Friday, April 27, 2018

Hebrews, part 2, Jesus, the Ultimate High Priest

Photo by Virpeen Syp on Unsplash


Look at Hebrews 3:1-6:

1Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. 3Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

 I put “house” in bold because it’s important that we remember that we are His house.
Now look at Hebrews 4:14-16:

14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus is the great high priest. I think this links back to 2nd Chronicles in an interesting way. Remember that in Chronicles the kingdom was divided into the northern region of Israel (10 tribes) and the southern kingdom of Judah (2 tribes). The priests and Levites left the northern region because of the idolatry. Where there were parallel accounts in Chronicles to historical events recorded in Kings, Chronicles always had many more references to the priests and Levites. Here, in Hebrews, we have the ultimate priest. Read Hebrews 5:1-10:

1Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.
 4No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
   "You are my Son;
      today I have become your Father." 6And he says in another place,
   "You are a priest forever,
      in the order of Melchizedek."
 7During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

An important part to clarify is in verse 9. The translation here says “once made perfect,” which sounds like He wasn’t always perfect. The original Greek meaning, however, is “having been made perfect,” implying that Jesus was made perfect originally. Jesus was sinless and perfect.