The Old Testament describes three key offices, or roles, that are essential to the religious and social life of God’s people, all of which foreshadowed Jesus Christ. One of these was the priest, and specifically the High Priest. So how does the High Priest point us to Jesus? Let’s explore how Jesus is the fulfillment of this role.
The High Priest played a key role in the religious system of the Israelites. He was the intercessor between God and His people, acting as their representative before God. The priest offered sacrifices and gifts on behalf of the people to reconcile them to God.
As our Great High Priest, Jesus doesn’t just fulfill the priestly role in the Jewish religious system, He actually supersedes it with a greater, eternal priesthood. Jesus accomplishes the work of reconciling us to God. He is the One whose perfect righteousness is presented to the Father for our justification. And right now, Jesus is the One who intercedes for us before the Father (Heb. 7:25; 9:24) and prays for us to remain faithful (Luke 22:31-32; John 17).
Jesus is the kind of priest we need, as Hebrews says. One who is holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. And because Jesus is this kind of priest, we can approach him with boldness, knowing that we will receive mercy and grace from the one who lives to intercede for us.