Our Great High Priest
As a former resource consultant for Ligonier Ministries, I had the opportunity to speak with many people on the telephone. Most of them were Christians eager to find materials to help them learn more about apologetics, the Bible, theology, Christian living, and many other topics. It was a joy to help someone find the right resource for the subject they were studying.
Given that the Renewing Your Mind radio program has a potential audience of millions, not all of the people with whom I spoke were Christians. I also spoke with Muslims, Mormons, agnostics, and many other non-Christians. Though the specific doctrines of these different religions differ, most of them are happy to assert that they are followers of Jesus.
The Jesus that these groups follow, however, is not the same Jesus we know. Their Jesus is only a good prophet, who shows people their potential and teaches that they have the power to stay away from all of the “bad stuff” in this world. Their Jesus might occasionally refer to God’s judgment, but this judgment is averted by doing more good deeds than bad ones. And certainly, He does not demand worship or teach that He had to die in order to satisfy the demands of a just God.
Although these groups claim Jesus as their own, they really do not know who He is. Because He is such a compelling figure, these groups have to acknowledge Jesus somehow. But they cannot accept Jesus on Jesus’ terms because to do so would be offensive to their understanding of God, man, and sin.
These groups really have the most problem with Jesus being our great High Priest. Muslims find it reprehensible that a prophet of God would have to suffer and die on the behalf of another. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses either change the method of death or explain Jesus’ death as a means to help us become better people.
This is not the Jesus we find in Scripture. Jesus came to die for His people (Luke 22:19–20; John 10:11–15). He came as a priest to offer not a lamb but Himself in order that sin could be forgiven and God’s wrath appeased (John 1:49). He came not to work in the Temple but to be the Temple itself (John 2:13–22).
Most amazingly, the Jesus who did all these things was not just a man. He was also God Himself. The Lord of the Universe took on a human nature in order to offer a sacrifice on our behalf (Heb. 10:11–14). Let us worship Jesus, our God and High Priest.