Acts 5.27-33; Psalm 33; John 3.31-36
Christ our Great High Priest is adduced in the Collect of this day’s mass: it is his intercession [Romans 8.34] that makes possible our reconciliation to God and our liberation from the power of sin. [Romans 6.6]
A priest is a reconciler between God and God’s creation. He ‘stands in the gap’ created betwixt us and God by our rebellion. [Psalm 105(106).23] Jesus’ perfect integration of divinity and humanity in one united life makes it possible for him to be at once the conduit through which earth’s penury is brought to the merciful face of God and the conduit through which God’s strengthening and restorative grace is transmitted to us.
Jesus’ effectual priesthood is contrasted to the impotence of the institutional priesthood of the Jerusalem Temple. Their inability to convey wholeness [Hebrews 10.11] stems from their earth-boundness. Jesus who came down from heaven also rose up from the earth: and in him the gifts of the Spirit, poured out abundantly [Luke 6.38], become equally accessible to all those who have been united to him. [Romans 8.11]