Senior Adult Weekly Devotional Wk. 87

By: Noah Barr

The Perfect Priest of Eternal Salvation

Hebrews 5:1-10

1 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. 2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3 Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 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”; 6 as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” 7 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. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

       As the time of His death was approaching, Jesus was in the presence of the Pharisees. Jesus asked the question: “What do you think about the Christ? Who’s son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord?” (Matt. 22:42-43). The question that Jesus asked was simpler than it seems. In the Jewish culture, the father would always have more authority than the son as long as he lived. The son would always address his father properly and even call him lord as the authority figure of the home. The Messiah was to come from David’s line and be David’s relative. This Messiah was called David’s son which meant that He could not be more powerful or authoritative than David. It would have been disgraceful for a father to call one of his children ‘lord’! Jesus was agreeing with the Pharisees that the Messiah was David’s son but there was another truth as well about this Messiah. David also called the Messiah ‘my Lord’ in Psalm 110:1. How could the Messiah be David’s son and Lord? Jesus was making the point that the only way that could be so is if the Messiah was God Himself. The Pharisees had strongly believed that the Messiah would only be a man. Jesus claimed to be the Messiah and the offspring of David. He wanted the pharisees to understand that He was the Son of God and they were greatly mistaken to think that the Messiah would be ‘just a man’.

        In our passage this week, we continue with the preacher’s exhortation to the Hebrew church. The preacher used Psalm 110 to speak of the plans that God the Father had for His Son before Jesus ever came to earth. The preacher explained the purpose of the priesthood to the congregation and in doing so it was clear that the priest was appointed or chosen by God to help men in their relationship with God (Heb. 5:1-3). The priests would help the people in their sacrifices to God and in their knowledge of Him. The priests themselves were also sinners and therefore understood the pain of guilt and the consequences of disobedience to the Lord. This was a high and gracious position that the Lord gave certain men to carry out and which no one volunteered for. “And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was” (Heb. 5:4).

The priesthood was a humble position. Even our Lord came in humility, accepting this honor from the Father: “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”; as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” (5:5-6). What the author was saying is that the eternal Son of God was called to be the high priest forever. This was God’s plan so long ago. Keep in mind that these verses were not written after Jesus came, but before! Furthermore, the Father did not say ‘You will be a priest forever’ but the Father said: “You are a priest forever”! Even before Jesus was born on earth, in the mind of God it was as if Jesus had already accomplished all things!

“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”. With God’s plan so sure Jesus depended upon the Holy Spirit and He had perfect communion with His Father. He was perfect in His life on earth. As it says Jesus was made perfect, by this we do not mean that at any time He was unperfect, but this means that even as Jesus was perfect in Heaven, now on earth He has shown that same perfection in the flesh. Like a dancer who always gives a perfect performance and each time we expect the same but hold our breath until each performance is over, Jesus lived a perfect life by which He proved His own perfection in the flesh. He was declared perfect by the Father. The Father knew He would do perfectly, and now that Jesus has done perfectly, God has put His stamp of perfection on Him. In accomplishing all the plans of God, Jesus became the source of salvation for all who trust in Him. There were no hidden cards, nor alarming enemies, Jesus fulfilled the Father’s plan perfectly.

Because of this we rejoice in our eternal perfect priest. God’s eternal salvation is found in His Son the God-man Jesus Christ. Salvation is not found in good deeds or an almost perfect life but in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is salvation and when we put our faith in Him we are united eternally with Him. The ultimate prize of our salvation is not Heaven but Jesus Christ Himself.