We frequently read about “high priests” in the Bible. Who were these men? How did they come to be high priests? What was their work, and why did it matter? In Hebrews 5, we find a great and easy-to-understand description:
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. (Heb 5:1)
- Were chosen from among men
- Appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God
- Offered gifts and sacrifices for sins
A high priest was an ordinary man.
He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. (Heb 5:2-4)
But here’s the important point that the writer is drawing our attention to:
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.”
So also Christ, the Son of God:
- Took on human form and lived among us
- Was appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God
- Offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins
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. (Heb 5:8-9)
He has definitively acted on your behalf. He has offered himself as a sacrifice for your sins. He is not only the perfect high priest, he is the source of eternal salvation. Won’t you obey him?