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.
In the scripture, the High Priest was a mediator. In other words, he was an advocate. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one…” (Gal 3:20). He acts as an advocate for man and for God. As man’s advocate, he speaks on behalf of of man before God. As an advocate for God, he speaks and acts on behalf of God before men.
In law, there’s a difference between a discharge and an acquittal. When, at the end of a criminal trial, a person is discharged, he is let off the wrath of the law. Not because he is innocent, but for some reasons, the judge did not pass the sentence or visit the wrath of the law on him. Such a person may be called upon again in future to answer for the same changes if fresh evidence were found. But if he was acquitted, he’s pronounced guiltless either because he’s innocent or he has served the punishment for the crime based on the same set of facts. No one can ever call him again to answer for the same charge.
In the old testament, the best the priest could plead for is a discharge not an acquittal. By confessing the sins of the people he pleads guilty as charged for the people. He then appeals for a deflection of the sentence on an animal substitute. So he’s not asking for an acquittal but a discharge. That is the atonement. If it is accepted, he has fulfilled the first part of his duty (advocating for men). See Leviticus 16
Jesus is the High Priest of Grace. While the animal in the old testament bore the sentence and not the sin, Jesus bore the sin and the sentence. He took our place in sin. When He died, we died with Him. When He said it is finish, both the judgment and the sentence were spent. So when He appeared before the Just Judge of the universe, He demanded for an acquittal (not just a discharge) on the grounds that the penalty has been paid. God would be unjust to insist on punishing us. That’d be double jeopardy. Even human judges don’t do that. “There’s therefore now no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).
LET US PRAY
Father, thank you for the High Priest of our profession.
Thank you Father for there’s now no condemnation for me. I am acquitted
Father open our eyes to walk in the knowledge of our Justification