A number of men and women have come along through the centuries claiming to be the newest priest or spiritual guru. Some of them have used Christian ideas to develop their religion. People like Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism have claimed to have spoken to God and have a new revelation of Him. “Follow me,” they say, “And you can find God in a new way.” Other leaders such as Buddha or Mohammed have created their religion system that leads to God, or Nirvana, or whatever they choose to call it. All of these men claim to be a go-between or priest on some level. For the Jews, the priest represented God to the people and the people to God.
On the other hand, as Christians, we claim that Jesus is the only dependable and real representative for God. But what makes Jesus different from these other men? Why should we trust the priesthood of Jesus as opposed to that of other religious leaders. This passage shows us how Jesus is the ultimate priest, the ultimate go-between for men and God.
First of all, the other leaders died (v.23). With their death came the end of their leadership in the man-made religion. On the other hand, Jesus story does not end with His death. If you took a tour to find the grave sites of the religious leaders of the world, you could find Buddha & Mohammed’s graves. On the other hand, if you arrived at Jesus “borrowed” tomb, you would find the stone rolled away and Jesus would not be there.
Second, He understands God’s plan perfectly, because He is God. No one else can make that claim. No one else has come close to demonstrating a perfect connection with the Father in heaven. Jesus is God. When He makes intercession for us as our priest, He is much more than some man with religious ideas. Jesus is God the Son, speaking to God the Father on our behalf.
Another difference between Jesus and any other religious leader is the absence of sin. Sin distorts our view, and taints everything in our lives. Every other person claiming to know God has on some level had his understanding tainted by sin. The Old Testament priests made sacrifices each day for their own sin, hoping to find forgiveness. Joseph Smith was a sinner in need of forgiveness. That sin kept him from understanding the true God and encountering the real Jesus. On the other hand, Jesus never sinned. He never needed forgiveness, nor did sin ever cause a broken relationship between He and the Father. He never needed a sacrifice for Himself, but rather was able to lay down His life as a sacrifice for the sin of mankind.
Finally, Jesus is eternal (v. 24). His priesthood did not begin with his birth and training and end with His death. Jesus is a priest forever. His priesthood began before the creation of the world and will last throughout eternity. Jesus was there when the world was created. His heart broke when Adam and Eve sinned. He is the wind that parted the Red Sea for Moses. And He is the one who is coming again! No other religious leader matches Jesus Christ. He is the only High Priest worth following.