In this chapter Paul shows that the Priesthood of Christ, our Lord, is far superior to the priests of Aaron's line in that He ministers in A BETTER PLACE (heaven), has A BETTER SACRIFICE (His blood), has A BETTER TABERNACLE (His body), and provides A BETTER COVENANT WITH BETTER PROMISES!
(Vs. 1-2) A BETTER PLACE--HEAVEN! This is the sum of what has been said: We have such a High Priest as has been described. He is Christ Jesus, Who was born of Mary, crucified in our stead, arose on the third day, and ascended to the heavens where He is seated on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.
1. HE IS SAT DOWN (Heb. 1:3), which shows that His work is done. The Levitical priests always stood.
2. HE IS ON THE RIGHT HAND of the Majesty, which shows that His work is accepted; and He is possessed of honor, glory, authority, and equality. We are seated WITH Him and IN Him (Eph. 2:4-7).
3. HE INTERCEDES and ministers for us, not in the holy place made with hands (which is but typical), but in the very presence of God (Heb. 9:24). He is a minister of the true tabernacle, which is His body. (More on this in Verses 4-5).
(Vs. 3) A BETTER SACRIFICE HIS BLOOD! The typical priests of old never came to the tabernacle without the proper sacrifices (Heb. 9:7; Heb. 9:22). Their sacrifices could never put away sin; therefore, they were offered over and over as long as the tabernacle stood (Heb. 10:1-4). If Christ is to appear before the Majesty in the heavens as our great, effectual Priest and mediator, He must have an effectual blood sacrifice. He brought His own body and blood (Heb. 9: 11:12; I Cor. 5:7).
(Vs. 4-5) A BETTER TABERNACLE--HIS BODY! In Verse 2 Christ is called the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." Verses 4 and 5 talk about the tabernacle which man pitched according to God's directions. This tabernacle in the wilderness was typical. God dwelt there, His glory was seen, He granted His presence to the people, the sacrifices were brought, and the people looked to the tabernacle. Now if Christ's human nature were only earthly, He would not even be a priest, for He was not of the tribe of Levi; and if He had died and remained on the earth, His Priesthood would be of no value, for His priesthood was perfected in heaven. It was when He died, arose, and appeared in glory that all other sacrifices and priesthoods ceased (Heb. 10: 7-10). The true tabernacle was His body in which He tabernacled among men. Here the glory of God is seen in the face of Christ Jesus. THROUGH HIM God communes with His people, BY HIM sacrifices of prayer and praise are offered, and TO HIM believers look for forgiveness and acceptance. His blood is the atonement for sin.
(Vs. 6) A BETTER COVENANT WITH BETTER PROMISES! A MORE EXCELLENT MINISTRY. They were many--He one! They died--He lives! Their sacrifices were typical His were effectual! They ministered on earth--He in heaven (Heb. 10:10-14).
A BETTER COVENANT. The covenant of the Levitical priesthood was a temporary and typical one; it is now ceased. Its ADMINISTRATION reached to the Jews; in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile. Its MANIFESTATION was dim and hidden in ceremony and ordinances; Christ is a full and clear revelation of mercy and grace. This covenant was CONDITIONAL with obedience; the covenant of grace is by grace through faith and unchanging in Christ (Rom. 3:24-26).
BETTER PROMISES. The promises of that old covenant consisted mainly in earthly, temporary blessings such as Canaan--land of peace, plenty, and prosperity. The promises of Christ are eternal forgiveness, eternal glory, and eternal life. When Israel obeyed God and worshipped God according to the pattern given, God blessed them with peace and plenty. When they neglected the tabernacle and served other gods, He dealt with them in wrath and judgment. In Christ, our mediator, we have a better covenant with better promises. He has reconciled us to God. Being the God-man, He lays His hand on both and brings us, who were far off, to God, makes peace through the blood of His cross, and satisfies the justice of God by the sacrifice of Himself. He makes us SONS of God, indwells us with His Spirit, and makes us PRIESTS of God. Our promises and blessings have to do with a spiritual kingdom and life, not an earthly nation and benefits.