“He learned obedience from the things he suffered.”
Candle Lighter: “Jesus became the source of eternal salvation…”
Response: “…for all those who obey him.”
Scripture: Hebrews 5:1-10
5 Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. 2 And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. 3 That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as theirs.
4 And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was. 5 That is why Christ did not honor himself by assuming he could become High Priest. No, he was chosen by God, who said to him,
“You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father.”
6 And in another passage God said to him,
“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
7 While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9 In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. 10 And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Reader: The word of the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.
This particular portion of the epistle, draws our attention to one of the primary roles of Jesus today. Think for a moment on where we would be in relation to the God if Jesus had not been born. We would apparently still need to be offering sacrifices in expressing our relationship to God, and an earthly priest would function as our human bridge to God. The early verses of this chapter point to the necessity of the high priest offering sacrifices for his own sins as well as the people’s sins. Hence, sacrifices would have to be offered again and again, as they were in the previous 2,000 plus years prior to Christ. What is also clear is that the high priest was appointed by God, not by human desire or vote. The glory of the latter part of this pericope is that God the Father appointed the Son of God to serve as our High Priest. He serves in a unique role in that he is fully human and sinless; fully God and perfectly holy. He is the perfect bridge, the perfect High Priest, chosen and perfectly qualified by God the Father. When the baby entered the world that quiet night in the village of Bethlehem, a cry pierced the universe that altered history and time forever. Our eternal High Priest, our bridge to the Father had arrived. He’s interceding on your behalf as you read this.
Music: “Angels We Have Heard on High” St. Olaf Choir in Norway
My Lord, my Savior, and my Intercessor, whom have I in heaven or on earth but you alone. I am utterly without hope apart from you. I take comfort in praying knowing that you are interceding before the Father on my behalf. It’s real, not imaginary. You pray as I type. Thank you for a love that was so deep you were willing to become one of us. I cannot begin to comprehend that sacrifice alone. Though I cannot grasp even a straw of it, I thank you. Praying, knowing that you understand even thoughts I cannot get into words, gives me comfort and freedom in praying. Knowing that your desire that I become more and more like you is very humbling. Thank you for dying for my sin and all the sin that has ever been committed or will be committed. Again, I cannot begin to fit that into my head, but I am so grateful, for without it, I have no hope. Lord Jesus, you are the center of every hope I have about everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.
― Daniel Sharp
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