“For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat to offer” (Heb. 8:3).
The writer is making a great case for the priesthood of Christ in the need to offer sacrifices. Such was a major work of the priests under the law and it is equally true of the Christian’s high priest: Jesus Christ. There are several things that the Bible states that Jesus sacrificed in order for man to have all spiritual blessings in Christ (cf. Eph. 1:3). Appreciating what he sacrificed should cause the saved to love him more and give to everything he would ask. Consider three of his sacrifices.
- His Lofty Place in Heaven. The Holy Spirit through Paul stated, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Jesus often stated that he came from heaven to do the will of the Father. John recorded as Jesus said to Nicodemus, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). Again, Jesus said of himself, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). Jesus left the very place where all Christians seek to go. Surely, such a sacrifice for man should be appreciated.
- His Lordly Position to be Served. Paul wrote to the Philippians concerning Jesus, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7). Jesus not only left heaven, he came to earth to serve, not to be served. Jesus said to his apostles, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:27-28). He whom God would tell the angels to worship (cf. Heb. 1:6) lived a life of servitude that man might have the proper example to live his own life and see how great a sacrifice Jesus would give in his life and death. Jesus deserved in life all the adoration that the Son of God could receive. Nevertheless, Jesus gave up such a position to humbly do the will of God. Here is the model for all Christians today and forever.
- His Life’s Blood on the Cross for Sin. While Jesus sacrificed his place in heaven and his position to serve, man would still be lost if Jesus had not made the ultimate sacrifice. This is exactly what the book of Hebrews addresses when it comes to Jesus and his priesthood. It is written, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing in many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:9-10). Again, “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” (Heb. 9:11-12). His life was “better sacrifices” (Heb. 9:23-25). Understanding what he sacrificed is essential for a proper life response to the service of God.