Jesus is the only High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16)
“Jesus is…” What a wonderful and incredible title! What an intense and incomparable truth! What a vital and life-giving statement! Jesus is…! He is indeed, the way, the truth and the life – and no man comes to the Father except through Him! He is indeed, the only mediator between God and man; and the one and only, King of kings and Lord of lords! And He is, just as importantly, the only High Priest… …But I’m not sure that in today’s 21st-century America we can as readily comprehend the complete significance, or understand the full magnificence, of that incredible blessing, as easily as we can perhaps discern and determine some of the other things that the holy word of God says that Jesus, our beloved Lord and only Savior, is.
My text tonight is Hebrews 4:14-16, which states: “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.”
But in an effort to help us to better understand the incredible impact of that passage and the infinite, soul-strengthening blessings which it holds for us, I think it is only fitting that we actually begin with just a bit of the very storied origin, history, and heritage, of the God-instituted office, of the Jewish High Priest…
Let us begin with an Old Testament passage wherein Moses summarizes for us, what being a member of the priesthood literally consisted and was composed of. In Numbers 16 where Korah and his rebellious cohorts confronted Moses and God’s first High Priest Aaron, “They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‘You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?’” (vs. 3) (Although of course God was the One who had chosen and set Moses and Aaron apart for His service.)
“So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, ‘Tomorrow morning the Lord will show you who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near Him…’” (Vss. 4-5). In this passage we see the divinely-dictated and fundamental condition, qualification, and function, of the Jewish priesthood in general.
- Their condition? They were chosen or set apart to God.
- Their qualification? Maintaining holiness.
- Their function? Drawing nearer to God than others were allowed to (cf. Exodus 19:22, 30:18-21), specifically because of their election, holiness, and separation to God’s service.
And the High Priest was meant to be both the pinnacle and epitome of that particular group; the culminating point and apex of the Jewish priestly hierarchy.
And just as a side note; as we study tonight, please pay particular attention to the glaring realities of this eternal truth relative to the priesthood in general and the High Priesthood in particular: God’s priests have to be wholly devoted, to holiness. And certainly we see the same distinctive demanded of ourselves as God’s N.T. people, because we “…are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people…” (I Peter 2:9). As such, we are to be holy in all our behavior, because He is holy (See I Peter 1:13-16; Titus 2:11-14). Let us note throughout, that God demands adherence to His absolute ideal; that He demands acute attention to detail and reverential obedience to the divinely-dictated, pure and perfect patterns as put forth in Scripture in all things. We must be holy and wholly obedient just as Moses, who was commanded to carry out in its finest and most infinite and intimate details, the pattern for the tabernacle and everything connected with it because of the implications inherent in the institution of the New Covenant, its worship, and its supreme and superlative High Priest Jesus Christ (See: Hebrews 8:1-6, 9:23-26, and 10:1-4). “Pattern theology” is proper theology.
Now, having established that, let us consider the following from the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary: “The Aaronic priesthood was instituted in order to maintain fellowship between the holy God and the sinful nation, to bring the people’s gifts and sacrifices before God, and to convey God’s gifts, mercy, salvation, and blessing to the people. By an act of free favor God committed the priesthood to one particular family—that of Aaron (Exodus 28:1), which priesthood they received as a gift (Numbers 18)… This divine preference was confirmed by the miracle of the budding rod (Numbers 17) and the priesthood as a heritage to the descendants of Aaron. The qualification, namely, holiness, was represented in outward form by the act of consecration and the robes of office… Holiness is essential to fellowship with God, and Aaron and his sons, no less than the people whom they were to represent before God, were stained by sin. As the sanctity imparted to them by their consecration, their official robes, and other legal requirements, which fitted them to serve at the altar, was only of an outward character, it follows that these could only have had a symbolical meaning. It was doubtless intended that they should symbolize the sinless character of the human priesthood at the same time they served as a type of the perfect priesthood of the true and eternal High Priest.”
Please turn with me to Exodus 28:1-3: “Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.”
At that point, God then goes on to give an incredibly detailed description of the divinely-demanded design, including the exact specifications of what He wanted for the High Priest’s garments. And as previously alluded to, just as Moses had been commanded to construct the tabernacle and all of its furnishings according to the divinely described and delivered pattern (Exodus 25:8-9) which was shown to him on the mountain (Exodus 25:40, 26:30), which he did (Acts 7:44), so too, was he to make everything according to God’s exact design when it came to the High Priest’s garments. This, because the details all had a divine purpose as they pointed to the great High priest to come, Jesus Christ.
