Will you be my priest as I am yours, serving each other together under the leadership of Christ? We will follow the example of our high priest, Jesus, who completely understands our needs and struggles because he was human even as we are…
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
1 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest.
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him…
Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:1-5, 7-9
Jesus is our high priest, and as we read here today, the high priest in Judaism is selected from the people and represents the people in matters relating to God, even offering gifts and sacrifices for their sins. He deals gently with the weak and struggling, since he is also subject to weakness. He is a real human.
We see here that Jesus completely understands our humanity because he was human. He was sent by the Father to be our high priest and our saviour from among the people. He was tempted in every way as we are tempted yet he did not sin – Jesus resisted each temptation and overcame sin and death for us.
He didn’t come taking on glory or lording himself over us, even though he had every right and ultimate power to do so. No, Jesus was the humble servant priest for us. He was the fulfillment of the position of high priest for all time.
First of all, this humbles us before Jesus. Think about how amazing his sacrifice and his humility was for him to do all of this for you and me… we would never do this for one another and we would never do this for a stranger or an enemy. Jesus lived and died for people who rejected him. Humble.
Secondly, we are able to come alongside one another in the capacity of priest today. Jesus is our example, and we are blessed to share life with our brothers and sisters who struggle. We can come alongside them because we, too, struggle. More mature followers of Christ can do this for the less mature. The strong today can do this for the weak today. For tomorrow, the roles may be reversed.
Will you be my priest as I am yours serving each other together under the leadership of Christ?