Daily Devotional Saturday 5th November 2022by William Moody
5:1 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, Jesus1 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.
Warning Against Apostasy
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
The Old Testament high priests had an important role but they were flawed and sinful, needing to offer sacrifices for themselves before doing so for others (v1-3). But Jesus has been appointed as a different high priest of the order of Melchizedek (v4-6).
Melchizedek was a mysterious character (Genesis 14 v17-24), who seems to appears out of nowhere and as quickly disappears in the story of Abraham. The writers point here is that he was a priest from a different source than the priests established under Moses. Likewise, Jesus is a priest of a different order than the priests Moses instigated.
Jesus was a priest who knew about real suffering (v7). He uttered cries of anguish and cries calling for mercy. Jesus as a priest was perfect in His obedience (v8), different from the Old Testament priests. It is because of His perfection and suffering Jesus as high priest is the only source of eternal salvation (v9). Being of the order of Melchizedek (v10) speaks of Jesus being of a different source and being a priest who is eternal, no beginning or end.
This is truth that the hearers should be rejoicing in but the writer appears exasperated as they seem to be slow to learn and to be to share (v11-14).
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