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Grace Lutheran Church Devotional: Hebrews 5:1–10

By Administrator

March 22, 2024

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

Each of us has favorite ways of referring to Jesus that are comfortable and comforting. Jesus is our “Lord and God, our Savior, Redeemer, Friend, and the Good Shepherd.” Each of these highlights a different dimension of our Savior’s service and sacrifice for sinners. Unfortunately, we rarely describe Jesus as our “Priest.” The writer to the Hebrews points out all the ways Jesus is our perfect High Priest.

God had reserved the priesthood for only those whom He chose. The author tells us God appointed Jesus to priestly service. At the Jordan River, God anointed His “Beloved Son” with the Holy Spirit, setting Him apart to serve as our Great High Priest (cf. Matthew 3:13ff). God appointed Jesus to be our Great High Priest to help and serve us because He is one of us, a human man among men. Jesus willingly accepted our human weaknesses; suffering temptation, hunger, fatigue, sadness, loneliness, rejection, persecution, and death, but did not sin! (See Hebrews 4:15). Knowing our ignorance, weakness, struggles, sufferings, and our sins “He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward” (Hebrews 5:2).

Jesus learned to be your priest in the most difficult way imaginable, through tears and pain and suffering. Thorns and nails did not discourage Him from being our perfect priest. As our perfect priest, He “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” (7). Even suffering on the cross for our salvation, Jesus continued His priestly prayers: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” and finally “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit!” (cf. Luke 23:34, 46; Matthew 27:46).

Through the school of suffering, Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 10:9). Only Jesus, the humble, reverent priest, has secured our salvation. “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus suffered on account of our sin. All the pain He endured was a penalty meant for us. The death He died was the needed ransom to redeem sinful and wayward rebels. Because of Jesus’ perfect reverence and prayerful obedience, God the Father raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in glory. Today at God’s throne of grace, Jesus continues to intercede for us as our Great High Priest.

Jesus invites us to share in His priestly work. Following in the footsteps of our perfect Priest, we are students in the school of suffering. When we seek to “be served,” we sin. When our prayers for others falter, we sin. But our Lord’s perfect, priestly service counts for us. God counts His obedience as our obedience. Jesus promises to complete our lives through His perfect forgiveness, grace, and love. He is indeed the source of eternal salvation! What a priest we have in Jesus!

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Grace Lutheran Church LCMS
825 North 1st West
Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728
Sunday Service begins at 9:00 AM
Reverend Steven Zandstra

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