Earthly Representation, Heavenly Representation

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), December 17

The writer of Hebrews demonstrates man’s need of human representation on earth and in heaven. Christ perfectly represented man on earth and in heaven.

Earthly Representation – Hebrews 2:14-15, 17-18
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage . . . . Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (emphasis added).

The story of redemption began when God promised that a Seed would proceed from the woman and would crush the serpent’s head. The Lord coupled the promise of redemption with a beautiful picture of redemption when He slew an innocent animal and used its skin to cover the first couple’s nakedness. Every person who trusted in God from Genesis 3 onward looked forward in faith to the day when the Seed of a woman would come and do as God promised. The first animal symbolized an innocent sacrifice. The Seed of the woman was both human and divine. He came through the womb of flesh, lived a perfect life, and died a substitutionary death.

Heavenly Representation – Hebrews 4:14-16
“Seeing then that 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 cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Only the Son of God could appear before God in heaven. Therefore, God became man and conquered death, that He might represent man before God’s throne in heaven. The Gospels chronicle Jesus’ sinless life, and the Book of Hebrews teaches Jesus’ role as both heaven’s High Priest and acceptable offering.

The believer’s hope is twofold: God became man to redeem man, and Christ was raised from the dead and ascended to the Father “behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever” (6:19b-20).

Because God became man, died, rose from the grave, and entered into heaven’s tabernacle, man has hope, an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (6:19a).

Christ, the God-man, represented man on earth and represents man eternally in heaven.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (2 Tim. 4:19-22; Hebrews 1:1-4:13):
What must occur in order for an inheritance to be given? What does Jesus’ death procure for believers?
The writer of Hebrews draws from the Old Testament to validate Jesus’ deity. What do these passages declare about His person?
At the end of Hebrews 2 the writer begins to build his case to prove that Jesus is better than the Old Testament priests, covenant, and sacrifices. How does he compare Jesus and His work with that of Moses? What does the writer teach regarding unbelief?