Lesson 24

The Epistle to the Hebrews

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

7:26 For such a high priest was fitting for us: holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 7:27 who doesn't need, like those high priests, to daily offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. For this he did once for all, when he offered up himself. 7:28 For the law appoints men as high priests who have weakness, but the word of the oath which came after the law appoints a Son forever who has been perfected.  

Today's Lesson  

Today's Scripture adds another of the ways in which Jesus and the covenant He initiated are superior to the Law of Moses. This epistle has already expressed the superiority of Jesus in terms of His everlasting life, in terms of His priesthood being established before that of the Levitical priest, and in terms of the oath that God swore when He established the priesthood of Melchizedek. To these ways are added that the priesthood of Christ is superior because Jesus is holy and guiltless.


It is fitting that Jesus is our high priest because Jesus is, "holy and guiltless." The Son is the radiance of the Father's glory and the image of His substance. The Son is holy, even as the Father is holy. Under the Mosaic Covenant the priest had to first give offerings for their own sin and for those of their family. This is exemplified by the preparations of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. "Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house." (Lev. 16.6)


But Jesus does not need to offer up sacrifices ever day for His own sin. Each writer of Scripture that addresses the life of Christ was unanimous in their assertion that Jesus of Nazareth lived a sinless life. They were insistent that the sacrifice for sin that He made was not for His own sin, but for the sins of the people. Jesus offered Himself once for sin and that sin was the sin of those that would place their faith in Him. By that one sacrifice He has cleansed all that will be saved. For this reason, there is no need for a further sacrifice for sin.


It is also written here that Jesus is "separated from sinners." Jesus ate and drank with publicans and prostitutes. The scribes and Pharisees confronted Jesus on several occasions for affiliating Himself too closely with sinners but Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God being available even to those that were considered hopelessly lost. So, in what way is Jesus "separated from sinners?"


Jesus is separated from sinners in the sense that He is different from all people who came before and who would come after Him. Only Jesus withstood the complete measure of human temptation without surrendering to it. Only Jesus was capable of laying down His life as a sacrifice for others because only Jesus lived an undefiled life. He was the lamb, pure and spotless, that God provided.


When Christ had made His sacrifice for sin, He sat down. From now on, there is no more sacrifice for sin. Can you believe that by that one sacrifice Jesus made atonement for every sin you will ever commit? Will you trust your life to the Lamb that God has given us?


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