The Old Testament points toward Messiah and his three offices: prophet, priest, and king. Jesus was the prophet, like Moses, who was raised up by God (Deuteronomy 18). Also, the man of God spoke to old Eli and told him that God would raise up a faithful priest who will fully do the will of God: “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always” (1 Samuel 2:35).
In comparing but, also, contrasting the priesthood of Jesus with that of the Old Testament priests, the writer of Hebrews observed, “For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). Made fully human, like us, “He looked not at sin from the distance of heaven but he walked, and lived in the midst of it. He did not pass hurriedly through the world as one might hastily walk through an hospital without clearly understanding the disease, but he lived his more than thirty years in the very center of it” (Charles Spurgeon). And, so, Jesus, though without sin, understands our predicament, and he is a faithful and merciful priest for us as he pleads for us before his Father. The second verse (see yesterday for verse 1) of Isaac Watts’ hymn:
We rev’rence our High Priest above,
Who offered up his blood,
And lives to carry on his love,
By pleading with our God.
Hosannah to his glorious name,
Who saves by diff’rent ways!
His mercies lay a sovereign claim
To our immortal praise. –Isaac Watts (18th century)