A superior High Priest
The author of the Hebrews affirms that we have a superior rest, God’s rest because we have a High Priest who is superior to the Old Covenant high priesthood. Our High Priest does not merely speak to God on behalf of the people, but He is the God-incarnate, the God with us in flesh and blood. “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:14, 15, NKJV.
The earthly high priest, in order of Aaron, spoke to God on behalf of the people but could not save anyone because he was a sinner in need of a Savior. The superior High Priest, Jesus Christ, conquered the temptation and was thus made perfect. (See Hebrews 2:10) The sinless High Priest, in the order of Melchizedek, therefore, superseded the Old Covenant high priesthood because it was ineffective concerning the salvation. Aaron himself was a sinner in need of a Savior. Jesus was appointed by God to be the High Priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek, who was the high priest before Aaron was born. “As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’;” Hebrews 5:6, NKJV. The author, in chapter five of the Hebrews, asserts that Jesus possessed the qualifications of a High Priest, not as a descendant of Aaron’s priesthood, but because God appointed him.
Jesus, God with us, took on Himself the biological nature of the fallen humankind; therefore, He qualified as the representative of humanity before God. Even though Jesus had the human body, He was still superior to Aaron’s order of the high priesthood because, He was not chosen from among the people, but came from God. A high priest in the order of Aaron could not offer a perfect sacrifice for sin and had to repeat the sacrifice every year. A high priest in the order of Aaron served in a man-made structure, the temple. Jesus however, served in His body which God made, not man. Jesus also was perfect High Priest who became a perfect sacrifice for the sin of the people, and He did so once for all eternity. “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:9, 10, NKJV.