approach worship and the throne of grace at our convenience.
- Aaron and the priests also represented God to the people, and would pronounce God’s blessing on the people (Num. 6:24-27).
- As our eternal High Priest, Jesus gives us God’s blessing. He sends us the Holy Spirit as an assurance and sign of this blessing.
- Christ blesses us with the Spirit and thus puts His name upon us.
- As Christians, we lay down our lives for Christ through repentance and baptism, and bear His name to the world.
- We are priests one to another. We can pray the priestly blessing (Num. 6:24-26) over each other.
- What do we have on account of our ascended High Priest?
- What are the differences between the Levitical priesthood and Christ’s priesthood?
- How do we know that our redemption is secure?
- How do we know that God blesses us and keeps us?
- Do I approach God and His worship too casually? How should we as Christians balance our rejoicing with reverence when we come before the throne of grace?
- How can we bear Christ’s name to the world this week?