26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
The author presents five characteristics of Christ’s high priesthood in this verse.
who is holy [devout],
“Holy” sets forth Jesus in relation to the Father. He was wholly oriented to God the Father. He was ever faithful to Him. This word for “holy” is not the normal word (hagios, separation unto God) for the concept; the word here carries the idea of devout. The meaning here is personal holiness.
“Harmless” means blameless, guileless. Jesus related to human beings in a guileless manner. He never extended malice to anyone. Neither did He use craftiness in dealing with people. He was characterized by personal integrity in His dealings with others.
“Undefiled” describes Jesus in relation to Himself. The word “undefiled” means unsullied or unblemished. He had no spot on His soul. He lived a life free from sin. Jesus was free from any taint in His person or character.
separate from sinners,
The characteristics here and in the next phrase refer to Jesus in the eternal state. The words “separate from sinners” describes his present state in heaven. He is separate from the company of sinners while in God’s presence.
and has become higher than the heavens;
Christ’s priesthood has been exalted higher than the universe (He 4:14). The Old Testament High Priest could only go into the Holy of Holies, but Jesus went into heaven or the presence of God Himself.
Jesus’ priesthood is great because His person transcends any other.
Jesus was free from anything that might disqualify Him from the priesthood. His High Priesthood is totally acceptable to God. He experienced temptation and trial to the fullest yet did not yield to sin in the process. Instead, He did something for people; He became a sin-offering for them.