14 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.
Beginning at this verse and running through 5:10, we have a new section of Hebrews.
14 Seeing then
Since Christians one day will give account for how they lived, they need to deal with the issues they face during their lifetimes (He 4:13). They have a “great High Priest” to help them do this.
Verses 12 and 13 spoke of the penetrating power of God’s Word and that all believers must give account for what they know about it. Now verses 14–16 give encouragement that there is an alternative side where their great High Priest provides grace and mercy. He will answer prayers of those in need. The greater their need, God provides greater grace, greater provision.
that we have
Christians “have” something of great value (He 10:19). We have a Mediator representing us in heaven, in the presence of God. We have Someone who has exalted status in heaven and personally speaks on our behalf.
a great High Priest
When Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father, He was seated as the great High Priest (He 1:3; 2:17; 3:1). He became the priest for every believer (He 7:26). He stands above the priests of the Old Testament. Jesus’ priesthood is “great” in the sense that it puts all other priesthoods in a minor status. The Lord’s priesthood is transcendent because of His ascension into heaven (He 9:24).
who has passed through the heavens,
This phrase refers to Jesus’ ascension. Our Lord passed through the physical heavens into the very or immediate presence of God. He is already in heaven, the ultimate rest. His priesthood holds an exalted status because He executes intercession in God’s presence. His ascended status is one of triumphant glorification. No other priesthood could possibly be compared to Jesus’ priesthood. His priesthood is truly “great” (He 10:21).
The high priest in the Old Testament went into the holy of holies (the presence of God) once a year, but Jesus entered the presence of God permanently.
Jesus’ ascension to heaven forms a basis for the exhortations that follow:
—let us hold fast our confession
—let us come boldly to the throne of grace
Jesus the Son of God,
There are two titles in these words, (1) “Jesus” and (2) “the Son of God,” representing His humanity and deity. As our High Priest He represents us as man to God and God to man (1 Ti 2:5). Jesus is a unique priest in that He is both God and man.
let us hold fast
The Greek word for “hold fast” was used to grasp another person (Mk 1:31; 9:27; 28:9; Ac 3:11). Here the word conveys the idea of commitment. We can find this metaphorical usage in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, Colossians 2:19, and Revelation 2:13, 25; 3:11. The challenge here is to remain committed to our convictions.
Since Jesus is firmly in heaven, Christians should “hold fast” to their “confession” (He 3:6, 14). To “hold fast” is the antithesis of to “drift away” (He 2:1). The “confession” of a believer is his or her convictions about Jesus and His provisions (He 6:18; 10:23). The issue here is not giving up one’s salvation, but rather it is a matter of inner and public confession. If believers revert to believing in the economy of the Old Testament, they would abandon their confession of Christ. This would bring reproach upon Christ. The “confession” here is both our inward conviction about Christ and our outward profession about Him.
Jesus as High Priest offers believers any resource they need for life.
Our confidence and confession directly relate to the ability of our High Priest. Christians can “hold fast” to their convictions because they have a personal High Priest who represents them in heaven. He has made every provision they may need in their spiritual struggles. The idea is that Christians are to continue to worship as believer-priests (He 3:1-6).