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Jesus our High Priest

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By Arvin Kaufman

Jesus Christ is our “katerarume” in Heaven. The word “katerarume” means “a go-between”. Weddings are beautiful; the build-up to the day, the families, the flowers, the food and most importantly the union of two people with different backgrounds and personalities. But not all weddings are the same.

Wedding celebrations from certain cultures are known to last for over a period of time, days, even weeks. These unique differences across traditions and cultures are especially present within African traditional weddings. You can imagine the fun, shocking and somewhat frightening differences when a British man decides to marry a woman from Uganda.

See, though the Ugandan traditional wedding ceremony lasts for only a day, it comes with its own set of rules, the dos, the don’ts, there is so much in the fine print, especially with how the bride and groom must conduct themselves socially.

One of these rules, common to most of the tribes, is that the groom is not allowed to speak at all. Shocking, I know! At least not directly to the bride’s parents with matters pertaining to his interest to marry their daughter. It doesn’t matter who the groom is, where he is from, how much money he has, his qualifications, education or career background none of it matters. The rule is the same.

He cannot speak on his own behalf. What’s even more interesting is that the ceremony is made up of lengthy back and forth questions, almost like an interview to learn more about the groom, his background and possibly his intentions.

You must be wondering, then, how does the couple get married? So, the acceptable way around it is that the groom has to bring along with him an appointed representative to speak on his behalf. This is the person referred to as the “katerarume” or “go-between”.

This person comes along together with the groom as someone the groom fully entrusts himself with as being able to answer all questions. That is a huge responsibility! All questions by the bride’s family are addressed to this representative and never directly to the groom.

It is such a unique experience that to this day my husband remains in utter shock that having travelled from miles away, this loving British man to take his Ugandan bride had no opportunity to speak the entire ceremony!

Jesus our representative

In a very similar way, we have a representative before God. In this week’s article I write about Jesus our high priest in accordance with Hebrews 7:25 which says Jesus always lives to make intercession for us.

As new covenant believers, understanding our representative before God helps us to further understand the covenant in which we stand and how to live in it with knowledge and assurance.

The first and second covenant

Scripture has what it describes as the first covenant. This is the covenant under the law as established by Moses. And then it has the New Covenant, first announced by Jesus at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20). From the Old Testament times, the people needed someone to intercede for them before the Lord.

According to Hebrews 5, this high priest was selected from among the people and appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins, just as Aaron was. Under the New Covenant, Jesus represents us before God.

Jesus our perfect high priest

Jesus is designated by God, on oath, to be our high priest forever. Trust him. Scripture teaches us that Jesus shared in our humanity when He walked the Earth. Hebrews 4:15 says He is able to empathise with our weaknesses because He too was tempted in every way – yet He did not sin. Jesus knows us fully well, down to the complexities of our individual personalities.

Hebrews 2:17 reads: “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” This word behoves means He found it right, He found it necessary to be made like us.

People around you may not understand you, family and friends may misinterpret you but you can be confident that you have a representative before the throne of God. His name is Jesus. He truly understands you in every way possible. Hebrews 7:25 says that He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him.

As one who is holy, blameless, pure, sinless and in Heaven. Jesus does a perfect job representing us before God. Therefore, you and I can place our trust in Him as one who fully gets us. To truly honour and understand Jesus as our representative before God, we must appreciate that the earthly ministry of priesthood, the Levitical priesthood as established by the law in the order of Aaron, has passed away.

Scripture says in Hebrews 7:12 that when the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed. We now have a better hope opened to us by the blood of Jesus by which we draw near to God! Noteworthy is that before He ascended into Heaven, Jesus offered himself for our sins once and for all (Hebrews 7:27).

The righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). So, in Jesus not only do we have a high priest who fully understands and represents us before God, but through him we have also received eternal redemption and the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14).

Therefore, our place before God, for every born-again believer, is one of confidence and full assurance through His son. In whom we have obtained peace before God and we can now come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help us in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). It is all work of Jesus, in Jesus and through Jesus. Glory to God! My prayer for you is that you will come to Him today.

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