But the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation ), He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11-12
The things of heaven are always more glorious than the things of earth. Take your favorite three things ~ then picture those same three things in heaven. Compare how they will differ, if you can. For me it would be rich colors, black raspberries, and beautifully marked cats. Those who have had near death experiences try to describe the colors they saw and they can’t! There are not words for their vibrancy. Black raspberries? There will be no thorns when you pick them. Each one will be perfect. There will be no sour ones, rotten ones, or diseased vines. Cats? There will be as many as you’d like to engage with. My home there will be full of them. (Don’t come visit me if you don’t like cats.) Every feline will be friendly and present no danger of attacking.
If this is the case with lesser things, how much more will spiritual things take on heightened significance in the kingdom! Everything God has made for us to enjoy will eclipse all good things here that we think are so great. (Things even He has fashioned that we’ve corrupted.) While the blood of animals took care of man’s sin problem on a temporary, ongoing basis, it was obviously incomplete. The blood of Jesus was the supreme sacrifice that, once and for all, put our sins (past, present, and future) behind His back. He would no longer make them re-appear to condemn us. He, unlike human beings, forgives completely with no trace of shadow.
Then, there’s the matter of the high priests. How much better is our perfect High Priest who is seated at God’s right hand! His mediation between us and God is perfect. His intuition and knowledge of us, in mediation, is not skewed at all. He pleads our case better than we could because He is more merciful and more gracious than we are to ourselves. What if He said to us today, “Be as gracious toward yourself as I am toward you.” That’s hard to fathom and goes against the other message we envision hearing from Him. “Be as hard on yourself as I am on you.”
High priests, while there were some great ones prior to the cross, were historically poor. Some were self-serving, prospering on power. Others added to the law, making the burden of following God so heavy that it encouraged some to give up trying. God must have winced, pleaded, and then gotten angry as many high priests stayed unteachable even in Jesus’ presence. Our perfect High Priest wears His power well. He fulfilled the law and extends grace instead of rules. He was humble rather than unteachable, a servant rather than One who was propped up by others’ adoration.
Ah yes, the things of heaven. We dream. We long. Some days we groan. And until then, deferred hope feeds our perseverance.
Your glory, my home. Your perfection, my joy. Amen