Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, Hebrews 3:1 (ESV, bold mine)
Today the two names of Jesus we will focus on are Apostle and High Priest. But, before we do, let us consider the word consider that is in our text for today.
The word consider (katanoeo in hebrew) means literally to put the mind down on something and so to observe or consider carefully and attentively. The idea is to think about something very carefully consider closely which denotes the action of one’s mind comprehending certain facts about a thing so as to give one the proper and decisive thought about the thing considered. (preceptaustin.org) In Hebrews 3:1, the focus is on the action of the mind comprehending certain facts about Jesus.
In this passage, the word consider is a command. It calls for them to “Do this now! Don’t delay! The need is urgent!” We are so distracted by other things in life, we need to turn our gaze to Jesus and consider Him.
Today lets focus and think upon Jesus being the Apostle and High Priest. What does it mean that He is the Apostle?
This is the only time that Jesus is called an Apostle. We are used to thinking of Paul or James as the apostle. The word apostle means “one sent as a messenger.” When applied to the twelve apostles, it means that they were chosen by Jesus and sent into the world in His name and bringing His message. When applied to Jesus, it means that He was sent from the Father to be the Savior of the world.
Jesus is also our High Priest. The office of priest was an important one in the Old Testament. In many OT readings we see that the priest mediated between the people and God. Most importantly, it was the high priest who entered into the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. Only the high priest could enter and, before doing so, he was required to make a sacrifice for himself. When he did this the high priest was cleansed and could then go on to offer the cleansing sacrifices for the people.
Rather than a yearly (or daily) atonement as in the OT, Jesus’ sacrifice is once and for all. Jesus, like the high priests of the OT, stands in the gap between us and God. He made the necessary sacrifice for us. Those who have put their faith in Jesus have been made righteous by Him and are now able to enter into God’s presence.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
The most important thing for us to consider is that since Jesus is our High Priest, we can approach God with confidence.
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. Hebrews 4:15 & 16
We no longer need to go through earthly mediators. Jesus has broken the barrier, made the sacrifice, established a new covenant, and reestablished our relationship with God. Because of our High Priest, we are free to come to God.
Today, let us consider Jesus, our Apostle and High Priest. When life gets rough and problems seem to have no solution, we need to put our gaze on Jesus and keep it there.