“Since we have a great high priest, Jesus the Son of God ...” Hebrews 4:14 (NCV).
Many Christians today think that Jesus, who is our High Priest, did not have flesh and blood, or in other words, a human nature like us. They think this even though Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus had the same human nature as us, and Hebrews 4:15 states that He was tempted in every way that we are.
Such Christians preach a “high priest” who was not tempted in every way as we are, and who is therefore unable to understand our weaknesses and cannot help us when we are tempted. This is why they cannot “walk in His footsteps” (1 Peter 2:21). If they don’t walk in His footsteps, they also cannot speak about “sharing in the sufferings of Christ in order to be made like Him in His death” (Philippians 3:10). Neither can they “carry the dying of Jesus in their body” so that the life of Jesus might also be seen in their lives (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).
A high priest who is different from us?
They preach a “high priest” who had some kind of holy nature (for example, the nature of Adam before the fall), one who was not tempted as we are (James 1:14). They preach a “high priest” who was true God while He walked on this earth as a man, one who was not in a process of development while He was on earth.
They preach a “high priest” on whom their sins were laid when he was crucified on Calvary. They call this “the work of Calvary”. He was obedient in their place, and he suffered and died in their place. They don't have to do anything except receive salvation as a gift; then they are covered by his blood so that God does not see them as they are.
Of course, if they preach such a “high priest”, they do not have the hope of overcoming as Jesus overcame (Revelation 3:21), and therefore they do not preach it. Instead, many of them say that Jesus did not preach the Sermon on the Mount with the intention that we should do it, but rather that we could see that we could not do it, which is why we need grace, that is, forgiveness.
With such a “high priest”, they cannot preach that we can be made holy (Hebrews 12:14) or that we can “share in godly nature”. They don't have the knowledge about Christ by which we have received such promises, as is written about in 2 Peter 1:3-4.
Or a High Priest who is like us?
But in Hebrews 4:15 the apostle says that we do not have such a “high priest”. Praise be to God and the Son for that! We have a High Priest who “as a man, he was born from the family of David. But through the Spirit of holiness He was appointed to be God’s Son with great power by rising from the dead.” Romans 1:3-4 (NCV).
Yes, this is the type of High Priest we have. As a man, He had a human nature like ours. “Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death.” Hebrews 2:14 (GNT). In other words, this is the only way He could destroy the power of the devil.
“And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself was tempted and suffered." Hebrews 2:18 (GNT). He could not help those who are tempted in any other way. We have a High Priest who understands our weaknesses, One who “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV).
Because we have such a High Priest, we are able to go to the throne of grace when we are tempted – where we get grace and help not to sin. Those who have another “high priest” come to the throne of grace to get forgiveness, because they are sinning. But we pray for grace and help to overcome as He overcame, so that we don’t sin when we are tempted. And we know that He can help us, because He understands our weaknesses. (1 John 2:1-6; 1 John 3:3.)
We have a High Priest who, when He was here on earth, learned obedience by the things He suffered. “… suffering made Jesus perfect, and now He can save forever all who obey him.” Hebrews 5:8-9 (CEV). Therefore, we can now also walk in the steps of Him “who did not sin”.
Through his death he could destroy the Devil, who has the power over death. (Hebrews 2:14.) Now we can also in “our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:10 (NLT). “So we would stop living for sin and start living for what is right.” 1 Peter 2:24 (NCV).
Most religious people preach about a "high priest" who fulfilled the law so that we don't have to do it. But the High Priest whom the apostles preached about fulfilled the law so that we can also fulfil the law just like He did, as is written in Romans 8:3-4,13 (GNT), “…so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature.”
Through Jesus’ death on Calvary, everyone who believes has peace with God. This is a gift. But now – through the work which God does in us through Christ – He gives us everything we need to do good works which He has already prepared for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 13:20-21.)
With this High Priest you can overcome just as He overcame.
Also read Hebrews 2:11-18; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 6:18-20; Hebrews 5:5-10; Hebrews 10:5-10,19-22.