Sixth Sunday after Trinity – Sunday
Such an High Priest became us who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. Hebrews 7:26.
The high priests of the Church of God in the Old Testament offered sacrifices for the sins of the people, and prayed for them; but those high priests were, themselves, imperfect. Because they were sinful, they needed to offer up sacrifices for themselves before they could offer the sacrifices for the rest of the people. And what did they sacrifice? Beasts.
The high priests of the Old Testament were but shadows and types of the great High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ. “Such an High Priest became us [was necessary, fitting, for us] who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” Christ is our true and only High Priest. In order to redeem us as our Substitute under the Law, the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, became a true human being and was placed under the Law (made subject to the Law). “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
Since we cannot keep the Law of God in the perfection that it demands, He kept it for us, for our justification (Romans 5:18-19). He also made a great sacrifice for our sins. But what did He sacrifice? Himself. “[Christ] His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24). “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). “This He did once, when He offered up Himself” (Hebrews 7:27). In doing so, all was accomplished. Furthermore, He continually intercedes for us before His heavenly Father, pleading the atonement which He has wrought (Hebrews 7:25). “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous: and He is the Propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:1-2).
Dear Christian, continue to put your trust wholly and solely in this great High Priest.
PRAYER – My Lord and Savior, my only High Priest, how merciful Thou art! Thou hast fulfilled the Law of God for me. Thou hast sacrificed Thyself for me. Thou dost, at all times, intercede for me. In Thee, in Thee alone, will I trust for my salvation. Amen.
Jesus, my great High Priest, Offered His blood and died; My guilty conscience seeks, No sacrifice beside.
His powerful blood did once atone, And now it pleads before the Throne.
To this dear Surety’s hand, Will I commit my cause; He answers and fulfills, His Father’s broken laws.
Behold my soul at freedom set; My Surety paid the dreadful debt.
My Advocate appears, For my defense on high; The Father bows His ears, And lays His thunder by.
Not all that hell or sin can say, Shall turn His heart, His love away.
Should all the hosts of death, And powers of hell unknown; Put their most dreadful forms of rage and mischief on;
I shall be safe, for Christ displays, Superior power and guardian grace. Amen.
(TLH – Hymn 220, 1-4)