Jesus, the Great High Priest: Research paper

Published under category: Custom Writing | 2015-05-21 00:02:23 UTC

Context: Theology

Theology papers will often examine the many significant personalities of the Christendom. Exegetical papers as well as essays on individual prophets and priests are required by theology instructors. Jesus, although not a prophet, but a savior in the Christian perspective, is discussed in this assignment.

Dating back to the Hebrew community, the high priest had the role of presenting the sins of the Israelites to God. The cleansing process was to take place once a year when the sins of the entire community were to be forgiven their sins and made holy. However, the cleansing of an individuals’ sin was done on a daily basis where a lamb was slaughtered in the presence of the high priest (Middendorf and Schuler 260). Considering the roles that the priests were tasked with Jesus plays a part in the plan of salvation of the human race. A controversy is eminent with the part that Jesus was playing as a savior of the human race and as the high priest. Therefore, this essay paper presents arguments on the fact that supports the role of Jesus as the great high priest.

In the Israel sanctuary, there existed compartments in the sanctuary to give the sections of the holy place and the holiest place. These two compartments were entered with the priests who had the role of presenting the sins of the Israelites to God. The history of the priests is presented in the Old Testament; but, to uphold the same tradition to the following generations, the Israelite community passed the same customs to the new generations, recorded in the New Testament. Paul comments in Hebrews 4:14 that we have a high priest that is passed through the heavens and his name is Jesus Christ.

The priests in the Israelite community communicated with God through prayers. A few number of them had the opportunity to be in direct contact with God himself during their lifetime. The fact that Jesus had the direct communication with God elevates him as the high priest. Just as the priests in Israel represented the community and the sinner who came to them for the cleansing of their sins, Jesus had the same function for the whole of humanity. Only the high priest had the part of going into the holiest place for the cleansing of the sins. When an ordinary person went into the holiest place, it was believed that they would die at the presence of God. Therefore, if they were not of the chosen tribe and worthy before God, he would die. Jesus entered the presence of God after his death on the cross just as the priests also entered the holy place. Therefore, the role that Jesus assumed after his resurrection becomes of greater value than that of the Israelite priests. Additionally, the title of son of God has been uniquely used to refer to Jesus only, which makes him different from the priests in the Israel community. Being an equal of God Jesus is playing a part in the cleansing process a higher position compared to the priests in Israel.

Paul writes in the book of Hebrews 4:15-16 that, the high priests at the time had no authority to pardon a sinner of the errors that he or she has involved himself or herself. However, with the state, that Jesus assumes, on the right hand of God the father, and he is incorporated into the cleansing process. The sinner comes directly to him as a savior, an equal to God for the atonement of his or her sins. As an equal to God and sinless being that once lived on earth, Jesus becomes a perfect representative of the sinners. Compared to the earthly priests who had human emotions, and temptations that, at times, they were not able to overcome, Jesus presents a perfect combination of human nature and a Godly nature. In Hebrews 5:1-4, Paul comments that a high priest selected among the public is to represent the sacrifices in the area of iniquities for the benefit of man in the eyes of God.

Jesus offered his own life for the sake of human beings. By sacrificing his life, he reconciled the human race with God, a relationship that had been savored in the Garden of Eden after the fall of our ancestors. Moreover, Jesus demonstrates the accurate representation and sacrifice that a leader commits for the sake of the others. In the presence of God, he appears as an equal and in the sight of a man; he represents a liberator for the fallen and wicked (Ludwig 30). A priest had the function of cleansing the sins from the people he met on a daily basis. The religion symbol of the cleansing process was to provide a way of deliverance from the eternal death that sin lead the wicked (1st Peter 2:5). Therefore, every time that someone committed a sin, he, or she was to approach the priest with a year old lamb, which was believed to be pure as a symbol of his or her remorse for the mistake he or she had performed in the day. However, with the case of Jesus, he was not receiving the year old lambs but was offering himself as the lamb to save humanity. As a priest, he gave his life that everyone who believed in him could get a plan of salvation and the grace. The crucifixion symbolized the eradication of the slaughter of lambs as the great savior had dedicated his life for the sake of the sinner. The resurrection, on the other hand, serves to differentiate the role that Jesus plays as the high priest. The high priests in Israel were many in number considering that they could still face death in their lives, but Jesus overcame death as a barrier to the accomplishment of the high purpose set for him. As a high priest, Jesus had the audience of God as the only son.

In conclusion, the roles of the high priest are manifested in the life of Jesus as a spiritual being and a person who once lived on earth. The perfection of humanity and Godliness gives him the authority and dominion over many other aspects of the religion. Jesus becomes our great high priest as he is in one with God and presents a complete path through which the salvation of man is possible. Besides, having lived a human life gives him a view of what being human and experiencing the life as a human means as far as the temptations is concerned. Compared to the other earthly priests, Jesus, who conquered death presents an experience of what ordinary people encounter daily and atonement for the sins before God. Furthermore, his life and death symbolized the sacrifice that he dedicated himself for the salvation of humanity and reconciliation of man back to God. Since Jesus lives forever, he becomes the great high priest for eternity.

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