Hebrewsby Robert M. Solomon
The author goes on to show why and how Jesus has become our High Priest. In agreement with the earlier statement that the high priest must be called by God, the writer quotes Psalm 2:7 and 110:4 to show that Jesus was called by God the Father to the office of high priest. God called Him to be His Son and a ″priest for ever, in the order of Melchizedek″ (Hebrews 5:6). The ″indescribable majesty″ of the appointment should not escape our notice.18 More will be said later about Melchizedek, but for now, we can see how Jesus fulfils all the qualifications needed to be a high priest. He was chosen from among men (v. 1)-and that is why He had to be born into the human race, even though He is the Son of God (″the days of Jesus' life on earth″, v. 7). On our behalf, he practised ″reverent submission″ (v. 7). He obeyed the Father in every way and ″learned obedience from what he suffered″ (v. 8). He identified himself fully with us who are sinful, except that though He was tempted like us, He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus offered up deeply anguished prayers at the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33-34); His ″sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground″ (Luke 22:44). Though He faced the unimaginable agony of the cross where He would be sacrificed, He submitted to the Father's will. The ″cries″ (kraugē, Hebrews 5:7) that came from His heart were ″wrung from him″.19 His reverent submission made Him ″perfect″ (v. 9), not that He became more sinless or holier, but in the sense that He became the perfect candidate for the office of high priest,20 in offering himself ″as a perfect sacrifice for our sins″ (Hebrews 9:14 NLT).
Thus, Jesus became ″the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him″ (Hebrews 5:9). The Jewish high priests had to offer annual sacrifices on the Day of Atonement, but Jesus brings a salvation that is good both for now and forever. The implication for the original readers is that it would be foolish to leave the perfect High Priest for others who cannot deliver. The same lesson applies today. We do ourselves eternal harm when we turn away from Jesus to follow false saviours.
18Gooding, An Unshakeable Kingdom, 119.
19Barclay, ″The Letter to the Hebrews″, 47.
20Bruce, Epistle to the Hebrews, 52.
What does it mean to have Jesus the Son of God as your High Priest? How can we learn to be more like Him in ″reverent submission″ (Hebrews 5:7)?
Jesus provides ″eternal salvation″ (Hebrews 5:9). Reflect on this phrase and seek to understand what it means. Why does the writer say that this is for ″all who obey him″ (v. 9; see Matthew 7:21; 28:20)? Turn your thoughts into prayer and worship.