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The Writer of Hebrews is presenting something certain.  The writer begins 2:16 with, “for assuredly” – he wants to make sure his hearers are sure.  Up to this point in the book, there has been a disagreement over whether God has given over the future world to angels, or to men (2:5).  The writer has proved from Scripture that God has given the New Creation to a Man (“Thou has put all things in subjection under His feet,” 2:8).  He has also argued that only Christ, the God-Man, is able to bring men into this New Creation since angels are unable to atone for sinners (2:14).  As the writer comes to the end of Chapter 2, he wants everyone to be sure that Christ, the God-Man, is intent on ruling the New Creation of God not with angels, but with His fellow men, whom He will bring to glory.

Jesus is a new kind of High Priest.  Hebrews 2:17 is the first place in the New Testament where Jesus bears the Name, High Priest.  The Book of Hebrews will call Jesus ‘High Priest’ another 10 times, but no other book in the New Testament calls Him this.  One of the major themes of the Book of Hebrews is that the relationship that a New Testament believer enjoys with God is much better than ever before because of the quality of the High Priest, Who brings with Him a better Covenant and a better sacrifice.   The High Priests under the Old Covenant were sinful (5:2), unmerciful and unfaithful.  Jesus, the High Priest of all High Priests, is merciful, faithful and righteous (2:17).

Jesus is able to make propitiation for sinners.  The word ‘propitiation’ means a ‘turning away of divine wrath’ (2:17).  God is wrathful toward sinners, but only a High Priest like Jesus is able to take away that wrath.  Merely human High Priests like Aaron and Caiaphas were unable to do this: they were not merciful, faithful or righteous.  However, Christ is a High Priest Who can take away sins.  If Jesus was like other sinful High Priests, He could do nothing for men since He would be unmerciful, unfaithful and unrighteous.  If Jesus was God but not man as High Priest, He could not do anything for man because nothing He did would be transferable to humanity.  However, since Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man as High Priest, He can act with the mercy, faithfulness and righteousness of His divine nature and have all that He does accrue to men since He is of Mankind and represents Mankind.  As the God-Man-High Priest, Jesus is merciful, faithful, and able to redeem sinful men. 

Jesus is merciful and faithful.  As God, Jesus longs to be merciful to sinners but cannot do so without a vindication of His righteousness.  Jesus can be merciful to sinners, but only if He extinguishes God’s wrath.  That is what Jesus did as our High Priest.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was tempted with regard to His suffering (Luke 22:44).  However, since He was faithful in being our Sacrifice, He is able to give full expression to His mercy in dealing with sinners.  What a High Priest!

Jesus is a unique High Priest:  Merciful, Faithful and able to remove wrath!