Day 12

Christ the Perfect Priest



Isaiah 53:7-12, Matthew 20:25-28, John 3:16-17, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 9:11

Christ came as the perfect Priest. He was both the One who stood in the presence of God and the perfect sacrifice the Father accepted. To call His people to worship, Christ humbled Himself by taking the form of a man and was exalted to the highest place. To care for the spiritual lives of His people, He gave the Holy Spirit. To intercede for them, He took their sin upon Himself.

Each day this week we have looked at a role Old Testament priests played in the lives of God’s people—calling them to worship, caring for them spiritually, and interceding on their behalf. The priests played another role, too, one they likely had no idea they were playing. They were pointing ahead to the work the Messiah would one day do.

Every sacrifice the priests made, every burning of incense, every prayer, every song—all of it pointed to Jesus. They devoted their lives to this task without ever fully realizing it. They simply knew they were giving all of life to God’s service (just as Jesus would do). All that the priests did reflected dimly what Christ would one day do perfectly.

Jesus Christ was the perfect Priest. Like all priests, He was called to His mission and ministry by God. He knew why He had come, and He fulfilled His calling without lapse or failure. At every turn, Jesus called people to worship God, He cared for their spiritual well-being, and He embodied intercession. He taught. He comforted. He prayed. He protected. He related and connected and understood. He knew the ups and downs and pains of life, just as any priest would have. After all, Jesus was fully man.

But Jesus didn’t only offer intercession for sin. He was the mediator. He was both priest and sacrifice. Every priest before Him had to spill the blood of one animal after another, year after year, to atone for sins. But Jesus gave His own life and spilled His own blood to atone for sins once and for all time, for all who believe. He was the first and only truly unblemished sacrifice, the only one which perfectly satisfied God’s holy justice.

Christ’s sacrifice did not complete His priesthood. The cross was not His final act. Unlike every sacrifice before Him, and unlike any other priest, Christ conquered death rather than being conquered by it. And He lives forever to be the perfect Mediator between man and God. He is the means by which we can, without condemnation or fear, enter the presence of God and have access to Him in His holiness.

Jesus Christ is the High Priest that Israel waited for and the one every person needs for all time—the perfect High Priest and the perfect sacrifice.

Written by Barnabas Piper

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5 thoughts on "Christ the Perfect Priest"

  1. Ken Fuller says:

    Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being the fulfillment of the centuries and offering the perfect sacrifice for all the world- including me. I need not worry whether my gift is acceptable for my forgiveness comes only through Your death on the cross. I need only give the Father my sin – laying it on the cross and burying with You. As You rose from the grave, there was no sin attached to You to indicate mine was gone. I stand with You in Your righteousness now by faith.

  2. Tyler Hayes says:

    It’s hard to comprehend what atonement for sin looked like before Jesus. Sacrifice after sacrifice. The thought that there was one whose record was spotless, who shed his blood for everyone, for all time, is incredible, and hard to wrap my head around at the same time. Holy, sinless, unblemished; a Savior that teaches, empathizes, and pays our sin-debt for all time. God is good!

  3. Dalton Forman says:

    Just looking at how amazing it is to see the Old Testament prophesies about Jesus and their lives worked to try and fill the gap and when He came he perfectly filled it all and took what their sacrifices were for and completed it all for us who now try and live our lives in reflection to His. What a blessing though to know we, like the priest will never reach a place where other will need to relative our lives…BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE TO ! We are only called to follow and repent to stay in communion with Christ. It is not on us, we let Him lead and rely on Him for it all. Let us feel the peace from the Prince of Peace!

  4. Scott Schulman says:

    Christ is the perfect sacrifice and the perfect priest for us. He then gave us the Holy Spirit and mediates for us. This is such a privilege and blessing that we get to enjoy. The Old Testament saints did not have this blessing. I need to take advantage of my access to God by praying to him throughout every day.

  5. Andrew says:

    “10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”

    “He was the first and only truly unblemished sacrifice, the only one which perfectly satisfied God’s holy justice.”

    Truly unblemished. Perfect. I cannot wrap my mind around what this looked like. God coming into this frail human form. Hallelujah, God is so Mighty and so powerful. He came and lived the life I never would be able to. Satisfied a debt, that my my own to satisfy. Thank you.
    I will follow you God wherever you lead me.

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