1 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, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
Chapter 8 marks a shift from the person of the High Priest to His work. Our Lord’s work is so superior to the work of the priests of the Old Testament that God did away with the whole Mosaic system. In its place we have the eternal priesthood of Christ.
Verses 1–13 show how the high priesthood of Christ supersedes the Levitical priesthood, rendering the latter obsolete.
Now this is the main point of the things we are saying:
Hebrews now transitions to the main idea of the argument about the high priesthood of Christ.
We have [present possession] such a High Priest,
“We have” indicates Christ’s present ministry in heaven on our behalf.
“Such” implies something transcendent or pre-eminent. “Such” harks back to Hebrews 7:26, 27. The seating of Christ at the right hand of God places Him infinitely above all other priests in one fell swoop. This High Priest represents all the glories of deity and true humanity. He has both almighty power and the capacity to sympathize with the believer. He can both sustain and support us.
who is seated at the right hand
The “right hand” of God is a place of divine authority. The “right hand” is an allusion to Psalm 110:1, where the Messiah is portrayed as king (He 1:3, 13). Jesus is then the King-Priest; He is at once both King and Priest. He is in a place of supremacy. The High Priest took a seat in heaven. His sacrifice on the cross was complete and finished. The high priest of the Old Testament never sat down because his work was never finished.
of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
God’s throne is in heaven; the location of Jesus’ ministry is in heaven, not earth. The emphasis here is on the royal imagery of God by the words “throne” and “Majesty” (He 7:1).
This verse declares the dignity of both of our Lord’s person and position, His dignity and authority. He sits in the place of sovereign power.
a Minister [priestly minister] of the sanctuary [holy place]
The word “Minister” means one who serves as a priest, a servant of God. He officiates as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
and of the true [genuine] tabernacle
The earthly tabernacle represented the “true” tabernacle in heaven. The Lord will serve as a priest in heaven, the antitypical or archetypical temple (He 9:24). “True” opposes what does not complete the idea, such as a type. Something “true” corresponds only to one thing. Jesus entered into the veritable presence of God.
which the Lord erected [fixed], and not man.
The “man” here is Moses, to whom God gave instructions for the erection of the tabernacle (He 8:5).
Jesus is superior because He ministers in a superior place.
Some of the last words of Jesus on the cross were “It is finished.” By a final, full, and complete sacrifice, Jesus “sat down at the right hand” of God. He did in one fell swoop what all the priests of all time under the Mosaic Covenant could not do. Because of this He sat in the seat of honor. He did it with one sacrifice on the cross. There was then no longer a need for any other priest. He sits in that status for us today.
It is a blessing to know that there is in heaven right now Someone who represents us before God almighty. He is at rest about our redemption because He did everything necessary to save our souls. Such a person represents us before the Father.