Great High Priest
Hebrews 4:14-16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
I found this remarkable photo online where the trunk of the tree that had died was given new life by the skill of a sculptor into a hand stretching upwards and it spoke to me Jesus our great height priest. The base definition priest is one authorised to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God.
In the Old Testament we read of the high priest offering sacrifice to God on behalf of the people and had the sole privilege of entering the Temple Holy of Holies once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to burn incense and sprinkle sacrificial animal blood to expiate his own sins and those of the people of Israel.
The uniqueness about Jesus is that he was not only the High Priest, but the self-offered sacrifice.
Just like the picture of the hand carving form a tree that had died, Jesus reaches from earth to heaven. Christ our Great High Priest represents us to the Father for he was tempted in every way we are yet he did not sin but He understands and sympathises with our weaknesses. Because He represents us we may approach the throne of grace confidently through him.
A little known hymn by Charles Wesley ably expresses the work of Christ our Great High Priest and sets the scene that as heirs of the kingdom. By virtue of this sharing in his priesthood, Christ gives all his heirs, the capacity of offering in their lives that worship which he himself called "worshipping the Father in Spirit and truth" (Jn 4:23). By carrying out this worship the faithful, enlivened by the Holy Spirit, we share in the incarnate Word's sacrifice and in his mission as high priest and universal Redeemer.
See where our great High Priest
Before the Lord appears,
And on his loving breast
The tribes of Israel bears:
Never without his people seen
The head of all believing men.
With him, the corner-stone,
The living stones conjoin;
Christ and his Church are one, -
One body and one vine;
For us he uses all his powers,
And all he has, or is, is ours.
The motions of our Head
The members all pursue,
By his good Spirit led
To act and suffer too:
Like him, the toll, the cross sustain,
Till glorious all like him we reign.