Reading through the Bible together

Friday, May 29, 2015

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Hebrews 5 tells us that Jesus has been appointed our high priest. In the ancient worldview, priests were appointed to mediate between God and human beings. They had been specially cleansed to deal with the divine world and knew how to approach God in order to receive the blessings that were sought.  

Verses 1–6 tell us that it was God himself who appointed Jesus as high priest. This reminds us that it is the Father who has always wanted to restore his relationship with us. God chose Jesus because he was a Son. This connects us back to Hebrews 1–2 where the Son was both one with God and one with man. Thus he is the perfect mediator.

Verses 7–10 say that God perfected Jesus for the office of priesthood by means of sufferings. Why? He offered himself as a sacrifice for sin on our behalf and was accepted (he was heard). This chapter also emphasizes that he experienced obedience, suffering, even sometimes denied petitions, because we experience the same things. He wants us to believe that he understands us.

Verses 11–14 argue that it has been difficult for us to understand the central idea that Jesus is our perfect high priest. The idea that we cannot do anything to enhance our relationship with God is counterintuitive. In fact, we cannot even appoint our own representative and mediator. Somehow, we keep adding to Jesus resources of our own. But the mature understand that there is only one mediator and that mediator is Jesus (1 Tim 2:5). 


Felix Cortez

Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

United States