Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
I. THE APOSTLESHIP OF CHRIST. In its exact and original signification an apostle is "one who is sent," i.e., the bearer of a message from some one. There have been many revelations of God, differing in kind, differing in degree and completeness. The greatest and most complete revelation of God is in Jesus Christ. In the teaching of Christ, in pregnant saying, or parable, or discourse, we have a revelation concerning God which it had not entered the mind of man to conceive.
II. THE HIGH-PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST. The essential idea of a priest is that he comes between man and God; and the essential idea of a priesthood is that of a class of men who act as mediators between God and men. The priest offered sacrifices, or conducted religious ceremonies, but he did these things not for himself, but for the worshippers. If it be true that without blood there is no remission of sins, it is also true that without an intervening priest, there was no shedding of sacrificial blood, and therefore no remission. Carry these thoughts with you then, and you will see why Christ is called the High Priest of our profession. High Priest, because He stands for mankind before God: High Priest, because He has made one all-sufficient sacrifice for the sins of men: High Priest, because He does for men what they could not and cannot do for themselves. Christ's priesthood means that we have a way by which we may approach the eternal and all-holy Father. They who are conscious of their own unworthiness may plead the worthiness of Christ, may rest with confidence on the sympathy of Him who wore our humanity as a brother-man. Christ's priesthood further means that a sacrifice bus been made by which the defilement of sin is removed, and a new relation begun between men and God. Christ's priesthood means that in His crucifixion, from which He did not shrink, there was given to men a means of reconciliation with God. And, once more, Christ's priesthood means that there is in heaven One who pleads continually for pardon for sinful men. To what now, I ask, should these considerations of the apostleship and priesthood of Christ tend? The writer of this Epistle uses them to add point to his exhortation, and to warn against unbelief. I know that some among you are fully aware of the responsibilities of belief, and shrink from doing or professing anything which seems to go beyond your power to practise. Have you ever thought of the responsibilities in which the want of belief may involve you? Have you ever, amid your doubts and hesitations, considered this, that by your doubts and hesitations you are practically denying that the revelation of God in Christ is a revelation to you; that you are practically saying, "Christ's sacrifice was no sacrifice, so far as I am concerned." True it is that they who enter into the temple, have their responsibilities; but are they free from responsibility who stand at the threshold and will not enter in? And the same considerations may be used to quicken and sustain our faith. Christ is our Apostle; therefore we have a sure knowledge of God. Christ is our High Priest; therefore, we have in our hearts the assurance of Divine love, and the abiding hope of Divine forgiveness.
(D. Hunter, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;