High Priest of Grace

The author of Hebrews paints an extraordinary (in the truest sense of the word) picture of Christ as the High Priest of Grace:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

What a remarkable passage, that my protestant (read: Gentile) brothers, sisters, and I are quick to pass up.  The author of Hebrews was speaking about an unparalleled High Priest that the tribe Levi had never seen or ever hoped to produce.  Christ is a High Priest that not only had the authority to forgive our sins, presenting atonement through the ultimate sacrifice and enter the Holy of Holies on our behalf, but was able to to do so through grace.

Not just any grace. A transformative grace that shifted the sacrifice from the unblemished lamb to the sinless son of God, that transcended the temple into the very presence of God himself, that went from atonement through others to the atonement through Himself.

Not only that, but he understood our deepest needs by becoming man himself. While a lamb, ram, bird, or grains were acceptable forms of sacrifice, they were in effect less than perfect because they knew nothing of the human condition. They were a means to an end, a reminder to us of the power of sin.  The lamb knew no different when walked to the altar before being slaughtered. Yet, our High Preist is Christ knowing our deepest, darkest stains and secrets, knew full well what we were doing to Him before being led to the altar of calvary.

He was indeed a High Priest of Grace.