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Nov 26_Exactly What We Needed

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Why this passage

This passage has been part of a larger section starting in verse 11 on Jesus’ superior priesthood.
In review, Jesus Priesthood is superior for these reasons:
The author begins this section by explaining to us Melchisedek (v. 1-10).
He uses this to show that Melchisedek was both a Priest and a King and Abraham offered him tithes, therefore, the Aaronic priesthood offered tithes to a greater high priest.
Jesus, from the tribe of Judah, is a superior priest.
We have a better hope.
He comes from a superior priesthood - that of Melchisedek (v. 11-17)
His priesthood is never annulled (v. 18-19).
Jesus is a guarantor of a better covenant
His priesthood came about from a calling and it last forever (v. 20-22)
His priesthood is an eternal priesthood (v. 23-25).
His priesthood is exactly what we needed (v. 26-28)
This final reason for the superiority of Christ’s priesthood will be advanced in chapter 8 as it speaks of His heavenly priesthood, but we need to fully understand that to abandon Christ is absolutely foolish as His priesthood is exactly what we, and these Hebrew Christians, needed.
This word “fitting” as found in the NKJV and ESV speaks to the suitability, rightness or appropriateness of something - if we were to sum this up in our vernacular the CSB captures it well: For this is the kind of high priest we need.
For this is the kind of high priest we need
Phillips calls this passage a crescendo in chapter 7, and that is a fitting statement as a crescendo is a gradual increase in power until there is a riveting climax that leaves you on the verge of speechlessness.
The writer of Hebrews has been been building chapter after chapter to this point of a Christological crescendo that is short on length but deep in meaning. It is as if he peels back the clouds of Heaven and we see Christ seated at the right hand of God interceding for us there.
He comes to this final section and He shows us Jesus, that one who is perfectly fitting for us, in terms of both his person and his work, perfectly suited for our predicament and perfectly able to save us to the uttermost.
He is perfectly fitting for us, in terms of both his person and his work, perfectly suited for our predicament and perfectly able to save us to the uttermost.

Exactly what we need in His person (v.26)

Hebrews 7:26 NKJV
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
The NKJV and ESV use a similar construction here in translating v. 26, For such a High Priest was fitting for us,” this is not a poor translation but I do prefer to translate it as For such a High Priest was fitted to us, or as the CSB renders it, For this is the kind of high priest we need.
For this is the kind of high priest we need
What is the focus here? Jesus as high priest is perfectly fitted for the predicament in which we find ourselves; he is appropriate in every way to be the Savior of sinful humankind.
Chrysostom stated it that he is suitable.
Phillips in his commentary appeals to the medieval scholar, Herveus, who pointed out that when you are discussing a sacrifice, there are four things you must take into account:
Namely, what is offered, to whom it is offered, by whom it is offered, and for whom it is offered.”
Herveus. He pointed out that when you are discussing a sacrifice, there are four things you must take into account: “Namely, what is offered, to whom it is offered, by whom it is offered, and for whom it is offered.”1 Our passage starts with two of these already understood, namely, those for whom the sacrifice is offered—sinful man under condemnation of the law—as well as the One to whom it is offered—the holy God who must do right as judge of the universe. Those two points clearly describe our predicament, our unworthiness and condemnation in the presence of God. What remains is what is offered and by whom. It is in this respect that Jesus Christ is perfectly fitted to be our high priest in terms of the sacrifice he offers and of the high priest he is in offering it.
Our passage starts with two of these already understood, namely, those for whom the sacrifice is offered—sinful man under condemnation of the law—as well as the One to whom it is offered—the holy God who must do right as judge of the universe.
Those two points clearly describe our predicament, our unworthiness and condemnation in the presence of God.
What remains is what is offered and by whom. It is in this respect that Jesus Christ is perfectly fitted to be our high priest in terms of the sacrifice he offers and of the high priest he is in offering it.
1 Quoted in Philip E. Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977), 278.
Phillips, Richard D. Hebrews. Ed. Richard D. Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, and Daniel M. Doriani. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006. Print. Reformed Expository Commentary.
As John Owen put it, Unholy sinners stand in need of a holy priest and a holy sacrifice. What we do not have in ourselves we must have in him, or we will not be accepted by the holy God, who has such pure eyes that he cannot look on sin. Such a high priest is the Lord Christ.
For such a High Priest was fitting for us
John Owen explains: “Unholy sinners stand in need of a holy priest and a holy sacrifice. What we do not have in ourselves we must have in him, or we will not be accepted by the holy God, who has such pure eyes that he cannot look on sin. Such a high priest is the Lord Christ.”
What makes Him so fitted to us? It is in the context of our need in that He offers Himself:
These first three all adjectives focused on Christ in his qualifications to be our High Priest, as a man...
holy (holy/pure/devout) - this is fitted to us as it pertains to God
harmless (innocent/blameless/free from evil or guilt) - this is fitted as it pertaining to other people, He is sinless in action and motivation
There are five things said about Jesus in this verse, beginning with a triplet of adjectives: holy, innocent, and unstained.
undefiled (untainted/ free from stain or blemish/untainted in the eyes of God) - this is fitted in His own person, He was not disqualified or undefiled for priestly service
The next two speak to His fitting in His location to represent us God, because He is...
ritually untainted adj. — free from stain or blemish according to cultic regulations and requirements; especially understood as necessary to be cultically untainted in the eyes of God.
separate from sinners - Jesus was tempted just like we are, yet He remained separate from sin; He is in a different category from us in His qualification to stand before God.
higher than the heavens - He is higher than every other heavenly being, seated at the right hand of God with authority and power, this is where we need our High Priest.
Hebrews Fitting in His Person

