1-2: “Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins should be able to deal gently with their failings, since he knows what it's like from his own experience.” – One condition of our humanity is our failings before God, yet Christ experienced our humanity and understands us.
5: “Neither did Christ presume to set himself up as a high priest, but was set apart by the One who said to him, "You're my Son; today I celebrate you!” – These verses stress that Jesus came to us as a divine appointment from God.
6: “You’re a priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek.” – Reading Hebrews 7 and Genesis 14 will provide more information concerning Melchizedek. The writer is stating that Jesus’ appointment into the priesthood did not follow the traditional Jewish-like appointments where the position was filled and controlled by one family. Instead, He was chosen and appointed by God.
7: “While He lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as He offered up priestly prayers to God. Because He honored God, God answered Him.” – Although Jesus was in agony in anticipation of His death and crying out for deliverance from the pain and humiliation He would suffer, He willingly obeyed God’s will.
8: “Though he was God's Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what He suffered, just as we do.” – Our faith in God grows as we learn to trust Him in all situations.
10: “He became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey Him.” – The perfect submission to the suffering that Jesus experienced provides each of us with guidance and help to endure anything we face in our efforts to obey God’s will for our lives.
Points to Contemplate:
Have you ever felt that God didn’t hear your prayers?
Have you provided Him a wish list? Are you asking Him to respond to your needs in the manner in which you think they should be met or are you submitting yourself to His will for your life? Do you honor God? Jesus cried out in pain but because He honored God, God listened to His prayers. In what ways can you honor God in your prayers?
Are you patient?
Can you “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him?”(Psalm 37:7 NRSV) Jesus learned “trusting-obedience by what He suffered.” In what ways can you grow through patience and suffering? Can you see that God wants you to learn to rely more fully on Him? That we have a tendency to rush off, attempting to fulfill our own agendas without fully understanding and incorporating God’s will into our lives? In what ways is God asking you to become more patient in your life?
Are you obedient to God?
Do you follow His will for your life or are you still focused on your own agendas? Christ was made perfect through His submission to God’s will. This perfection means a completeness in maturity. Are you allowing God to grow you up? Are you being made perfect? Or, are you remaining a “baby Christian,” reluctantly resisting God’s attempt to grow and mature you into the image of Christ? In what ways can you give more of yourself over to God’s perfect will?
Are you a high priest for God?
Or is that a role strictly set aside for Christ? Have you been called by God into the Priesthood of Believers? Is Jesus’ life a model for which we are to follow? Are we not to become Christ-like in all things? What does it mean, then, to be a high priest? In what ways can your life become a link between humanity and God? Do your experiences in life, especially those times of suffering and pain, along with your growing ability to patiently submit your life to His perfect will, equip you for His priesthood? Are you being called and appointed by God to become His high priest? Promises of the Gospel:
The letter of Hebrews continues to teach us who Christ is. From this foundational knowledge we are to turn outward into the world and be Christ to those we meet in our lives. As we grow in our faith we learn to honor God in our prayers and, in the way we live our lives, we also learn to patiently trust and submit to His perfect will. Through this obedience and through our life experiences, God equips us to become members of His royal priesthood, actively involved within that boundary that lays between man and God. In response to His call we become a link that will successfully bring people to Christ and into the promise of eternity that lies before us.