Jesus Christ, Our Great High Priest and Mediator of the New Covenant

David Norczyk
5 min readFeb 12, 2024

The writer of Hebrews addresses his Jewish-Christian audience with a Christ-centered sermon/letter. Jesus Christ is explained by the author, especially in our Lord’s roles as high priest and mediator. The types and shadows of the Old Testament are fulfilled in the Person and work of the Son of God, who is Christ the Lord (Heb 1:8; 4:14; 6:6; 7:3; 10:29).

The old dispensation made nothing perfect (Heb 7:19), as it pertains to solving the separation of God’s chosen people from Yahweh, their God. The end result of Jesus’ work in these two roles is a permanent solution to remnant Israel’s sin problem (Rom 9:27; 11:5–6), by way of perfect sacrifice with a permanent effect.

Sin is the universal problem of the offspring of Adam (Rom 3:23; 6:23), the first man, who disobeyed God and poisoned his posterity — bequeathing original sin to his entire posterity (Ps 51:5; Rom 5:12). A solution to the enmity between God and Israel (Rom 5:9–10; Eph 2:15–16), a nation distinguished by God from the rest of the nations (Dt 7:7), was established by God giving them the covenant and the Law (Gen 12, 15, 17; Ex 20; Dt 5). These helped Israel to see the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man, including them.

To put away sin (Heb 1:3; 9:26), permanently, required everything be upgraded to a new and better covenant that would have an eternal effect upon the relationship between God and His chosen people (Jer 31:31; Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; Heb 9:15; 12:24). In this, a permanent state of forgiveness produces an inseparable union between Yahweh and His holy nation of royal priests positioned in Christ (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7; Col 1:13; 1 Pet 2:9).

In order to mediate the better covenant and all its blessed benefits (Eph 1:3), Jesus served as Israel’s great high priest according to the priestly order of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18; Ps 110:4–6; Heb 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:1, 10–11, 15, 17). His sacrificial offering of Himself (Eph 5:2), as the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29) was executed on the cross of Calvary (Heb 7:27; 9:14, 25). This one-time offering of His body was accompanied by the imputed sins of His elect people from every nation and epoch (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 10:5, 10).

The blood of Jesus is the currency that paid the ransom price that cancelled our debt of sin and set the captives free (Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45; 1 Tim 2:6). As slaves to sin (Rom 6:6), God’s elect became beneficiaries of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus that reconciled us to God (Rom 5:10–11; 2 Cor 5:18–20). The forgiveness of sins (Mt 26:28; Rom 4:7; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1 Jn 1:9; 2:12), in their entirety, positions the adopted child of God in a permanent state of no condemnation (Rom 8:1, 15, 23; Col 2:14).

Upon His death on the cursed tree (Gal 3:13), having become a curse for us, Jesus bore our sins in His body and made purification for sins (Is 53:12; Heb 1:3; 1 Pet 2:24). He who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21); and He absorbed the wrath of God in our place of punishment (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). His precious blood washes us clean from guilt and shame (1 Jn 2:28), even as the penalty of sin is paid-in-full (1 Pet 1:19).

The blood of the new covenant is the redemption price paid in the purchase of His bride, His church, the Israel of God (Acts 20:28; Gal 6:16; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:12). Christ’s church and her many members belong to Christ (1 Cor 3:23; Gal 3:29; 5:24), as manifested by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9, 11), the very gift of God who grants faith to the saints beginning at regeneration (Jn 3:1–8; Eph 1:13; 1 Pet 1:3).

The work of our great high priest (Heb 4:14), in completing His substitutionary sacrifice (Heb 10:12, 26), brought His own precious blood into the true tabernacle of heaven (Acts 20:28; Heb 8:2; 9:12; 13:12). This temple, pitched by God, received the Lamb and His sacrifice between the crucifixion and the resurrection. In the holiest place of heaven, our great high priest presented His own precious blood — an atonement made — and also a covenant inaugurated.

The blood of the new and eternal covenant (Heb 13:20), presented upon the death of the testator (Heb 9:16), established our surety for the terms of the agreement (Heb 7:22). The promises of the new covenant are all “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Cor 1:20). God’s Word is made more sure by our faithful and merciful high priest (Heb 2:17; 2 Pet 1:19); and His perfect works done for us (Is 26:12; Phil 2:12–13); and applied to us by the Holy Spirit.

An eternal covenant, cut with a better sacrifice, secures an eternal inheritance by way of eternal redemption (Heb 9:12, 15). Jesus gives God’s chosen people from every nation an eternal salvation (Heb 5:9), as the fulfillment of a promise to be our God and to make a people for His own possession (Jer 31:33; Titus 1:2; 1 Jn 2:25). Christ’s church, the holy nation, the Israel of God are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17), seated in the heavens (Eph 2:6), preparing a place for us (Jn 14:2–3).

Our inheritance is reserved for us in heaven (1 Jn 1:4). This is eternal life in Christ (Rom 6:23), who is at the right hand of Majesty (Eph 1:20; Heb 1:3; 8:1), at the center of the throne of God (Rev 7:17), in the better city of a better country (Heb 11:16) — the new Jerusalem, heavenly Zion, the city of God (Heb 12:22; Rev 3:12; 21:2, 10).

For now, our great high priest and mediator between us and God, is making intercession for us as our advocate with the Father (Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25; 1 Jn 2:1). Our only plea is the blood of Christ shed for us, sprinkled upon us (Heb 9:19; 1 Pet 1:2). It is the Spirit of Christ who applies all the blessings and benefits of Christ to the elect, redeemed people of God. The Word of truth, the very promise of God, produces and increases our Christian faith and hope (Rom 10:17; Col 1:27; 1 Tim 1:1). We rejoice in so great a salvation (Ps 21:1; Is 61:10; Zech 9:9; Rev 19:1)!

Included in this blessed hope, which never disappoints the true believer, is the promise of Jesus coming again to complete our salvation at the resurrection to life (Jn 5:28–29; 1 Cor 15). Those who were transferred into Christ and His kingdom (Col 1:13), and who died in Christ (Col 3:3), will be resurrected by Christ at His second coming (1 Thess 4:13–5:11). Together with all the saints, we will be raised to life from death. Our glorified souls will be conjoined with our new, glorified bodies issued in the physical resurrection of the dead to life (Rom 8:30).

The perfect work of our better high priest has secured for all time and eternity the eternal covenant of grace. Eternal life, and far beyond all we can think or imagine that entails, will manifest just as He said. May the perfections of the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5), the man Christ Jesus, our eternal high priest and King of glory (Ps 24), bring Him praise, forever. Amen.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

February 12, 2024

Hebrews 8–10

--

--

David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher