This article on Jeremiah 30:21 is about Christ as our High Priest.

Source: Clarion, 1989. 2 pages.

Jeremiah 30:21 – The Priestly Prince

Their prince shall be one of themselves, their ruler shall come forth from their midst; I will make him draw near, and he shall approach Me, for who would dare of himself to approach Me? Says the LORD.

Jeremiah 30:21

Just before the imminent destruction of Jerusalem, the LORD sends the prophet Jeremiah to proclaim a new message to those who in the face of terror still clung to the word of God in hope. This was a word of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. Although it looked like the end of Israel as a nation, the LORD announces that this is not the end. In fact, He was proceeding with His work. After He had exhausted His punishment, Jerusalem would be rebuilt. The streets would again be filled with joy and singing. A new ruler would bring peace to the city.

This ruler would not be a foreigner or a stranger. He would come from among the people. Foreign oppression would give way to divine protection. Jeremiah also does not dwell on his royal status. On the one hand, he would be like David, vs. 9, he would bring back some of the best elements of David's reign. Here was a ruler whose life was marked by service. On the other hand, he would far surpass the greatness of David and Solomon. For besides being a ruler and prince, he would also be a priest Functions which were traditionally strictly divided would fuse in him.

This is evident from the words used to describe his work. The LORD would make him draw near to Him, and he would be able to approach God, sharing an intimacy of fellowship with Him. The duty of approaching God was restricted to the priests in the old dispensation, cf. Numbers 4:19, 8:19, Exodus 28:43, 30:20, Leviticus 21:21, 23, Ezekiel 44:13. Sometimes the word used here is also used in the technical sense of bringing an offering or sacrifice. Therefore, we have a particularly priestly function described here.

However, the remarkable feature of this priest is that he would approach God of his own accord and in his own right. Even the priests of the Old Testament were not permitted to do this. And the LORD voices the unexpected character of this action:

Who would dare of himself to approach Me? Literally the text says: Who would give his heart as surety to approach Me?

This was an action entirely unheard of before! Who cannot but see a reference to the work of the Messiah here? Indeed, He was one of Israel, of the seed of Abraham. That is still our comfort concerning Him today! He is one of us, from our own midst. Although not included in Adam's sin, He yet came forth from Adam; although born from above, He was none the less of the true seed of David, like His brothers in all things, and yet without sin.

And He was true God! So He was able of His own accord to approach the heavenly throne. And instead of bringing the sacrifice of bulls and goats, He brings the sacrifice of His own blood. He enters the heavenly sanctuary of His own accord and offers the eternal sacrifice which makes atonement for the sins of the people.

So we see in these words described the royal King who is also our heavenly High priest. Jeremiah's prophecy foreshadows the Mediator who is presented to us in much greater detail in the letter to the Hebrews. He was one of us, from our own midst! He assumed our flesh and blood, Hebrews 2:14. So He was qualified to make expiation for the sins of the people.

For because He Himself suffered and was tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted.Hebrews 2:18

At the same time, He was able to draw near to God! He has "neither beginning of days nor end of life," and so becomes a High priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek, Hebrews 6:20, 7:3. Although one of us, He was also one from above. He was designated and appointed to office as the Son of God.

And as a true High priest He brought the once-for-all sacrifice that took away sins. And this was the sacrifice of Himself! (Hebrews 9:26). He was able to approach God of His own accord, because He was not only able but willing to bring the sacrifice of His own blood. This was the offering which brought all the sacrifices of the old dispensation to fulfillment! His was a sacrifice of eternal value. So He becomes the surety of a better covenant. And He always lives to make intercession for the sons of God!

Here we see something of David's reign return to the church. In Christ Jesus, the Shepherd-King returns, and the king who serves has come back to His people. Indeed, in the coming of this King we see paradise restored. For the reality of true priestly service among men has been restored in Him. But we see more! For in His power to approach God we see a greater access to God than has even been revealed before. And this foreshadows the day when God will dwell with man and make His home with Him forever.

So we may give thanks for the true priestly King who reigns in heaven on our behalf. He makes intercession for His Church, and approaches God's throne for us. And he guards us against all enemies. He will reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. Then we may join in songs of thanksgiving, and safely graze as sheep of His pasture.

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