The Consecrated Way
by A.T. Jones
Such an High Priest
"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such
an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the
Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true
tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."
This is the summing up of the evidence of the high priesthood of
Christ presented in the first seven chapters of Hebrews. The "sum" thus
presented is not particularly that we have an High Priest but that "we
have such an High Priest." "Such" signifies "of that kind; of a like
kind or degree,"--"the same as previously mentioned or specified; not
another or different."
That is to say: In the preceding part (the first seven chapters of
the Epistle to the Hebrews) there have been specified certain things
concerning Christ as High Priest, certain qualifications by which He
became High Priest, or certain things which are becoming to Him as an
High Priest, which are summed up in this text: "Now of the things which
we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest."
It is necessary, therefore, to an understanding of this scripture
that the previous portion of this epistle shall be reviewed to see what
is the true weight and import of this word, "such an High Priest." The
whole of the seventh chapter is devoted to the discussion of this
priesthood. The sixth chapter closes with the thought of this
priesthood. The fifth chapter is almost wholly devoted to the same
thought. The fourth chapter closes with it, and the fourth chapter is
but a continuation of the third chapter, which begins with an
exhortation to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession,
Christ Jesus;" and this as the conclusion from what had already been
presented. The second chapter closes with the thought of His being "a
merciful and faithful High Priest" and this also as the conclusion from
what has preceded in the first and second chapters, for though they are
two chapters the subject is but one.
This sketch shows plainly that in the first seven chapters of Hebrews
the one great thought over all is the priesthood of Christ and that the
truths presented, whatever the thought or the form may be, are all
simply the presentation in different ways of the great truth of this
priesthood, all of which is finally summed up in the words: "We have
such an High Priest."
Therefore, in discovering the true weight and import of this
expression, "such an High Priest," it is necessary to begin with the
very first words of the book of Hebrews and follow the thought straight
through to the summing up, bearing constantly in mind that the one
transcendent thought in all that is presented is "such an High Priest"
and that in all that is said the one great purpose is to show to mankind
that we have "such an High Priest." However rich and full may be the
truths in themselves, concerning Christ, which are contained in the
successive statements, it must be constantly borne in mind that these
truths--however rich, however full--are all expressed with the one great
aim of showing that we have "such an High Priest." And in studying these
truths as they are presented in the epistle, they must be held as
subordinate and tributary to the great truth over all that is the
"sum,"--"we have such an High Priest."
In the second chapter of Hebrews, as the conclusion of the argument
there presented, it is written: "Wherefore in all things it behooved Him
to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and
faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God." In this it is
declared that Christ's condescension, His likeness to mankind, His being
made flesh and dwelling amongst men, was necessary to His becoming "a
merciful and faithful High Priest." But in order to know the measure of
His condescension and what is the real meaning of His place in the flesh
as the Son of man and man, it is necessary to know what was first the
measure of His exaltation as the Son of God and God, and this is the
subject of the first chapter.
The condescension of Christ, the position of Christ, and the nature
of Christ as He was in the flesh in the world are given in the second
chapter of Hebrews more fully than in any other one place in the
Scriptures. But this is in the second chapter. The first chapter
precedes it. Therefore the truth and the thought presented in the first
chapter are essentially precedent to the second chapter. The first
chapter must be fully understood in order to be able to follow the
thought and understand the truth in the second chapter.
In the first chapter of Hebrews, the exaltation, the position, and
the nature of Christ as He was in heaven before He came to the world are
more fully given than in any other single portion of the Scriptures.
Therefore it is certain that an understanding of the position and nature
of Christ as He was in heaven is essential to a proper understanding of
His position and nature as He was on earth. And since it behooved Him to
be what He was on earth, in order that He might be a merciful and
faithful High Priest, it is essential to know what He was in heaven, for
this is essential precedent to what He was on earth and is therefore an
essential part of the evidence that is summed up in the expression, "We
have such an High Priest."