(Image copyright Terry Winter, used with permission. See his profile on Flickr)
Hebrews 9 gives us a description of the High Priesthood of Yeshua. Today we remember greatly the Cross of Calvary. Today I am posting this message on Good Friday.
What has been uncomfortable for me today has been the meditation where I sense I have been drawn to the actual suffering of Yeshua, up and including the Cross of Calvary. I have heard sounds in my imagination of the punishments laid on Him. For me it is difficult for my humanity to understand and embrace the concept that an innocent suffered such a cruel death, in my place. The sounds of the whipping, the sounds of the nails being thrust through flesh, the crown of thorns. All for one finality that the Blood of Yeshua should be spilt and poured forth. This precious commodity making the difference.
In our two dimensional language, 2000 years on, to meditate and imagine on this macabre scene takes a certain mental discipline. I found myself shying away from such gore and awful reality of that day. I began to place myself in the person of Yeshua, to find that DESPITE the knowledge that He had to go through with the whole affair, there was a sense of dismay, fear and pain. I am not even sure that Yeshua understood the implications of being made sin, and the curse being laid on Him. What would that mean to the Godhead in this happening? What would the Father have to do in the midst of the suffering of His Only Begotten? We imagine Him turning away!
The Priesthood flow of Yeshua begins in the Garden of Gethsemane as He glimpses what lies ahead. We see Him sweat drops of Blood.
We see the fear and dismay take hold of His Soul. And from the betrayal to the Cross we see Him take various punishments for our healing and deliverance. Yeshua took upon Himself as High Priest our sin, and instead of killing a animal in sacrifice for sin, He Himself embodied the sin in Himself, taking its implications, taking its consequences within His Being. Therefore His first act as High Priest of a Celestial Order became the sacrifice itself!
The hour of His Death, premature, because He died no normal death! He died from physical wounds, from soulish wounds, from spiritual separation. His own proxy of being sin and being a curse, meant that for moments He and the Father could only see each other across a great chasm and emptiness called FALLEN HUMANITY.
At that moment the temple curtain tore down from top to bottom.
What was revealed was an empty Holy Place. Yeshua had marked the end of that Temple, instituting a Temple not made with hands.
We then know from the Psalms and from Ephesians 4 that Yeshua descended to the low regions of Hades to preach to the old saints. These were those waiting for Yeshua’s coming to bring Good News.
Whether this is a literal descent or some spiritual symbolic act we do not know. What we do know by surmising its objective is that the old saints of the Old Covenant and the Covenant of Faith were liberated to experience the fulfilment of their obedience and faith in what Yeshua preached in those lower regions.
Then as we see Yeshua spend 40 days preparing the disciples we see Yeshua Ascend to start the next phase of His High Priesthood. We know that He took the merits of shed blood into the Holy Place to open the way for salvation and deliverance. And He being totally God and totally human could make the priestly function in Himself, being perfect yet identified exactly with the human condition yet without sin.
And as fully man and fully God Yeshua can offer an excellent offering of intercession. That intercession before the Father does not leave room for the accuser. This is because when Yeshua presents His Intercession on our behalf He comes not with our merit, but His own, in that He is a perfect sacrifice, that through His Blood He has brought our salvation out of the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light.
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
So we see that Christ, Yeshua, once entered the Holy Sanctuary offered His Own Blood that through the Spirit not only saved us but cleansed our conscience from dead works but awoke us to serve the Living God with eternal living works. How marvellous is His Priesthood.
Hebrews 9 treats us to the multiform qualification of Yeshua to the Priesthood:
- Eternal Order of Melchizedek. No ancestry and no descendents in the physical. Hebrews 7:20
- He was the sacrifice for sin and death by merit of being God and man.
- He was obedient unto death so that in death He could be a mediator of a new Testament.
- His constant intercession before the Father in His Qualification means that He has an effective place to give us constant access to grace and authority.
He has entered before us, so that in being our forerunner we can walk in His footsteps, to eternal life, to justification and sanctification. So that in our death or translation we will experience the same glorification.
The High Priestly flow of Yeshua did far more than the others we have seen because the others were a shadow of a greater light. They pointed us to a greater glory and a greater completion.
This high priestly function of Yeshua not only positions us as forgiven, but grafts us in as adopted sons by His Blood, justified by His constant intercession, sanctified to works of service by the Spirit sent by Him to prepare us for perfection and union with Christ.
All we see about priesthood in the Old Testament is made complete in the New. This does not mean we relax, we abolish the requirements in the Church.
So in His Priesthood, the offering of His Body constitutes a new Temple, called the Ecclesia, which we call Church. This Church is an extension of His Heavenly Ministry here on the Earth. This organism, made up of priests, prophets and kings, within the sphere of a Corporate Priesthood, means that it is the medium by which Christ through the Outpouring of His Spirit will transition us from faith to faith and glory to glory.
The ministry of this Church is the new Temple, not made with hands, yet descending into our hearts by His Spirit.
This local Body of believers can order themselves as priests and kings unto Christ, with the Testimony of Yeshua which is the spirit of prophecy. This means we must root out familiarity of the local body and renew our image of each other. We must glimpse the priestly flow of Yeshua in us, through us, and to us in the local Ecclesia.
It is this Ecclesia that the Father shall unite to Yeshua in perfect Union, and Yeshua shall have completed His Priesthood in redeeming mankind, and shall move into perfecting more and more in the eternal realms.
How marvellous is He, our High Priest!!!
We could go on, and we should, but I will leave it here, so that you can continue your study of this theme. Maybe you could feedback in this wise.