He was not set apart from them in his nature, for God sent his own Son “in the likeness of sinful men” (Rom. 8:3). He was not set apart from men during his ministry on earth. He did not live apart from everyone in a desert. He spoke with tax collectors and prostitutes, and the hypocritical Pharisees rebuked him for this. Being set apart from sinners declares what Christ is, his state and condition. He is holy and undefiled.… He was separate from sin, in its nature, causes, and effects. He had to be like this for our benefit. He became the middle person between God and sinners and had to be separate from those sinners in the thing he stood in their place for.5

In all these respects, Jesus was fitted according to our need. He is all that we are not, but need to be, and so he offered himself for us. Verse 27 says, “He offered up himself,” and it was with reference to our sin that he was fitted to be our sin-bearing sacrifice and holy high priest. Because Jesus is untouched by sin, he is able to lay down his life in the place of sinners, so that we will be forgiven by God.
ritually untainted adj. — free from stain or blemish according to cultic regulations and requirements; especially understood as necessary to be cultically untainted in the eyes of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Hebrews 4:15 NKJV
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Exactly what we need in His offering (v. 27)

Exactly what we need in His work (v. 27-28)

The next set of verses tells us two primary thoughts:
V. 27: He did not need a sacrificial system, for He was able to offer Himself as the offering and this was needed only one time.
V. 28: He was not like the other high priests, bound with weakness (they couldn’t do the office as it needed to be done and they had to keep doing it day after day) but He perfects forever (once for all).
He offered up Himself
James Boice has a sermon titled - where is the lamb? It is based off the passage of Abraham going to offer Isaac and Isaac asks, Dad, where is the lamb for the burnt offering?
At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry John criest out, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
The theme of is that Jesus alone is qualified to serve in this capacity.
tells us why Jesus alone is qualified to serve in this capacity. In his person he is perfectly fitted to our need, suited to our predicament, because he is “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners,” and now “exalted above the heavens.” Because of who and what he is, Jesus Christ is able to be the Lamb whose blood was sacrificed for the sins of all his people.
In his person he is perfectly fitted to our need, suited to our predicament, because he is “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners,” and now “exalted above the heavens.”
Because of who and what he is, Jesus Christ is able to be the Lamb whose blood was sacrificed for the sins of all his people.
Phillips, Richard D. Hebrews. Ed. Richard D. Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, and Daniel M. Doriani. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006. Print. Reformed Expository Commentary.
deals with Jesus’ work as the priest who offers the sacrifice to God. In his priestly work, he alone meets our need.
Phillips, Richard D. Hebrews. Ed. Richard D. Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, and Daniel M. Doriani. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006. Print. Reformed Expository Commentary.
Jesus’ work is contrasted to that of the insufficient offerers (v. 27a)
d ;

who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His town sins and then for the people’s

who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s
We have seen this progression in ; ; of the role of the priest/High Priest
Christian Standard Bible. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017. Print.
Hebrews 1:3 NKJV
who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews 2:17 NKJV
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 5:1 NKJV
For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
The Old Testament high priests were really not able to meet our need. They were like someone who is hired for a job, who is given the right tools, and who works hard but simply lacks the ability or skill.
What was missing? Priests need holiness. The reason is the nature of their work, namely, to bring pure offerings before a holy God.
The Old Testament priests showed their inability here, both in that they had to offer sacrifices for their own sins, and also in that their work was never finished.
Luke 16:16 NKJV
“The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
Leviticus 4:3 NKJV
if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.
Leviticus 4:1–3 NKJV
Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them, if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.
The insufficiency of any one sacrifice was illustrated by the need for more sacrifices later. In the greatest possible contrast, speaks of Jesus’ fully sufficient sacrifice.
Where the Old Testament priests were sinners, he is holy; while their sacrifices were insufficient, his is sufficient; while the old priests were not able to meet the need of sinners, he is able once for all to reconcile us to God.
Just as Jesus was perfectly fitting in his person, so is he also in his work. He fully meets our need, having been fitted by his perfection to our weakness and sin.
Jesus has no need to present a daily sacrifice—or, for that matter, a yearly sacrifice—for his people’s sins.
He presented a permanently valid sin offering on their behalf when he offered up his own life—an offering so perfect and efficacious that it needs no repetition.
In we have this Day of Atonement laid out for us.
Still less has he any need to present such a sacrifice for himself; he is “holy, free from guile and defilement.
Bruce, F. F. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990. Print. The New International Commentary on the New Testament.
Jesus’ work is contrasted to that of the insufficient offerings (v. 27b-28; ; )
He did once for all when He offered up Himself
Isaiah 53:10 NKJV
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
Mark 10:45 NKJV
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
gives us further understanding of the superiority of Christ the offering and the offerer
Hebrews 7:28 NKJV
For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.
Hebrews 10:28 NKJV
Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
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