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Hebrews 8:1-2

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Hebrews 8:1
  • Hebrews 8:2

This chapter begins by reaffirming the superiority of Jesus’s role as High Priest over the Levitical priests. The instructions that the Lord gave to Moses regarding the priesthood and tabernacle were not so that he could establish a religious system that perfects people, but to provide a glimpse of that which has been ordained in Heaven; a perfect priesthood in Jesus and a glorious tabernacle built by the Lord. It is not a system that brings our “perfection” or completion, but a person, our High Priest, King, and perfect sacrifice, Jesus.


Jesus is the perfect high priest. He sits at the right hand of God. He helps us from Heaven.

*Paul is now bringing the epistle to a focus. If you found chapter 7 a bit confusing, Paul will now summarize, saying this is now the main point. All of chapter 7 describes a priest comparable to Melchizedek, who was a priest as well as a king. The “main point” is that Christ is this priest: a high priest of God, eternal, a righteous king, a king of peace, who blesses obedient followers of God.

Jesus is the perfect intercessor on our behalf. He ministers to us as our High Priest in the sanctuary and true tabernacle in heaven, not in a temporary earthly replica like the tabernacle/temple from which the Levite priests ministered. The Jews knew of the tabernacle that their forefathers had erected in the wilderness, and at the time that Paul wrote this letter, the Temple was standing in Jerusalem. When he says that Jesus is ministering in the true tabernacle, made by God, not man, he is speaking of the tabernacle in Heaven. This tabernacle is constructed by the Lord and has a true High Priest (Jesus) interceding for us—not the Levitical priests.

The earthly tabernacle was used for many purposes, but the larger idea behind it was that it served as a house for God, a tangible evidence that God’s presence was always with His people. The tabernacle was moved as the Israelites moved, so that His tangible presence would travel with the Israelites. The Levite priests made regular sacrifices in that tabernacle to atone for the sins of the people. However, this earthly tabernacle was only a faint copy of the real thing. And the atonement for sins was not permanent, as is the atonement of the perfect sacrifice Jesus became on our behalf. Paul’s “main point” here is that Jesus Himself is the highest of high priests, ministering in the true tabernacle, the true house of God, in Heaven. And in Heaven, Jesus can directly act as a High Priest on our behalf before God continually. He is a priest of the order of Melchizedek, a superior priesthood of God serving His office without any end to His “term” in office. Jesus is our great high priest as well as our king.

Biblical Text
1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.

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