“For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.” Hebrews 5:1
When the priesthood was established the high priest was chosen from among men, the high priest acted on behalf of man to offer gifts and sacrifices to God for the sins of man. But the high priest was just a man yet and still.
“He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people.” Hebrews 5:2-3
The high priest would not only offer sacrifices on behalf of men, he offered sacrifices for his own sins as well. The high priest could identify with the people he represented simply because he had his own weaknesses to contend with. He was just a man.
“And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.” Hebrews 5:4
The high priest was appointed by God, not by man. Back in the old testament he was born into the lineage. The high priest would come from the lineage of Levi. But much the same way today he was appointed by God. Pastors have a calling on their life. A lot of the pastors I know would never say, “I grew up wanting to be a preacher”. In fact many of them have the story of the last thing I wanted to do was to be a preacher. But there is a calling that they can’t deny.
“So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’” Hebrews 5:5
Jesus was also appointed by God to become a high priest. Jesus became flesh and walked this earth so that when He became our high priest He would also identify with our weaknesses much in the same way that the high priest in the old testament could identify with the people because he too had weaknesses.
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:7-10
Jesus cried in anticipation of what was about to happen to him. He cried out to God, who could have said ok nevermind, we won’t do it this way. But Jesus suffered for us. He felt every whip, he felt the nails go into his hands and feet. He not only is our high priest, he is the sacrificial lamb. He is fully man and fully God all at the same time. Therefore he is our ETERNAL high priest called by God!
The last few verses of this chapter warn us against spiritual immaturity.
“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:11-14
Notice here that the audience of Hebrews had become dull of hearing. They were not learning, they were simply sticking with the basic principles of christianity. Let’s be careful to always be sure that we are growing in our faith. We need to be sure that we are moving from milk to solid food when we are studying the word. Knowledge of the word, feeding on the word will give us the power of discernment so that we can distinguish good from evil.
Oh Lord, let us not become dull of hearing but may we always feast on your word so that we will build our faith.