As the writer of Hebrews continues to admonish the Jewish Christian under persecution and encourage them to continue in the Christian faith, he relates all the advantages of the New Covenant over the Old. Jesus Christ is better than all the prophets of old, the angels, Moses, and the comparison continues. In today’s text we are told how Jesus is better than all the high priests of the old covenant. Thus, we are exhorted to come to God boldy because of the advantages we have in Jesus Christ, our great high priest.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:14–16, NKJV)
In the Old Testament, the primary purpose of the high priest was to serve as a representative and mediator between the people and Yahweh. The office was established with Aaron, the brother of Moses, and high priests were the head priest first at the tabernacle and then later at the temple… As the representative for the nation of Israel, the high priest had a tremendous responsibility to direct the hearts of the people toward God and the fulfillment of the covenant. Some of the primary responsibilities of the high priest were the regular handling of sacrifices and offerings, (and) the blessing of people… Throughout the Old Testament, there is a foreshadowing and forward-reaching hope of a more perfect high priesthood that can represent Yahweh effectively and be a sufficient mediator for the people of Israel. (Excerpts from The Lexham Bible Dictionary)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:19–23, NLT)