We have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.
In Hebrews 8, we see that Jesus has performed a superior work to the Old Testament priests. Verse 1 says Jesus completed His sacrificial work: “We have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” Jesus is better because He has taken His seat at the right hand of God. In the temple, there was no place to sit because the priest’s work was never finished. He daily offered sacrifices for the sins of the people. Compare that to Jesus. Hebrews 10:11-12 says, “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God.” Isn’t that great? Jesus could sit down because He was finished!
Notice where He sat down. He sat down at the right hand of God the Father. The right hand of a throne was a place of authority. In the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jews, the presiding judge would sit in the middle, and on either side, there were secretaries. If a person was found guilty, the secretary on the left was in charge of writing out the sentence. The secretary on the right was in charge of writing out acquittals. Jesus Christ is seated not on the left hand to write out our condemnation, but on the right hand to write out our acquittal. He sits at the right hand of God, ready to forgive anyone who asks Him.
Jesus also ministers in a superior sanctuary. Hebrews 8:2 says Jesus is the “minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.” The Old Testament temple was made by man. Verse 5 says it was a shadow of the true tabernacle in Heaven. Let me illustrate what the writer meant by “shadow.” I have a picture that is a pretty good likeness of my grandchildren. But it is only a likeness. Not once has this picture ever reached out and hugged me. But my triplets have. Not once has this picture ever drooled on my new suit. But the triplets have. Who would I rather spend time with? This picture or the triplets themselves? The picture is an inferior representation of the real thing. That is what the writer of Hebrews was saying. The tabernacle is a shadow, but Jesus ministers in the true sanctuary of God.
The sacrificial system required three things: a qualified priest, an acceptable sacrifice, and an approved location to offer that sacrifice. It is interesting that when Jesus was on earth He never once offered a sacrifice in the temple. You know why He didn’t do that? He was not qualified to do it. Jesus did not come from the tribe of Levi. He came from the tribe of Judah. But because He did not come from Levi and was not an Old Testament priest, He was not trapped in an inferior system. He was a part of a new system, a new covenant. And that is why He never offered anything in the temple here on earth. He offered the sacrifice of His own blood in the perfect true tabernacle, in the presence of God. The writer was saying, “Why would you go back to an inferior system that was only a shadow of the real thing?” Jesus performed a superior work.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Real Thing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.