The Seat of the High Priest

Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, Christ, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.” — Hebrews 10:11–12

Under the Israelite sacrificial system, the priests stood because their work was never done. In the temple, there were no chairs or benches for the priest to sit down on because that might give the impression that the priests’ work was done, but the priests’ work was never done—there were always sacrifices to be made. The sacrifices of the lambs and bulls and goats could never take away sin (Heb. 10:4); they could never cover the offense of man’s rebelliousness against the almighty Creator. But they pointed forward to something that could.

When Jesus Christ, as high priest, offered Himself as the perfect, sinless, sacrificial lamb of God, Hebrews 10:12 makes a huge deal of the fact that Christ sat down. He sat down because His work is finished. And verse 18 says, “Where there is forgiveness of sin, there is no longer any offering for sin.”

There’s no more sacrifice to be made because sin has been dealt with. You can’t do anything to save yourself; you can’t do anything to help God save you; there are no more sacrifices to be made; the work is complete.

And the next verse says that He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. You see, Jesus is coming back as a conquering king, and he’s going to establish his kingdom here on earth, but that’s not what He did the first time He came. He came to offer himself as a substitute—a sacrifice to take the penalty for sin that we deserve, to bear our shame, to cover our guilt, to die the death that you and I deserved to die.

And if we believe Him, if we trust in His death in our place to take away the penalty for our sin, He promises to resurrect us to eternal life in His kingdom.

1 John’s Purpose Statement [conclusion]

I’ve been arguing that the purpose of the book of 1 John is not to give tests by which believers may be assured of their genuine salvation, but rather that the readers may enjoy intimate fellowship with God just as John does (as well as the other apostles), thus completing the apostles’ joy in the fellowship they have with the readers in the common salvation they share (cf. 1 John 1:3)…

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