- That He who was higher than the angels, as God, was made lower than the angels, as man.
- That He who was of the nature of God was made of the nature of man.
- That He who was in all things like God was made in all things like man.
- That as man He was tempted in all points like as men are and never sinned but was in all things faithful to Him that appointed Him.
- That, as man, tempted in all points like as we are, He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities and was made perfect through sufferings in order that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest; and was called of God to be an High Priest.
- That by the power of an endless life He was made High Priest.
- And that by the oath of God He was made High Priest.
Such are the specifications of the Word of God, of which the "sum" is "We have such an High Priest."
And yet that is only a part of "the sum." For the whole statement of "the sum" is, "We have such an High Priest, who is set on 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 pitched, and not man."
On earth there was a sanctuary which man pitched and which man made. True, this sanctuary was both made and pitched under the direction of the Lord; nevertheless, it is far different from the sanctuary and the true tabernacle which the Lord Himself pitched and not man--as far different as the work of man is from the work of God.
That "worldly sanctuary" with its ministry is more briefly described and the meaning of it is more briefly told in Hebrews 9 than would be possible otherwise to do. Therefore we quote Heb. 9:2-12, inclusive: "For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which we can not now speak particularly.
"Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people; the Holy Ghost this [sic. "thus"] signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing; which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
That sanctuary was but "a figure;" and it was but a figure "for the time then present." In it priests and high priests ministered and offered both gifts and sacrifices. But all this priesthood, ministry, gift, and sacrifice was, equally with the sanctuary, only "a figure for the time then present," for it all "could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience."
That sanctuary and tabernacle itself was but a figure of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man.
The high priest of that sanctuary was but a figure of Christ, who is High Priest of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle.
The ministry of that high priest of the sanctuary on earth was but a figure of the ministry of Christ, our great High Priest, "who is set on 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 pitched, and not man."
The offerings of the priesthood in the ministry of the sanctuary on earth were but a figure of the offering of Christ, the true High Priest, in His ministry in the sanctuary and the true tabernacle.
Thus Christ was the true substance and meaning of all the priesthood and service of the sanctuary on earth, and any part of it that ever passed without this as its meaning was simply meaningless. And as certainly as Christ is the true Priest of Christianity, of which the Levitical priesthood was a figure, so certainly the sanctuary of which Christ is minister is the true sanctuary of Christianity, of which the earthly sanctuary of the Levitical dispensation was a figure. And so it is written: "If He were on earth, He should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." Heb. 8:4, 5.
"It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [earthly sacrifices]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." And in "heaven itself," in the Christian dispensation, there was seen the throne of God and a golden altar and an angel with a golden censer offering incense with the prayers of all saints, "And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." Rev. 4:5; 8:2-4. Also in this same time there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament." Rev. 11:19; 15:5-8; 16:1. And further there was seen there "seven lamps of fire burning before the throne." Rev. 4:5. There, too, was seen one like the Son of man clothed in the high priestly garment. Rev. 1:13.
There is therefore a Christian sanctuary, of which the former sanctuary was a figure, as truly as there is a Christian high priesthood of which the former high priesthood was a figure. And there is a ministry of Christ, our High Priest, in this Christian sanctuary, as truly as there was a ministry of the former priesthood in the former and earthly sanctuary. And "of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such an High Priest who is set on 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 pitched, and not man."