For instance, in Exodus 26:9-12, we see that the divine design called for two onyx stones, engraved with the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, to be attached to the shoulders of the High Priest’s garments. This perhaps signifying that when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to appear before God as a mediator and one seeking to sacrificially reconcile the people to God, he “carried” or “bore” them into the presence of God. The apparent allusion to what our blessed Savior does for us as He “…always lives to make intercession for [us]…” (Hebrews 7:25) before the throne of God, is a blessing both incredible and incalculable.
Secondly, we see in God’s pattern of the High Priest’s garments in Exodus 26:15-30, His exact specifications for the “breastplate of judgment,” which distinguished the High Priest as the supreme, human, judicial representative of Israel.
And it is worthy to briefly mention at this point, that not only was the Jewish High Priest considered the supreme judicial representative of Israel before Jehovah God, but that he was also considered as the supreme civil head of the people, as well as the supreme head of state, all at the same time. This might be akin in some folks’ present-day minds, to perhaps possessing the power and authority of the Pope, the President, the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice and the respective heads of congress all rolled into one! The power, influence, affluence and authority of the office of the High priest can clearly be noted as we study the accounts of the events which took place:
- With Jesus and Peter in the palace and courtyard of Caiaphas the High priest in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 18.
- As we see Peter and the apostles pursued, persecuted, and prosecuted by the High Priest and his council cohorts in Acts 4 and 5.
- With the story of faithful Stephen; as he was first interrogated by the High Priest, and then mutilated and martyred because of his righteous response in Acts 7.
- When we see Saul of Tarsus as he obtained letters from the High Priest to pursue and apprehend the disciples of Jesus from as far away as Damascus (Acts 9:1-2), which he later reiterated in his retelling of the tale as recorded by Luke in Acts 22.
- In Acts 23:1-5, wherein we see even the apostle Paul display some seemingly uncharacteristic restraint and respect for the authority of the office of the High Priest, in response to the High Priest’s command that he be struck with a blow to the mouth.
But, back to said breastplate… The fact that it, too, was also to be engraved with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel when the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies to appear before almighty God on behalf of the people, symbolized the fact that he was to bear the people upon his heart as he interceded for them before Jehovah God: “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually. And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord. So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the Lord continually” (Exodus 28:29-30).
Wherever we read throughout the account of that final, fatal evening spent with His disciples in chapters such as John 13-18; or of His greatest of all love and sacrifice in places such as Romans 5; or even of His eternal activities and perpetual pleadings for us as our Great High Priest throughout the book of Hebrews; it becomes quickly obvious to even the most casual of observers, that Jesus Christ both had and has us, both in and on His heart, in everything He does for us before the Father. I absolutely love the implications of the wording of Hebrews 7:25, wherein it indicates to us what His life’s purpose is… It states that He always lives, TO intercede for us! We and our plight, are truly always on the heart, of our great High Priest, Jesus Christ!
And thirdly, please note that in Exodus 28:36-38, we see the exact specifications and pattern regarding the pure gold plate which was to be attached to the High Priest’s turban. This golden “diadem,” or “crown” (Exodus 29:6), with the inscription “HOLINESS TO THE LORD,” would indicate that the High Priest who wore it was indeed, a “crowned one among his brethren, the supreme spiritual head of the priesthood.” (It is worthwhile to note at this point, the elaborate silver and gold crown of the High priest Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, in Zechariah 6:9-14; see also, Zechariah 3.)
The High Priest, because of the holy standing granted Him by the grace of God, when thus adorned with these words and this crown on his forehead, was allowed by God to make symbolic, sacrificial atonement for the sins of the people (vs. 38). I say “symbolic” because no matter how “pure” or “holy” the High Priest was, or how many animals were ever sacrificed, these could never truly or fully atone for anyone in the sight of God. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (vs. 11). But, “It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices [were] offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience… (Hebrews 9:9). Jesus alone, did it all! He is both the perfect sacrifice and the holy High Priest! That is the whole point of the book of Hebrews – particularly as pointed out in Chapters 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10!
