Key Verse: They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. – Hebrews 8:5
The words of Hebrews 8:5 are a reference to Exodus 25:40 which says, “See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” The writer of Hebrews wants us to understand that as God instructed Moses in regards to the design, furnishings, and activities in relation to the Old Testament tabernacle, they were all shadows point to a heavenly plan.
Consequently. when God gave Moses a pattern for the priesthood and the sacrificial system, he wasn’t just making something for the Israelites but was providing a glimpse into His eternal plans.
In the Old Testament, we read of good high priests and not so good high priests. The writer of Hebrews, however, introduces to Jesus as our perfect high priest. Unlike the high priest of old, He is not an ordinary, weak, sinful, or even mortal. Neither does He ministering in an earthly tabernacle with its limitations. Rather, Jesus “serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.” (Hebrews 8:2).
Jesus is better High Priest because
- He is sinless (Hebrews 7:26). (Every other priest sinner just like us.)
- He didn’t nee to make sacrifices for himself, but became a sacrifice in himself for us. (Hebrews 7:27) The other high priests need to sort themselves out first.
- Jesus sacrifice was once and for all. (Hebrews 7:27-28) The other high priest need to make daily, weekly and yearly sacrifices.
Hebrews 7:24-25 says “because Jesus lives for ever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”
For the Jewish people, the high priest was outside of their circle. For us today, it would be like trying to speak personally to the Pope or the Archbishop. For most of us, it would be impossible to ask them to personally pray for our need. But Jesus says, “I am the High Priest who lives to intercede for you”. How amazing it is, that the perfect, sinless, great High priest makes Himself available for each for us, and furthermore desires to save us, pray for us and have a relationship with us.