Tag Archives: atonement

Jesus, the high priest

Who is Jesus?

Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”

In the days of the Old Testament priests, a sacrifice was made on behalf of the people by the High Priest. This would atone for their sins for the period of one year. In this way the priest brought God and man together.

Jesus is the perfect High Priest because He serves as both the priest and the sacrifice. He brings God and man together by the shedding of His own blood, not that of an animal. The sacrifice of this perfect Lamb is once and for all, not just to atone for a limited period of time.

Jesus didn’t appoint Himself to the position of High Priest, but He’s the only one who can fill the role perfectly. Unlike all other High Priests who had to offer sacrifices for their own sins as well as those of the people, Jesus can atone for our sins by offering His own life in the place of ours. And that’s just what He did.

The atonement

Passage: Luke 23:26-49

Key verses: Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Entire courses are taught at universities just to try and explain Jesus’ work on the cross. The atonement is not easy to understand, but it is simple. God came down to earth in human flesh, lived a sinless life, and then died as the one true spotless sacrifice that could take away our sins. Without this one truth, all the rest falls apart.

Jesus took on our sins. Read that again. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, took on our sins upon Himself. He took our punishment, bought our redemption. That is the only reason you and I will ever see heaven. It’s not because of how many good deeds we did or how nice we are. It’s because we were bought and paid for by the blood of Christ. Let that sink in. Weep over the fact that it was necessary.

My sins nailed Him to that cross. Your sins drove those spikes in. Our rejection of God killed Him. And He chose to be there. As the one, true, all-powerful God, He could have ended this any way He wanted. But He chose the cross. He chose suffering in our place. Because He loved us. Even before we existed. That’s the truth of the cross.