But let us not miss the beautiful and bountiful significance of the symbolic holiness which God bestowed on His Old Testament High Priests, as it relates to the reality and totality of the absolute, exquisite and exclusive holiness of our one and only New Testament High Priest, and as evidenced in the sacrificial lamb and ever-interceding High Priest that we have in Jesus Christ our Lord! There simply is no comparison between their crown, and His; see for yourself…
Hebrews 2:9 states, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Likewise, Philippians 2:6-11 speaks of the “crowning accomplishment” of our High Priest Christ Jesus thus, “…who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
It is precisely because of His perfect humility and reverent submission to the will of God in even the worst of circumstances (Hebrews 5:6-8), that He both was and is for all time, considered completely holy and consecrated (and therefore totally and perfectly qualified), to go before God on our behalf as our great High Priest.
Hebrews 2:10-11 goes on to state, “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren…” Jesus, despite His heavenly holiness, is still not ashamed to call us who are so much less, His brethren. Isn’t that incredible? But the beauty of that incredible truth – that His pure holiness does not prevent His ability to identify with us – is due to the fact that He has been, where we now live.
In other words, one might say, “He has walked a mile in our shoes.” Please notice verses 14-18: “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. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 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.”
And oh how He suffered for us! In ways that our human minds cannot even begin to imagine or envision! By the same immeasurable measure and incomparable comparison with which the Bible indicates that His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9); and how unsearchable are His judgments and ways to us who are merely mortal (Romans 11:33); how our limited minds simply cannot conceive the extent of His limitless ability to bless us (Ephesians 3:20-21); and simply the sentiments summed up by such passages as I Corinthians 2:9, wherein it is stated that, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him;” neither, do I believe, are we human beings “wired” to understand the full extent of the sufferings He endured, in order to secure that eternal crown which qualifies Him to serve forever as our great High Priest.
You see, we often make the mortal mistake of focusing mostly – if not exclusively – on His bloody, bodily, physical suffering; sometimes to the complete exclusion of His eternally superior spiritual suffering, which had to have been unimaginably worse. As horrible as Calvary was to endure physically, it is still unthinkable that our Lord and Savior’s deepest “…suffering of death…” in order to secure His being “…crowned with glory and honor…” as our faithful, sympathetic, and able-to-understand High Priest, was physical in nature. After all, many a first, second, and third century martyr reportedly faced physical suffering with a ‘smile on their face’ as it were, as they prepared to meet their God.
But Jesus’ primary and predominant agony was of a far more intense nature, as He, God in the flesh, would now experience the full wrath and agony of His heavenly Father not coming to His rescue, as He saw His perfectly obedient Son, dying an absolutely agonizing death by crucifixion… all for yours and my sins. “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt 27:45-46). Never before, and never again throughout all eternity, would deity know such horrific suffering. Jesus, the very Son of God almighty Himself now knew painfully, perfectly, and personally, exactly what it was like, to be “…without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). He had known firsthand from before time began what it was like to be equal with God (John 1:1-3; Philippians 2:6). And now He knew full well, firsthand, and for the first time, what it was truly like to be totally without God. In other words, He now knew what it was like to be… us. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
And all of that is what helps qualify and make Him our one and only, perfect High Priest – His perfect holiness, coupled with His complete understanding from His personally having undergone our personal human experience. He knows exactly who, what, and where we are and have to endure daily… because he’s been there. The only difference is, that despite the difficulty incurred by having to deal daily with Satan, He never sinned. And He is the only one therefore holy enough, in and of Himself, to serve as our perfect High Priest!
Having “been where we are” as humans, and yet now being where God is by virtue of His own perfect holiness, we have it all in Christ Jesus, as scripture so beautifully and bountifully confirms. I want for us to now notice just a few of the unbelievable blessings the book of Hebrews informs us of, that stem from having Him as our great High Priest.
Let us begin with my assigned passage in Hebrews 4:14-16… Verse 14 states: “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.” Under the Old Covenant, the High Priest would be allowed to once a year enter the “Holy of Holies,” or, the place nearest the heart and presence of God. But even then, neither he nor the people on whose behalf he sought to intercede were made truly perfect or sinless in the sight of God. But we have an infinitely superior High Priest in the person of Jesus Christ Himself; who has entered the true “Holy of Holies” (or “Most Holy Place,” depending on your translation), that being heaven itself! And He entered with an infinitely better sacrifice than the blood of bulls and goats – that being the blood of His own pure, perfect, and sinless self! Note Hebrews 9:1-12:
“Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience– concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
I would also reiterate that while both Hebrews 9:23-24 and 10:1-7 echo this incredible truth, they also validate once again, the absolute and vital importance of following whatever divine pattern we are given by God at any time for any reason; and in fact, even when we cannot possibly, humanly fathom or conceive of the reason at the time.
“Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us…” (Hebrews 9:23-24).
“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.’ Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– in the volume of the book it is written of Me– to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:1-7).
Even though Jesus our great High Priest has gone into the heavenly and “Most Holy Place” to intercede for us before the Father, He at the same time is not unsympathetic to, nor has He forgotten, what we are still going through… and… He possesses unlimited power, resources, and compassion, with which to strengthen all of us in all our struggles: “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” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus knows and cares! God is mindful that we are but dust! “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:11-14).
Because of who He is as our High Priest; where he’s been in heaven and on earth; and what He’s been through as both the Son of God and the Son of man – all of which qualifies Him to be our perfect and only High Priest, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). It’s there for the asking my beloved brethren (Matthew 7:7-11)! We have a better hope, a better covenant, and a better High Priest, than ever before or ever again possible:
“He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Hebrews 7:25-8:2).
Jesus is our one and only great High Priest because He lives in heaven, pure and holy, interceding for you and me at the throne of God, while sending us His unlimited grace and mercy to strengthen and comfort us in the world of sin, Satan, and sorrow that we must confront each day… because he’s been here.
All the high priests taken throughout the ages from among men were not truly holy, but subject to sin. “For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins” (Heb 5:1-3). Many examples could be given of the human factor of frailty and failure to be holy from within the ranks of the human high priests, but surely only a few will suffice.
In Exodus 32 we see the failure of Aaron, the very first high priest, in allowing the people to produce and worship the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain.
In Leviticus 10 we see the failure of Nadab and Abihu – the rightful heirs apparent to the high priesthood as the first and second born sons of Aaron – to abide within the divine and God given pattern, by choosing to utilize and introduce into the mix, “unauthorized fire,” or fire which the Lord had “commanded not.” And when they did they died. “Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ”
Please let it be made clear that in this example we once again have validated for us just how important it is to obey and adhere to the divine pattern as prescribed by God. God is only glorified when we do what He said, and only what He said, and in the exact way He said to do it (I Chronicles 15:1-15). In fact, God’s prescribed pattern is so important to God, that Jesus could not have served as a high priest – or any priest whatsoever for that matter – while on earth because He came from a tribe about which God, through Moses, had said nothing concerning the priesthood (See Hebrews 7:13-14).
Contrary to the pop-culture opinions of many in our beloved brotherhood today, when God’s pattern tells us exactly what to use – whether it’s a particular kind of fire, a particular way of transport, a particular tribe from which priests must come, or a particular way of praising Him in music – He doesn’t have to specifically list for us all of the elements we’re not to use. They are not allowed simply because He told us what we were to use instead. If it’s not clearly included in His pattern, it is to be excluded from our practice. And there were no exceptions – not even for Jesus (Hebrews 7:13-14).
But that is exactly what made Jesus both pure and holy enough to become our perfect high priest. He came to do only and exclusively the will of the Father in all things (See John 5:30, 6:38); and that, despite the deepest levels of the most intense and immense difficulty (Matthew 26:36-44; Hebrews 5:7-8)… and in so doing, He fully glorified God (John 17:1-4)… and became not only our humble, holy, and completely perfect High Priest… but also the all- powerful and exclusive source of strength, and author of eternal salvation, to all who obey Him, because He now lives in heaven, to intercede for them, before the throne of God (Hebrews 5:1-9; 7:25-8:2).
As Hebrews 5:4-10 so eloquently yet powerfully portrays it: “And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest…
In closing, one cannot enter into the holiness of heaven where Jesus is, without having Jesus as their Lord, their Savior, and their exclusive High Priest. Only His blood sacrifice is truly sufficient and powerful enough to fully cleanse a sinner to the point that he or she can stand before a holy God uncondemned.
In order to have Him as their Lord, one must humble themselves and obey His word (Matthew 7:21-27; Luke 6:46-49). In order to have Him as their Savior, one must accept His grace on His terms for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:37-47, 5:27-31, 22:16). And in order to have Him as their High Priest, one must humble themselves daily, make living in holiness their top priority, seek His ever-present grace and mercy, and draw nearer to God constantly, if they would live with him eternally.
Please note Hebrews 10:8-31:
“Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.