Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“We have such a high priest, who is seated at the right hand
of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister of the sanctuary, the true tabernacle,
which the Lord pitched, and not man.
For every high priest is ordained to make offerings of both gifts and sacrifices;
therefore, it was necessary that this man also have something to offer.
Now, if he was on earth, he would not be a priest, there being priests already
who offer gifts according to the law.”
Jesus could not function as a priest while he was on earth. He labored as a prophet, a teacher, a judge, and even as God (in forgiving sin), but he never functioned as a priest while he was on earth. The God of Israel had already ordained an earthly priesthood, the Levitical priesthood, and Jesus did not qualify to be in that priesthood because he was not from the chosen tribe of Levi (Heb. 7:14).
God’s earthly priests, the descendants of Aaron, served God with earthly things. They wore beautiful earthly garments when they ministered before the Lord; they sacrificed earthly animals in earthly fires on earthly altars; they served God in the courtyard of, and within, an earthly sanctuary in Jerusalem (an earthly holy city); along with God’s people, they held earthly feasts with earthly meats and earthly drink; they observed earthly holy days and earthly sabbaths; they ceremonially washed with earthly water. But Jesus is not, and never was, an earthly priest. He is a heavenly priest who ministers to God with heavenly things.
Jesus washes us with the holy Ghost from God’s bosom, not with earthly water; we feast with him on heavenly manna, and we drink the same Spirit that he drinks now, not earthly food and drink; Jesus wears holy garments that are not made of any earthly material; and his only holy day is every day, because there is no night in the presence of God, and holy living is a matter of the heart, not of the calendar.
God’s earthly priests ministered to God’s people with the materials that were available to them.
So does Jesus.