|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-6 The substance, or summary, of what had been declared was, that Christians had such a High Priest as they needed. He took upon himself human nature, appeared on earth, and there gave himself as a sacrifice to God for the sins of his people. We must not dare to approach God, or to present any thing to him, but in and through Christ, depending upon his merits and mediation; for we are accepted only in the Beloved. In all obedience and worship, we should keep close to God's word, which is the only and perfect standard. Christ is the substance and end of the law of righteousness. But the covenant here referred to, was that made with Israel as a nation, securing temporal benefits to them. The promises of all spiritual blessings, and of eternal life, revealed in the gospel, and made sure through Christ, are of infinitely greater value. Let us bless God that we have a High Priest that suits our helpless condition.
Verses 3, 4. - For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this one also have somewhat to offer. For (rather, nay; the reading μὲν οῦν being better supported than the Textus Receptus μὲν γὰρ) if he were on earth, he would not even be a priest, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law. These verses are in proof of the assertion of ver. 2, viz. that Christ has his ministry in the heavenly tabernacle. He has been shown to be a High Priest: therefore he must make some offering, this being the very purpose of a high priest's office (cf. Hebrews 5:1). But where? Not certainly in the earthly tabernacle, this being served already, and exclusively served, by the sons of Aaron. Therefore it must be in the heavenly sphere symbolized by the earthly tabernacle. And then, in ver. 5, that there is a heavenly reality, of which the earthly tabernacle is but a shadow, is shown by what was said of the latter when it was made. (What Christ offers in the heavenly sphere is surely his own atoning sacrifice. Some commentators have found a difficulty in this conception on the ground that this his sacrifice had been completed once for all before his ascension. True; but he is regarded as carrying its efficacy with him to the mercy-seat above, and so for ever offering it; even as it is continually commemorated and pleaded in the Eucharist by the Church below. And thus, be it observed, the symbolism of the Day of Atonement is accurately fulfilled. For the high priest did not sacrifice within the tabernacle; he only carried to the holy of holies the blood, representing the atoning efficacy of the sacrifice made outside before his entrance.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices,.... See Gill on Hebrews 5:1.
wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer; or this person; for the word "man" is not in the text, and seems not so proper a word to be supplied, since it was his human nature that it was necessary he should have to offer; he was a person, and existed as a divine person antecedent to his assumption of human nature: as God, he had nothing to offer, or that was capable of being offered; something to offer as a sacrifice was necessary to him as a priest, but not any thing was proper to him; Levitical sacrifices would not do, these could not take away sin; besides, the great high priest was not of the tribe of Levi, nor of the order of Aaron, and therefore could not offer these. An angelic nature would have been improper, that is not capable of dying; and the offering up of such an one would have been of no service to men, for whom priests are ordained; but an human nature is meant, and which it was necessary Christ should have, and offer, for it is for men that he became an high priest; it was human nature that had offended God, and satisfaction must be made in that nature; and this was capable of suffering and dying; yet not human nature under any consideration was necessary for him to have and offer; not merely as in a state of innocence, without any infirmity, nor as sinful, yet as perfect as to parts and qualities; and a nature, and not a person, was necessary to be had, and to be taken into close and inseparable union to his divine person; and of this there was a necessity, not absolute, or a necessity of coaction and force: Christ was not forced unto it; but on the foot of his suretyship engagements, and because of making satisfaction for the sin of man, it was necessary; otherwise Christ voluntarily engaged to be a priest, and willingly became man, and freely offered himself, soul and body, in the room and stead of his people.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. For—assigning his reason for calling him "minister of the sanctuary" (Heb 8:2).
somewhat—He does not offer again His once for all completed sacrifice. But as the high priest did not enter the Holy Place without blood, so Christ has entered the heavenly Holy Place with His own blood. That "blood of sprinkling" is in heaven. And is thence made effectual to sprinkle believers as the end of their election (1Pe 1:2). The term "consecrate" as a priest, is literally, to fill the hand, implying that an offering is given into the hands of the priest, which it is his duty to present to God. If a man be a priest, he must have some gift in his hands to offer. Therefore, Christ, as a priest, has His blood as His oblation to offer before God.
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