For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
What does a high priest do? For an answer to this question I need to imagine myself being in a worship service of the ancient people of Israel in the temple. That’s where priests did their work. Their main tasks were bringing sacrifices for the sins of the people, praying for the people and, in this way, standing between God and his people. The high priest had the privilege of entering into the holy of holies behind the veil where the ark, the ultimate sign of God’s holy presence, was located, once a year.
Jesus is our only and unique high priest. He did not bring sacrifices, but sacrificed himself. He always prays for us. He eternally is the one who stands between God and us so that we can be united to our Father in him.
The beautiful thing about Jesus as high priest is that he is not far from us, but that he knows us very well. He sympathizes with our weaknesses because he himself also experienced them when he was here as a human being on earth. He was tested just like we are often tested. But he never sinned when he was. This is why he can be our perfect and eternal high priest.
It’s great to know him for I never have to pay for my own sins because he has done that for me. I never have to be afraid that my prayers are inadequate, for he always prays for me. That’s why I want to know and admire him as my high priest. And I rejoice over these words, that I want to make my own, so that they give me much certainty and comfort:
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
Jesus, you are the high priest. This is how I want to confess and admire you for I know for sure that I do not have to save myself because you saved me through your sacrifice, and because I know for sure that my stammering prayers are perfected through your prayers. I want to praise you for your holiness, your innocence and your purity.