HEBREWS - Christ, our Great High Priest.
The book was written, first of all, to Jewish believers, probably in Jerusalem, who were wavering in their faith. Because of the taunts and jeers of their persecutors, the Jewish believers were beginning to think they had lost everything, altar, priests, sacrifices, by accepting Christ.
The writer proves that they had lost the shadow to be given the substance, Christ. They were undervaluing their privileges in Christ, and were engaging in self-pity and discouragement. They were in danger of even giving up their faith.
`...of whom (Christ) we have much to say, and things hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.` (Heb. 5: 11 & 12)
These believers had started well but had not made progress. The writer is trying to lead them from the elementary knowledge to a mature grasp. He shows the superiority of Christ and wanted to keep them from drifting back to their Jewish rites and ceremonies.
The massive grandeur of Christ is featured more completely in the Hebrew epistle than any other book that had gone before. The writer describes a personality that precedes time, controls the governing forces of all history, one whose exploits continue on into eternity.
`God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.` (Heb. 1: 1 - 3)
Christ is displayed in the dignity of His dominion surpassing hierarchies of angelic hosts and of those ranked highest among the nobility of the earth.
Christ completely exceeds all the ceremonial and mediatorial offices of bygone centuries and has authoritative credentials far beyond those of any earthly, prophet, priest or king. Christ is the great high priest of the believer.
`Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a high priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. ` (Heb. 8: 1)
`...because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore he is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them.` (Heb. 7: 24 & 25)