"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."
This is the summing up of the evidence of the high priesthood of Christ presented in the first seven chapters of Hebrews. The "sum" presented is not particularly that we have a High Priest but that "we have such an High Priest." "Such" signifies "of that kind; of a like kind or degree,"—"the same as previously mentioned or specified; not another or different."
The first seven chapters of Hebrews have gathered together all the specific qualifications and things becoming to Him as a High Priest, which are summed up in this text: "Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest."
It is necessary to the understanding of this scripture that these previous portions be reviewed to see what is the true weight and import of this word, "such an High Priest." The seventh chapter is devoted to the discussion of this priesthood. The sixth chapter closes with the thought of this priesthood. The fifth chapter is almost wholly devoted to the same thought. The fourth chapter closes with it, and the fourth chapter is but a continuation of the third chapter, which begins with an exhortation to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;" and this as the conclusion from what had already been presented. The second chapter closes with the thought of His being "a merciful and faithful High Priest" and this conclusion is drawn from what preceded in the first and second chapters, for though they are two chapters the subject is but one.
This sketch shows plainly that in the first seven chapters of Hebrews the one great thought over all is the priesthood of Christ and that the truths presented, whatever the thought or the form may be, are all simply the presentation in different ways of the great truth of this priesthood, all of which is finally summed up in the words: "We have such an High Priest."
Therefore, in discovering the true weight and import of this expression, "such an High Priest," it is necessary to begin with the very first words of the book of Hebrews and follow the thought straight through to the summing up, bearing constantly in mind that the one transcendent thought in all that is presented is "such an High Priest" and that in all that is said the one great purpose is to show to mankind that we have "such an High Priest." However rich and full may be the truths in themselves,—are all expressed with the one great aim of showing that we have "such an High Priest." These truths must be held as subordinate and tributary to the great truth over all that is the "sum,"—"we have such an High Priest."
The conclusion of the argument presented at the end of chapter 2 says, “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God." This conclusion declares that Christ's condescension, His likeness to mankind, His being made flesh and dwelling amongst men, was a necessity to His becoming "a merciful and faithful High Priest." In order to show how great was His condescension and what is truly the meaning of His place in the flesh as the Son of man and man, first it was necessary to contrast this with His exaltation as the Son of God and God, and this is the subject of the first chapter.
The condescension of Christ, the position of Christ, and the nature of Christ as He was in the flesh in the world are given in the second chapter of Hebrews more fully than in any other one place in the Scriptures. But this is in the second chapter. The first chapter precedes it. Therefore the truth and the thought presented in the first chapter are essentially precedent to the second chapter. The first chapter must be understood in order to be able to follow the thought and comprehend the truth of the second chapter.
The first chapter of Hebrews exalts Christ - His position, and His nature as He was in heaven before He came to the world. Therefore an understanding of the position and nature of Christ as He was in heaven is essential to comprehend His position and nature as He was on earth. And since He was what He was on earth, in order that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest, it is essential to first understand what He was in heaven. This is prerequisite and essential to what He was on earth and is therefore a fundamental part of the evidence that is summed up in the expression, "We have such an High Priest."